Stanford Top 10 moments: No. 5

With one game left to play we're taking a look back at some of the memorable moments/series of moments from Stanford's 2011 season. Some were individual plays, others were a series of plays or games as a whole that were significant to the season.


Setting the scene: It's UCLA's opening drive and for whatever reason, the Cardinal defense is still in pre-game mode. The Bruins start at their own 20-yard line and seven plays later, they are inside the Stanford red zone. Time to wake up.

Why it's memorable: It's first-goal-at the Stanford 4. A 2-yard run and a 1-yard run (big stops by Trent Murphy and Jarek Lancaster, respectively) brings up third-and-goal at the 1. The next two plays embody what kind of a team Stanford wants to be. Chase Thomas and Matt Masifilo stuff Derrick Coleman for a 1-yard loss. Then on fourth-and-goal from the 2, youngsters A.J. Tarpley and James Vaughters yield just 1 yard to UCLA quarterback Richard Brehaut. Worth noting that this was the first game with Lancaster and Tarpley stepping in fulltime for Shayne Skov, who was injured in the previous game against Arizona.

It was a signature moment for the defense, a massive confidence boost for three young linebackers and as impressive a goal-line stand as you'll see at any level of football. UCLA wanted to make a statement. So did Stanford, and the Cardinal were louder.

Don't think the offense didn't feed off of that. Andrew Luck marched the team 99 yards on 16 plays in a drive that consumed 8:14, capping the drive with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Coby Fleener.

The Cardinal would go on to a 45-19 win. But the outcome might have been very different had UCLA moved 80 yards instead of 79 and punched it in on its first possession.