Redshirt junior quarterback Josh Nunes became the second Stanford player in 2012 to be named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, earning the distinction Monday after he brought the No. 17 Cardinal back from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter of its win against Arizona.
Stanford (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12) would not have bounced back from its sole loss last week without Nunes. Just nine days after he and the rest of the Cardinal offense floundered against Washington, not scoring a touchdown, it put up 54 against the Wildcats (3-3, 0-3).
Nunes accounted for five touchdowns — three of them on goal-line quarterback keepers — and threw for 360 yards. By comparison, it took Andrew Luck, Nunes’ predecessor and the first overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft, seven games to break the 300-yard mark in his rookie season; his first such performance came on Oct. 17, 2009, when he threw for 423 yards in a 43-38 loss to those very same Wildcats.
Nunes is the first Pac-12 quarterback to rush for three touchdowns in a game since 2009. He beat out Arizona quarterback Matt Scott, who completed a conference-record 45 passes in the game, for this week’s award.
Senior running back Stepfan Taylor also won conference player-of-the-week honors after the Cardinal’s 21-14 upset of then-No.-2 USC on Sept. 15. Lineman Ben Gardner took home the equivalent defensive award the very same week.