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Stanford football: Zach Ertz and Daniel Zychlinski named Pac-12 Players of the Week after upsetting No. 1 Oregon

The awards continue to roll in for Stanford football after the No. 13 Cardinal upset No. 2 Oregon in overtime on Saturday night, 17-14.

A day after linebacker Shayne Skov was named Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week, redshirt junior tight end Zach Ertz was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and fifth-year senior punter Daniel Zychlinski was named Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week. In addition, Ertz was named one of three finalists for the John Mackey Award.

Stanford is making a name for itself as the new “Tight End U.” A year after Coby Fleener (82) was taken in the second round of the NFL Draft, redshirt junior tight end Zach Ertz is a John Mackey Award finalist and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.

With the eyes of the sports world, the SEC in particular, on Autzen Stadium, Ertz delivered a career performance. He continued to build rapport with redshirt freshman quarterback Kevin Hogan, hauling in a career-high 11 receptions for 106 yards, including a diving grab in the back of the end zone to tie the game with 1:35 remaining in regulation. It was the cap on one of Stanford football’s biggest individual performances of the season — Ertz caught four passes for 53 yards on the Cardinal’s 78-yard scoring drive.

At six-foot-six, Ertz is drawing plenty of attention from NFL scouts, and could go as high as the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft if he chooses to declare. He also is drawing attention from voters for the John Mackey Award, given annually to the top tight end in college football. With a team-high 58 receptions and 747 receiving yards, Ertz is first and second, respectively, in the nation at his position, with six touchdowns to boot.

Zychlinski was a vital weapon in dictating the field position battle in Stanford’s win over the top-ranked Ducks, averaging 45.7 yards per punt and limiting one of the nation’s top punt returners — De’Anthony Thomas, averaging 18.3 yards per return — to 2 total return yards on six punts. Zychlinski placed five punts inside the 20-yard line and three inside the 10, with two punts of 62 yards and 58 yards. Zychlinski was also the holder for Jordan Williamson’s overtime field goal to win the game.

Stanford can clinch the Pac-12 North Division with a win on Saturday on the road against No. 15 UCLA. A victory would also give the Cardinal a berth in the Pac-12 Championship game at home next Friday, and the chance to advance to the program’s first Rose Bowl since the 1999 season.

About Miles Bennett-Smith

Miles Bennett-Smith is Chief Operating Officer at The Daily. An avid sports fan from Penryn, Calif., Miles graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor's degree in American Studies. He has previously served as the Editor in Chief and President at The Daily. He has also worked as a reporter for The Sacramento Bee. Email him at eic@stanforddaily.com
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