It may have been a down game by the lofty standards he's set during his career, but Stepfan Taylor's Rose Bowl performance was good enough to earn him offensive MVP honors.
Taylor rushed for 88 yards on 20 carries while also scoring a touchdown in Stanford's 20-14 win against Wisconsin. While the 88 yards were below Taylor's season average of 110.9 rushing yards per game, he came up big when Stanford needed him the most. He gained 39 of his 88 yards in the fourth quarter, helping Stanford increase its lead then seal the victory.
With a six point lead, Stanford had an opportunity to run out the clock with a first down. They turned to Taylor and he delivered. Wisconsin stacked against the run, but Taylor managed to pick up 14 yards on three carries to gain the first down and send Stanford home as Rose Bowl champions.
"We knew at the end of the game, we needed to get that first down to win the game," Taylor said, via the Los Angeles Daily News. "We got that and won it."
The Rose Bowl offensive MVP was a fitting end to Taylor's season in which he rushed for 1,530 yards and 13 touchdowns. Cardinal defensive back Usua Amanam was named the defensive MVP.