Uploaded: Tuesday, October 9, 2012, 7:26 PM
Anderson creates a flap for Cardinal defense
|By Rick Eymer
Palo Alto Online Sports
When redshirt sophomore Henry Anderson was named Stanford's Defensive Player of the Game during a team meeting for his efforts against Arizona over the weekend, he was greeted by calls of "Goooooose! Gooooose!" and his teammates began flapping their arms like geese.
Anderson was all smiles.
"I've had a lot of nicknames but that one has stuck," Anderson said Tuesday. "I don't like the nickname because the story behind it is kind of embarrassing."
He's been embarrassing offensive linemen and frustrating quarterbacks all season. It was Anderson who tipped the ball at the line of scrimmage that Chase Thomas turned into an interception in overtime last Saturday and led to Stanford's 54-48 win over Arizona.
"When I tipped it, I saw three Stanford guys jump for it," Anderson said. "I thought it might fall to the ground. Luckily, Chase outjumped everybody for it."
Anderson, one of several players from the state of Georgia, wasn't even aware he was on Stanford's radar while at Woodward Academy in Atlanta.
"It was out of the blue when they offered," Anderson said. "We had not talked that much. But their combination of academics and athletics stood out. Of the schools in the southeast that offered, I took a hard look at Vanderbilt, North Carolina and Wake Forest. Those are schools with good academics but I wasn't sure about their football potential."
As for that nickname?
"A bunch of us play Madden football and it just seems like when I play the game I can't score a point," Anderson said. "They shut me out."
Stanford defensive end Ben Gardner couldn't remember who gave Anderson the nickname "but I was one of the first to jump on board with it," he said.
Cardinal linebacker A.J. Tarpley claims to be the best at Madden football, according to Gardner.
"But he plays with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos," Gardner said. "No one can beat that."
The Luck Effect
Shaw was a little upset with former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, who led the Indianapolis Colts to a come-from-behind 30-27 win over the Green Bay Packers, on Sunday.
"Our meeting was delayed 30 minutes so we could watch the rest of the game," said Shaw. "Someone asked me about it and it looked eerily similar to the game against USC last year. When you put the game on his shoulder, he makes plays."
Luck threw for 362 yards in 31 of 55 passing, including the winning score with 35 seconds to play.
"He's a special guy, a special player," Shaw said. "And he had one more year of eligibility. I think about that a lot."
Ben Gardner was torn a bit. He's a life-long Green Bay Packers fan but he's been Luck's teammate the past few years at Stanford.
"I'm happy for Andrew," Gardner said. "I sent him a congratulatory text but added 'did you have to do it to my Pack?' As you get older, your allegiances are going to be with your buddies. It's exciting to see how what we do at Stanford translates to the NFL."
Shaw was impressed with quarterback Josh Nunes, who earned the Pac-12 Player of the Week award for his efforts in helping Stanford beat Arizona, 54-48, in overtime.
"Whatever we needed him to get done, he did it," Shaw said.
Nunes will start his second career road game Saturday when No. 17 Stanford (4-1) travels to South Bend for a contest against No. 7 Notre Dame (5-0) on Saturday.
"That's going to be the big test," Shaw said. "That's our gauntlet. Can we play our best game on the road?"
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