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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Stanford 37, Arizona 10 — Cardinal pulls away in second half

Nick Foles completed his first 17 pass attempts and threw for 239 yards, but No. 6 Stanford pulled away in the second half to beat Arizona, 37-10, at Arizona Stadium on Saturday.

“We have to try to grow from tonight,” head coach Mike Stoops said. “You’re going to have to score points against Stanford. They’re an excellent offensive and defensive team.”

Stanford jumped out to an early 10-0 lead thanks to a 24-yard touchdown run by running back Anthony Wilkerson, which came on fourth-and-one.

The Wildcats posted consecutive three-and-outs to start the night offensively before marching on a seven-play, 69-yard drive — highlighted by a 38-yard catch by Dan Buckner — that resulted in Jaime Salazar’s first career field goal, a 27-yarder to cut Stanford’s lead to 10-3.

Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson then connected on a 45-yard field goal to put the Cardinal up, 13-3. Arizona answered with a 10-play, 65-yard touchdown drive that ended with a six-yard pass to receiver Juron Criner.

Criner returned to action after missing last week’s bout with No. 9 Oklahoma State following an appendectomy, and his touchdown catch narrowed Stanford’s lead to three.

“I thought Juron made some nice plays,” Stoops said. “He’ll get better. I thought he reacted well and moved around well.”

Stanford added another field goal before Criner and Foles nearly connected on a 37-yard touchdown strike as time expired in the first half. But a Stanford defender tackled Criner in the end zone, resulting in a pass interference penalty and a 45-yard field goal attempt from Salazar, which he missed badly to the left.

Stanford led 16-10 at the half, but the floodgates opened after the break.

Arizona received the ball to open the second half, but a 45-yard drive resulted in another Salazar miss, this time from 36 yards.

After a three-and-out, Stanford took over at its own 19-yard line. Cardinal quarterback and Heisman Trophy frontrunner Andrew Luck completed three of four passes for 61 yards and rushed for 15 more, ending in a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zach Ertz, giving Stanford a 23-10 lead.

Stanford struck again on a 34-yard score from Luck to Levine Toilolo, extending its lead to 30-10 and sending most of Arizona Stadium for the exits.

Arizona cornerback Trevin Wade was able to pinpoint one thing as the cause of the Wildcats’ defensive struggles.

“People not reading their keys,” Wade said. “Just little things. The easiest things.”

Arizona appeared to make a comeback attempt when Foles connected with Criner for an 80-yard score, but the play was overturned after replays showed Criner’s forearm and elbow on the ground.

Luck completed 20-of-31 passes for 325 yards and two scores. Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor rushed for a career-high 153 yards on 22 carries.

Arizona’s attempt at an improved running game provided mixed results. Keola Antolin rushed for a team-high 62 yards and freshman Ka’Deem Carey added 25 more, but the Wildcats stuck with the pass in short-yardage situations.

Arizona tallied just 333 total yards of offense with just 51 coming on the ground. Stanford totaled 567 yards, including 242 on the ground.

No. 12 Oregon visits Tucson next Saturday, scheduled for a 7:15 p.m. kickoff that will be televised nationally by ESPN.

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