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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Stanford rolls over Arizona football 34-10 on Homecoming


Homecoming 2016 hit the Arizona campus and the Wildcat football team welcomed Stanford to Arizona Stadium. Both teams were coming off losses and were looking to right the ship on their season. It was Arizona’s losing streak that continued, however, as the Cardinal took down the Wildcats 34-10.

The loss extended Arizona’s losing streak to five games, meaning the Wildcats must win every game remaining on their schedule to qualify for a bowl game.

“We do not want to lose, we live to play football,” Arizona offensive lineman Jacob Alsadek said.

Brandon Dawkins got the start at quarterback over Anu Solomon and struggled early in the contest. He did not complete a pass until the second quarter when he hit Nate Phillips for a 43-yard gain.

Both teams ended up exchanging punts on their first three punts as it was a defensive struggle early on. Arizona and Stanford combined for only 72 yards in the first quarter, as neither team could sustain a drive.

Stanford broke the stalemate with 39 seconds into the second quarter on a Christian McCaffrey touchdown. The Cardinal running back took the handoff and went 45 yards untouched on the first play of the drive to give Stanford a 7-0 lead.

Arizona’s next drive looked promising, but the Wildcats were unable to convert a fourth-and-15 in Stanford territory.

The Cardinal scored again on their next possession as quarterback Keller Chryst completed an 18-yard pass to a wide open McCaffrey to give Stanford a 14-0 lead.

Arizona responded with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Dawkins to Trey Griffey with 3:40 left in the first half.

Chryst was intercepted on the ensuing possession by Dane Cruikshank but fumbled it away, giving possession right back to Stanford. The Cardinal would capitalize on the miscue, turning it into a field goal. Stanford went into the half leading Arizona 17-7.

The Wildcats switched to Solomon at quarterback early into the third quarter, but he couldn’t lead the offense out of its funk, either. After going 0-for-3 on one possession and fumbling a handoff to Grant on the next play, Arizona benched Solomon in favor of Dawkins. Dawkins would then get benched again for freshmen Khalil Tate late in the fourth quarter.

“Yeah, we were going to play both Dawkins and Solomon. That was the plan,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said on implementing both of his starters against Stanford.

Stanford picked up right where they left off in the third quarter as McCaffrey scored his third touchdown of the night. This one, from six yards out, gave Stanford a 27-7 lead over Arizona. Arizona would add a field goal in the third quarter but would not score the rest of the night.

Arizona’s offense failed to establish any type of rhythm as Stanford’s defense kept it in check the whole night. The Wildcats were limited to 286 yards total with only 116 of them coming through the air.

While Arizona’s offense sputtered, while McCaffrey had an impressive day with 225 all-purpose yards and three scores. Most of his damage came on the ground where he carried the ball 23 times for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

“We know that when Christian [McCaffrey] gets a crease, he does special things,” said Stanford head coach David Shaw.

Samajie Grant, who switched from wide receiver to running back, totaled 19 carries for 64 yards against Stanford. While he averaged 3.4 yards per carry, Rodriguez was impressed by his effort on Saturday.

“There are guys like Parker Zellers and Samajie Grant where every play is like their final play,” Rodriguez said.

Arizona now travels to Pullman to take on the Washington State Cougars. If the Wildcats lose their sixth straight game, they will be officially eliminated from bowl eligibility. 

Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.

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