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Where: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California
Stanford will try to bounce back from its upset loss at Washington when it hosts Arizona on Saturday. The Cardinal, who fell from No. 9 to No. 18 in the USA Today poll, have won 16 of their last 17 home games, and have followed their last six losses with victories dating to 2009.
With a trip to No. 15 Notre Dame looming next week, Stanford cannot afford to look past the much-improved Wildcats. Arizona, though, has lost two straight, including a 38-35 loss to now-No. 17 Oregon State last week and a 59-0 thrashing by now-No. 2 Oregon on Sept. 22.Under new coach Rich Rodriguez, the Wildcats are one win away from matching their 2011 season total of four.
Arizona Wildcats (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12 South): The Wildcats allowed a touchdown pass with 1:09 remaining last week as the Pac-12′s No. 10 defense could not make a game-preserving stop. Arizona, which is No. 11 against the run, must contain Stepfan Taylor, who ran for 153 yards to lead Stanford to a 37-10 victory in 2011. The Wildcats’ have the No. 9 passing attack in the nation at 343.8 yards per game.
Fifth-year senior quarterback Matt Scott leads the Pac-12 with 1,608 yards and has completed 64.1 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and six interceptions. Sophomore Ka’Deem Carey leads the Wildcats with 538 rushing yards (5.5 per carry) and seven touchdowns, and is also a receiving threat (14 catches, 10.9 average, one TD).
Stanford Cardinal (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12 North): The Cardinal blew a 10-point lead and lost 17-13 to the Huskies on Sept. 27, one game after their 21-14 victory over USC on Sept. 15. Stanford’s offense is averaging 26.0 points per game – 73rd in the country, which includes a 50-13 victory over Duke. Junior quarterback Josh Nunes, with the impossible task of filling No. 1 NFL draft pick Andrew Luck’s shoes, is completing 52.0 percent of his passes, with six touchdowns and four interceptions.
Taylor leads the rushing attack with 413 yards and three touchdowns. Stanford is allowing only 15.3 points per game and has the nation’s No. 3 rushing defense at 65.0 yards per game.
1. Arizona leads the series 14-13, although Stanford has won two straight and seven of the last nine, including 37-10 in 2011. The series began in 1979.
2. Arizona will play an 18th-ranked team for the third time this season. The Wildcats beat Oklahoma State 59-38 on Sept. 8 and lost to Oregon State.
3. Stanford has won eight straight games in October.