TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates after throwing a 34 yard touchdown reception against the Arizona Wildcats during the fourth quarter of the college football game at Arizona Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona. The Cardinal defeated the Wildcats 37-10. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
In a game that quickly turned from competitive to blowout, the Arizona Wildcats fell to the Stanford Cardinal 37-10 on Saturday night at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats lost their first Pac-12 Conference game, and the Cardinal improved to 1-0. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck continued to prove why he is the best nation's best quarterback, throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns. Throughout the game, Luck easily carved up the Wildcat defense, and showed that if he can't get it done with his arm, he can do it with his feet. Luck finished with 36 rushing yards as well.
Arizona continued to prove that there are several areas that need a lot of work. The Wildcats rushed for just 51 yards and missed two field goals.
After being down 10 at the end of the first quarter, the Wildcats responded with 10 points in the second quarter to make the game close. Stanford took a 16-10 lead into half time. The Wildcats got the ball to start the second half, but stalled on a number of drives.
The Cardinal added a Luck touchdown in both the third and fourth quarter to squash any hopes of an Arizona come back. Stanford made the final blow when it scored a touchdown with just 4:27 left in the game.Here are a few points where it went wrong for Arizona:
Foles-to-Criner negated by Stanford pass interference
Late in the second quarter, with the score 16-10 in favor of Stanford, Arizona quarterback Nick Foles led the Wildcats to the Stanford 43-yard line. Foles almost hit receiver Juron Criner in the end zone, but the pass was broken up and a flag was thrown for pass interference. While it got the Wildcats another play, that play was a field goal attempt. Arizona kicker Jaime Salazar missed the field goal, killed the momentum the Wildcats had at the end of the half, and sent them into the locker room down six points.
Third quarter momentum quashed by kicking woes:
Arizona won the coin toss at the beginning of the game and chose to defer, a decision that looked good after the Wildcats missed field goal just before half time. Running back Keola Antolin opened the half with a big rush for 31 yards and continued to help move the Wildcat offense into the red zone. But when Arizona's drive stalled again, Salazar trotted on to the field to attempt a field goal again. And again, he missed it. Had he made the two field goals, the game would have been tied at 13 early in the third quarter.
"We had chances to keep the game within striking distance, but the missed field goals at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second really brought us down," head coach Mike Stoops said. "IT was difficult to get back with all those missed opportunities."
Penalty costs more than five yards:
Arizona's defense was finally able to stop Luck and Stanford in its own territory on a crucial third down, and looked to get the ball back with enough time to still mount some sort of a comeback. However, a defensive offside penalty, gave Stanford enough yards for a first down and the drive resulted in a touchdown for the Cardinal.