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Arizona vs. Stanford: First look at the Cardinal

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The Wildcats’ road trip continues in Northern California

NCAA Football: UCLA at Stanford Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After seeing their four-game win streak end two Saturdays ago, the Arizona Wildcats now find themselves riding a two-game losing streak. They will look to get back on the winning track Saturday when they take on Stanford.

This is Arizona’s first trip to Palo Alto since 2015. The Cardinal have won five straight against the Wildcats, dating back to 2010.

Saturday’s kickoff is scheduled 12:30 p.m. PT. on the Pac-12 Network.

Here’s a quick look at the Cardinal.

2019 Record: 3-4 (2-3 Pac-12)

Key Games:

  • Week 1 win vs Northwestern (17-7)
  • Week 2 loss at USC (45-20)
  • Week 4 loss vs Oregon (21-6)
  • Week 6 win vs Washington (23-13)
  • Week 8 loss vs UCLA (34-16)

Key Offensive Players: K.J. Costello (QB), Cameron Scarlett (RB), Michael Wilson (WR), Colby Parkinson (TE), Drew Dalman (Center)

Key Defensive Players: Thomas Booker (DE), Curtis Robinson (LB), Casey Toohill (LB), Paulson Adebo (CB)

Stanford is in the midst of a very injury-riddled season. The position group suffering the most is the quarterbacks. K.J. Costello has missed three consecutive games due to a thumb injury.

Backup Davis Mills missed last week due to a calf injury. This forced redshirt freshman Jack West into the starting job against UCLA and it did not go well, completing 15 of 32 passes for 143 yards in the loss.

It has yet to be determined who the starter will be on Saturday.

The good news for the Cardinal is running back Cameron Scarlett provides a solid safety blanket for whomever is under center. Although he has only found the end zone three times this season, he has accrued 745 total yards through seven games, averaging 4.3 yards per carry.

As for the pass-catchers, receiver Michael Wilson leads the team with 320 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns.

Tight end Colby Parkinson (6-foot-7, 251 pounds) is an absolute matchup nightmare for any defense. He has accounted for 26 receptions, 290 receiving yards and a score. Not quite the production you would have expected but keep in mind the health issues at quarterback.

Offensive line is another area bitten by the injury bug. They found themselves starting three true freshmen on the line against Washington. Center Drew Dalman has been a bright spot, though.

Defensively, the Cardinal haven’t been terrible but they just haven’t been as good as recent years. They currently rank 75th in the FBS in Total Defense by allowing 402.4 yards per games. In terms of scoring defense, they’re tied for 69th by allowing 27.6 points per game.

As is typical of a David Shaw defense, they have two outstanding linebackers in Curtis Robinson and Casey Toohill who lead the team in Total Tackles with 42 and 38, respectively. They also combine for five sacks.

Defensive end Thomas Booker has been coming on as of late. Nineteen of his 32 Total Tackles have occurred over the past three games as well as his lone two sacks.

Cornerback Paulson Adebo has been an absolute stud for the secondary. He ranks fifth on the team in Total Tackles with 27 and has registered 10 passes defended with two interceptions.

Arizona opened as three-point road favorites given the quarterback uncertainty for Stanford. One has to wonder if that’s a justifiable spread given Khalil Tate’s recent performances.

Nonetheless, Stanford is really banged up and this could be a game that UA steals. It would certainly improve the moral in the locker room and put the Wildcats one game closer to Bowl eligibility.