The Stanford Cardinal traveled back home to Stanford Stadium after suffering their first loss of the season to the Washington Huskies in Seattle a week ago. Looking for a bounce back win, Stanford squeaked by Arizona 54-48 in a back-and-forth shootout.
Josh Nunes looked like a different player after struggling last week, throwing two touchdowns to Levine Toilolo and Zach Ertz in the first half. On the other side of the ball, Arizona quarterback Matt Scott threw an astounding 41 passes before the break, completing 26 of them for 218 yards.
Stanford went into half time with a slim 14-13 lead, but Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey opened up the second half with a quick rushing touchdown to take the lead 20-14.
The Cardinal wasted no time answering, as Nunes drove the team down the field on an 11 play, 65 yard drive that culminated in his own 3-yard rushing touchdown.
The fireworks continued, with each team scoring 20 points in the third quarter. Stepfan Taylor, who was solid all day with 142 yards, and Kelsey Young both punched in touchdowns on the ground for the Cardinal.
However, the Stanford defense, usually the team’s strongest unit, could not seem to stop the Arizona offense. Matt Scott and Ka’Deem Carey combined for five touchdowns in the second half alone, and the Cardinal trailed 48-34 midway through the fourth quarter until Nunes punched in another rushing touchdown to make it a one-score game.
Nunes’ third rushing touchdown of the day tied the game up at 48 with less than a minute to play, and the teams headed to overtime.
The defense finally came through in the game’s first overtime, as linebacker Chase Thomas intercepted a Matt Scott pass that set up a 21-yard touchdown run by Taylor to give the Cardinal the 54-48 win.
Though they came away with the win, Stanford will have to play better on defense in the future if they want to compete with Oregon in the Pac-12 North. Nonetheless, the offensive rebound from the poor showing last week is encouraging, and the Cardinal will be happy to get another win on the board.