The University of Arizona

Cats, Cardinal to Collide at Stanford This Weekend

Arizona Athletics | October 3, 2012

Arizona (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) will vie for its first conference victory at No. 18 Stanford (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12) on Oct. 6. The game will be televised nationally on FOX at Noon PDT.

The calendar has turned for two once-unbeaten teams – Arizona and No. 18 Stanford – set to face off after disappointing ends to college football's opening month. The game is scheduled for noon PDT on Oct. 6 at Stanford, and it will air nationally on FOX.

Each side opened the season 3-0 with feather-in-their-cap victories over nationally ranked foes, but neither was able to remain unscathed as the initial weeks of the rigorous Pac-12 Conference slate commenced.

Arizona continues to face an unrelenting schedule, one that has it playing a top-25 opponent for the third consecutive week and the fourth time in the last five weeks. Stanford will return home after a tough road loss at Washington that dropped it out of the top-10 and into the No. 18 spot, a number the Wildcats are familiar given recent contests against then-No. 18 Oklahoma State and also then-No. 18 Oregon State at the time of the meetings.

It will be another physical, hard-nosed opponent for the Wildcats, whose depth will surely be tested on both sides of the ball.

On paper, the matchup appears to be Arizona's offense (third in the Pac-12, 538.2 ypg) against Stanford's defense (third in the Pac-12, 316.5 ypg). But the X's and O's may be just as curious the other way around as Stanford ranks No. 10 in the conference in total offense (326.3 ypg) against UA's No. 10 total defense (451.2).

Can the Cats rekindle their early-season form that featured a potent, but more consistent offensive attack and a ball-hawking, bend-but-don't-break defense? Will the Cardinal assert itself on the ground the way it has in recent seasons against Arizona? And how will the Wildcats handle playing in the early bird special of college football?

Last week, Arizona stormed back from a 17-0 first-half deficit to take a 21-17 lead in the third quarter, then spent the remainder of the second half trading scores with No. 18 Oregon State, which rallied and held on for a 38-35 victory at Arizona Stadium.

Matt Scott threw for a career-high 403 yards and three touchdowns, but it wasn't enough. Or perhaps it was too soon. Scott's seven-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hill with 5:34 left in the game put the Wildcats on top 35-31.

However, that was more than enough time for Sean Mannion, who had 433 yards of his own, and the Beavers' offense, which put together a composed 10-play, 75-yard drive capped by the go-ahead and eventual game-winning score – a nine-yard pass to Connor Hamlett with just 1:09 left.

With a pair of timeouts and down just a field goal, the Cats had plenty of time to tie or win the game, but Scott was intercepted by Rashaad Reynolds with 43 seconds left to seal the game. The turnover was one of two in the second half for the Wildcats, a vital factor for sure.

The Beavers turned the ball over just once and racked up 613 yards of offense while owning a 36:41 to 23:19 advantage in time of possession. The two sides combined for 1,158 yards of offense and each averaged at least 7.0 yards per play.

With 115 yards and two scores, Ka'Deem Carey topped 100 rushing yards for the third time on the season, plus he added a career-best 68 yards on pass receptions.

Dan Buckner hauled in 119 receiving yards and one touchdown to give the Cats a second player with 100-plus yards of all-purpose yardage. The Beavers did one better, as running back Storm Woods (203) and receivers Markus Wheaton (168) and Brandin Cooks (149) each surpassed the century mark.

Oregon State defeated Arizona for the third straight year. It was also the Beavers' sixth-straight win at Arizona Stadium, with the last three such victories being decided by seven total points.

Up Next: Arizona will take a welcomed week off as the one and only open date in the schedule presents itself for the weekend of Oct. 13. Thereafter, the Wildcats will host home games against Washington (Family Weekend) on Oct. 20 and USC on Oct. 27 to close out the October calendar.

Time in television information for those games is expected to be announced on Oct. 8 and Oct. 15, respectively, as part of the conference's 12-day selection process.