Lackluster second half costs Arizona

Arizona went into halftime against Stanford within striking distance. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that completely collapsed, as they lost 37-10 at home.

Arizona played well enough in the first half to stick around with number six Stanford, as it went into the halftime period only down 16-10. Unfortunately, football is a game of two halves.

Stanford dominated the second half, as Arizona lost 37-10 at home on Saturday night.

"it was just a tough night overall," Arizona head coach Mike Stoops said. "We were trying to fight back and it's tough because Stanford does a lot of good things on offense. Their tighr end formation really got us out of whack in the second half and at some points we left their guys uncovered.

"It's obvious we have some things we need to work on. They manipulated us very well, especially in that second half."

Stanford started the ball on its own 20-yard line after a touchback and after an incomplete pass, Stepfan Taylor gained four on the ground. On the next play, Levine Toilolo gained 21 yards in the air, but Arizona was able to come up with the stop on third down three plays later to force Stanford to punt.

Arizona then had it on its own 20 and started with a pass for a loss of four yards to Keola Antolin. Gino Crump then came up with an eight-yard reception, but Nick Foles was sacked on the next play to force the Wildcats to punt.

The Cardinal started on its own 41 with a five-yard run by Taylor followed by an 11-yard pass from Andrew Luck to Griff Whalen. After a one-yard run by Taylor, Anthony Wilkerson picked up four on the ground and Paul Vassallo was called for a late hit, even though it was Shaquille Richardson that should have been called.

Now on Arizona's 23, Luck found Coby Fleener got a 20-yard pass to get to Arizona's three-yard line. Taylor then gained one yard on the ground and Luck followed with an incomplete pass. On the next play, it appeared that Trevin Wade came up with an interception on the one-yard line, but an official review ruled that it was an incomplete pass instead. Stanford had to settle for the 20-yard field goal by Jordan Williamson to make it 3-0 Stanford with 6:11 left in the first quarter.

Arizona tried to answer as it started on its own 20-yard line. Antolin had a five-yard gain, but then lost two on the next carry. Foles then found David Douglas for a gain of five, but Arizona was forced to punt.

Stanford started on its own 28-yard line with a 39-yard pass to Chris Owusu and then two runs by Taylor for a combined nine yards. Jeremy Stewart was then stopped for no gain on third down and on fourth and inches, Stanford caught Arizona completely off guard with a 24-yard pitch to Wilkerson for the score, as the extra point made it 10-0 with under two minutes left in the first.

Garic Wharton returned the kickoff to the 21-yard line and on the first play of the series, Foles found Dan Buckner for a gain of 38. After a four-yard loss by Ka'Deem Carey, Foles then connected with David Roberts for a 27-yard gain and the Wildcats were in business. On the next play, Foles could not find an open man and was then forced to run for three yards, followed by a pass in which Criner clipped and only gained one.

On third and seven, Foles found Douglas for four yards and Jaime Salazar was forced to come in for the 27-yard field goal attempt, which he made, to make the score 10-3 early in the second quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Wade made a great play on Owusu to force Stanford to start on its own nine-yard line. After a three-yard run by Taylor, luck found Ryan Hewitt for an 11-yard gain and Taylor proceeded to gain 49 on the ground the following play. Stanford was then called for a block in the back and Luck tried to gain it back on the ground with a six-yard run.

Taylor then gained six yards on the ground and Stanford's drive stalled, as it settled for the 45-yard field goal to put the Cardinal up 13-3.

On Arizona's first play from scrimmage, Foles was sacked for a loss of nine, but then came back on the next play for a 17-yard gain by Juron Criner. Foles then hit Roberts for a gain of seven and a first down. Criner then caught an 11-yard pass and two plays later, Douglas caught one for six. Roberts then caught an 11-yard pass, Buckner a seven-yard pass, and then another from Buckner for 19 yards. After a four-yard run by Antolin, Foles hit Criner for six yards out for the touchdown, as the extra point made it 13-10 in favor of Stanford.

Stanford tried to answer and started with a two-yard run by Taylor, followed up by a six-yard pass to Owusu. Luck then ran for 15 yards and found Zach Ertz for 24 yards on the next play. Gaffney then gained six on the ground and Toilolo followed up with 8 in the air. The drive then stalled on three straight downs and Arizona forced a 33-yard field goal that made it 16-10 Stanford with under two minutes left in the half.

Starting on its own 21, Foles found Crump for two straight eight-yard passes and then Antolin gained 11 on the ground. On the next play, Foles threw his first incomplete pass in 18 attempts, as there was 33 seconds left in the first half. A few plays later, Foles found Criner open deep for what should have been a touchdown, but a pass interference penalty forced Arizona into a 45-yard field goal attempt that it missed, ending the first half at 16-10 Stanford.

"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," Stoops said. "It was difficult to get back with all those missed opportunities."

Arizona started on its own 36-yard line after a solid return by Carey, as Antolin gained 31 yards on the first play from scrimmage. After losing four on the next play, he gained 18 more on the ground and the drive then stalled. Salazar then attempted a 36-yard field goal and for the second time on the night, missed it.

Stanford got it back and started with an 11-yard run by Taylor and 12-yard catch by Ertz. The drive then stalled and Stanford was forced to punt. Unfortunately for Arizona, it was forced into a three and out situation and gave the ball right back to Stanford.

Starting at its own 19, the Cardinal struck three plays in the drive with a 39-yard pass to Toilolo. Luck then ran for 15 yards and three plays later, Ertz scored from 16 yards out, as the extra point made it 23-10 with a little over five minutes left in the third quarter.

Arizona started its next drive well with a 13-yard completion to Roberts . However, the drive then stalled and Arizona was once again forced to punt as the offense continued to struggle to put points on the board.

Stanford looked as if it would have a three and out of its own, but Arizona went offsides on third down and gave Stanford more life. Three plays later, Whalen had an 11-yard catch and Hewitt followed with 16. Toilolo then caught a 34-yard touchdown and the rout was on as Stanford took the 30-10 lead early in the fourth.

Stanford would later add another touchdown, but the damage was already done for Arizona, as it lost its second consecutive game.

"Stanford is a team that is excellent on offense and defense and missing opportunities to score really made things difficult for us and giving them that extra possession was especially disheartening for us," Stoops said. "We're a very young team in some areas and we just have to focus on getting better."


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