Scouting Report: Stanford

In the eyes of many Stanford has been a huge surprise. Until last weekend the Cardinal were a serious BCS contender. The Cardinal knocked off Oregon and UCLA in successive weeks, only to fall to a resilient Washington team last weekend.

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Tyrone Willingham's team has done a great job. When starting quarterback Randy Fasani went down, back-up Chris Lewis came in and stunned two top-10 teams.

Lewis will get the call in Tucson. The Cardinal signal caller is an athletic quarterback who knows how to win the big game. Lewis has beaten Texas, Oregon and UCLA in relief of Fasani. Howeve, being a young player, Lewis does make his share of mistakes.

Jason Johnson is coming off his best game as a Wildcat quarterback. The Arizona junior threw for 315 yards and four touchdowns. Of course it did come against the Cal defense. Johnson has been solid when he has had time to throw, but the Wildcat offensive line will have to give him time against a tough Stanford defense.

Stanford will run with the talented Brian Allen. The Cardinal runner has been a strong offensive weapon, taking pressure off of the Cardinal quarterbacks.

Arizona should continue to ride halfback Clarence Farmer. Farmer had a season-high 27 carries and responded with 165 yards rushing. If Leo Mills is still dinged up, the sophomore from Houston could see 25+ carries once again.

The biggest problem for Wildcat coaches to solve is wide receiver Teyo Johnson. The 6-5 Johnson towers over the smaller Wildcat defensive backs, so look for the Cardinal to try to exploit the height difference. Johnson is a similar player to Washington State's Mike Bush who had a career day against Arizona.

UA's wideouts are playing much better. Bobby Wade is re-establishing himself as the Cats' go-to guy. Against the Bears Wade caught a school record three touchdown passes, including a 50-yarder. Andrae Thurman, Brandon Marshall and Malosi Leonard have also been reliable lately. Justin Levasseur had the first big game of his UA career with a touchdown catch and another reception for over 40 yards.

Stanford's defense has a number of standouts including two excellent safeties in Coy Wire and Tank Smith. Despite leading the conference in rushing defense, the Cardinal are surrendering 31.4 ppg. USC is the only opponent not to score more than 20 points against Stanford.

The Arizona defense has played better of late, but are still not a stellar unit. They held Cal to three points in the first three quarters, but then allowed Cal to rally for three touchdowns against a number of Wildcat reserves.

OUTLOOK: Stanford is better than the Cats. However the Cats have controlled the series recently and actually have some momentum after thumping Cal. Stanford dropped out of BCS contention with the loss to Washington. Arizona is playing to keep their slim bowl hopes alive. Stanford should win, but there is no guarantee that they will.

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