Stanford downs Arizona

In what was billed as a match-up between two of the top teams in the Pac-10, one team sure proved its worth as an elite squad nationally. The No. 10 Stanford Cardinal jumped to a 21-3 halftime lead on its way to a 42-17 win over No. 13 Arizona in front of an announced crowd of 43,506.

Andrew Luck bolstered his Heisman Trophy standing by throwing for 293 yards and two touchdowns on 23/32 passing. Wide receiver Chris Owusu was phenomenal all day, catching 9 balls for 165 yards and a score, and Stanford's deep running back rotation combined to carry the ball 45 times for 217 yards.

Perhaps even more impressively, a Stanford defense that surrendered 553 yards of total offense to Arizona in last season's 43-38 loss was dominant at times in holding the Wildcats to 17 points and 414 yards of total offense, much of which came in the fourth quarter with the game's outcome no longer in doubt.

But naturally, it was the Cardinal offense that set the tone on the game's opening possession. After Arizona deferred, Stanford moved the ball into Arizona territory before Luck found an open Owusu off play-action for a 45 yard scoring strike.

On Arizona's first possession, the Cardinal defense halted a would-be Wildcat scoring drive, forcing Foles' to commit an intentional grounding penalty that moved Arizona out of field goal range.

The teams then traded possessions until the Card went on one of their trademark time-consuming drives, a 14-play 89 yard effort that was capped off by a two-yard Stephan Taylor touchdown to make it 14-0.

After each team punted, Arizona finally got on the scoreboard when kicker Alex Zendejas booted a 33-yard field goal.

After two more punts and a long Drew Terrell return, Stanford capitalized on the short field, traveling 35 yards in five plays to gain a 21-3 advantage.

For a while, it looked like Arizona would get on the board before halftime, but Richard Sherman came up with an easy interception deep in Cardinal territory to preserve the 18-point halftime edge.

After Stanford forced Arizona into a punt on the Cats' first possession of the second half, the Cardinal marched down the field on a 10 play, 75-yard touchdown drive that was finished off by a nifty five-yard shovel pass to Tyler Gaffney to extend the Stanford lead to 28-3.

Arizona answered back with a 65-yard scoring drive capped off by a Juron Criner touchdown reception (though Criner was held to under 100 yards receiving on the night) to make it 28-10.

But Stanford came up with another scoring drive of its own following the Criner touchdown, traveling 78 yards in 10 plays to pay dirt. A one-yard Taylor rush upped Stanford's lead to 35-10.

Arizona's last real chance to get back in the game slipped away when the Cats failed to convert a fourth down deep in Stanford territory on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Cats had driven 72 yards in nine plays, but Foles' pass was deflected by Thomas Keiser from the Cardinal 5 yard line.

After a Stanford punt, the Cats added a touchdown to trim Stanford's lead to 35-17, but an impressive 11 play Cardinal scoring drive eliminated any hopes Arizona might have had at a miracle comeback.

Stay tuned to The Bootleg for more reaction and analysis following a most-impressive win.

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