To make matters worse, while it was moving the ball, Stanford's offense failed to punch the ball in the endzone on several red zone trips. At halftime, thanks to two missed field goals by Arizona, the Cardinal only claimed a 16-10 lead.
Although Stanford was superb in the second half in its games against Duke and San Jose State, having a strong second half against Arizona was from a gimme. Not only were the Wildcats set to receive the second half kickoff, but they were doing so with a red hot quarterback, Nick Foles, who completed his first 17 passes, against a shorthanded Cardinal, defense absent Skov and Wayne Lyons.
But Stanford responded like their No. 6 ranking indicated they would. After Arizona missed a field goal on their first drive of the second half, the teams traded punts. Then, when the Cardinal took over possession with 8:37 left in the third, they proceded to methodically beat Arizona into the ground.
First was an 81-yard drive culminated by a Zach Ertz touchdown reception on a beautiful roll-out throw by Andrew Luck. Then, after the Cats went three-and-out, Luck found a wide-open Levine Toilolo (the closest man on the field to Toilolo was Ertz) for a 34-yard touchdown.
After another Arizona punt, the Cardinal embarked on possibly its trademark drive of this young 2011 season. A 91-yard drive over nearly six minutes of clock punctuated by a Jeremy Stewart touchdown on fourth down gave Stanford a 37-10 lead, and turned a once tight game into a blowout.
Despite an uneven start, Luck finished with his first 300-yard game of the season, completing 20-31 attempts for 325 yards and two touchdowns. Although he was held out of the endzone, Stepfan Taylor gained a career-high 153 yards on 22 carries, a large chunk of the 242 total yards the Card gained on the ground.
With that, the Card will fly home to Palo Alto tonight with its first Pac-12 win.
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