1Q: FG, FG, TD for Card (13-0)

"This division really should be Stanford's to lose. My dream would be to see the Cardinal keep winning, Oregon drop another one, and create a two-game separation in the standings. Even if the Ducks were to pull the upset in Palo Alto, then, the Cardinal would still take the division." Read on for more from our first-quarter blog.

Oregon is less than a touchdown favorite at Colorado, which blows my mind. Who could have anticipated that a week ago? California barely squeaked by Washington State. Oregon State will struggle, Washington is nothing special, and I've just run through the whole Pac-12 North. This division really should be Stanford's to lose. My dream would be to see the Cardinal keep winning, Oregon drop another one, and create a two-game separation in the standings. Even if the Ducks were to pull the upset in Palo Alto, then, the Cardinal would still take the division. Elsewhere, ranked Northwestern (and Michigan) keeps rolling with a decisive win on the strength of its D.

And, by the way, how much fun would a Stanford-Utah title game be in a league which is supposed to be all offense and no D. The two teams don't play this year, so the first meeting could be at Levi Stadium. Looking ahead, their RB Booker could be just death to our D line.

Tonight, Arizona is on backup QB Jerrard Randall, and so this one looks less scary than initially feared. Like all Rich Rod teams, the offense leads the way and sometimes covers up for a questionable D, so if Arizona is one-dimensional tonight, could be a long night for them. Of course, per sideline report, Kevin Hogan isn't 100% either for the Cardinal.

Dalton Schultz fair-catches the opening kickoff, McCaffrey then makes a nice north-south catch for 12, Hogan hits Cajuste for 8, and the Cardinal are across midfield. Bryce Love picks up a first down inside the 30 by breaking two tackles out of the wildcat. Hogan then checks down to Michael Rector short of the sticks on third down, but Conrad Ukropina is now 6-of-7 on the year, connecting from 38.

Stanford 3, Arizona 0, 11 minutes remaining, first quarter

Blake Martinez and Brennan Scarlett shut down a third-down run after a single Arizona first down, and the Card take over at their 11.

McCaffrey with a 43-yard run after the Arizona front looked to have jammed up the backfield, and one Hogan throw later, the Cardinal are back threatening the red zone. Nice fake screen left to McCaffrey, before throwing back right to Bryce Love, but the Cats blow up the second-down pass and sack Hogan on third, with the Cardinal beat around the right tackle. Ukropina will take it from 43 yards though, so drive doesn't come up empty.

Stanford 6, Arizona 0, 5 minutes remaining, first quarter

I think TOP is an imperfect measure, with total plays better measuring which team is wearing out the other, but by either stat, the Cardinal have to have a significant edge early, with about six first downs on two solid drives to Arizona's sole first down on their one drive. Off their first timeout, Stanford dodges a major bullet. The Cardinal rush only four, two get through, but again the opposing QB spins away, and overthrows a wide-open man who has beat the Stanford D downfield. Then again, there was an ineligible UA receiver downfield, so might have come back anyway.

Arizona's screaming eight, nine guys into the box, and McCaffrey loses two accordingly. Looks like UA wants to take away the run game at all costs. Dalton Schultz with a favorable spot on a third-and-five catch to move the chains, and then McCaffrey for 14 – if he gets past the first level, there's often no one until the safety because the linebackers are screaming upfield. Very next snap, Hogan avoids the blitz, steps up in the pocket into a waiting rusher, and throws a dart to Cajuste just before he's hit. NFL guts and an NFL throw there, belongs on Hogan's highlight tape.

Wildcat the next snap draws a questionable defensive facemask call, and Kyle Murphy makes the call count. The ensuing play, he seals the edge by pancaking a corner, and McCaffrey dives around him and into the end zone for his first touchdown of the season.

Stanford 13, Arizona 0, 48 seconds remaining, first quarter

Arizona State 38, UCLA 23, final. Second week in a row, our opponent loses badly before we face them. Right now, though, it's all Cardinal, and the rest of the season is shaping up better and better by the week.

Stanford 13, Arizona 0, End of first quarter


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