Saturday, October 6, 2012
Instant analysis: Stanford 54, Arizona 48
By Kyle Bonagura
Special to ESPN.com
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- A week after failing to score an offensive touchdown, Stanford found the end zone eight times, went to overtime and escaped with a 54-48 victory against Arizona on homecoming.
Quarterback Josh Nunes helped erase a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter and was brilliant on a game-tying drive late in regulation.
Chase Thomas came up with an interception in overtime to keep Arizona off the board, and Stepfan Taylor scored the game-winning touchdown two plays later.
Here are a few highlights from the Cardinal's impressive victory:
It was over when: Taylor busted up the middle for a 21-yard touchdown run on the Cardinal's second play of overtime.
Game ball: Nunes. He completed 21 of 34 passes for 360 yards and a pair of touchdowns and also ran for three scores in easily the most impressive performance of his young career. Nunes orchestrated a 14-play, 79-yard drive and scored the game-tying touchdown with 45 seconds left as Stanford erased a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit.
Game ball, part II: Arizona quarterback Matt Scott had arguably the best performance in school history. He completed 45 of 69 passes for 491 yards and three touchdowns but threw a crucial interception in overtime. His completion and attempt numbers are both Pac-12 records.
Stat of the game: 617. Both teams finished with the same number of yards.
Unsung hero: Tight end Zach Ertz had six catches for 64 yards, including a big one on fourth-and-9 on the Cardinal's final touchdown drive in regulation.
What it means: The win prevented what would have otherwise been remembered as an ugly loss due to the poor showing by Stanford's defense. Winning cures all, and the team can prepare for next week's trip to No. 9 Notre Dame on a positive note. That talk about changing quarterbacks? Not going to happen. Nunes came into his own and put up a passing total that his predecessor, Andrew Luck, eclipsed just twice in his three-year career.