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Stanford: Weekend rewind

9/18/2011

For the second straight week the Stanford Cardinal went on the road and came away with a convincing victory. Only this time, the weather was hotter (though not as muggy), the opponent was bigger, stronger, faster and the 'Zona Zoo in Tucson was far more hostile than the couple of thousand basketball fans who decided to take in a football game at Duke. Cameron Crazies, they were not. Here's a look back at some of the highs and lows of Stanford's 37-10 win over Arizona.

  • Highlight reel: Anthony Wilkerson's 24-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-24 was a great call and was executed to perfection. With three backs behind him, Luck faked the belly dive to the fullback. Watch the replay and see the defensive end commit to the misdirection. That allowed Wilkerson to take the pitch on the backside and from there, it was a foot race. Great call, great run.

  • Best play: The play-action passing was clicking for the Cardinal all night. And there are several plays that could have fallen into this category. But Luck's 34-yard touchdown pass to Levine Toilolo -- the first of the tight end's career -- gets the style points. Not only was Toilolo wide open, but fellow tight end Zach Ertz was open as well and actually reached up for the ball. Watch the entire Arizona defense sell out on the run. But if you're the Wildcat secondary, how do you miss the 6-foot-8 and the 6-foot-6 guys running right passed you?

  • Best gamesmanship: It came from Arizona coach Mike Stoops in the first quarter. Stanford's Jordan Williamson lined up for a chip-shot field goal at the Arizona 2-yard line. But he let the clock wind down for a delay of game call that would have given him a little more space to kick. But Stoops wisely declined the penalty. Which I guess is freezing the kicker by making him stand closer. Either way, Williamson converted the 20-yard kick for a 3-0 Stanford lead and the Cardinal never looked back.

  • Who's hot? Take your pick of Stepfan Taylor or Toilolo. Both had career nights. But we'll go with Taylor, who rushed for 153 yards, including a season-best 49-yard run. He didn't find the end zone, but he found an average of 7 yards every time he touched the ball.

  • Who's not? This is starting to become a weekly trend -- the who's not is once again the opponent's offensive line, which leaked all through the game and allowed quarterback Nick Foles to be brought down five times. The Cardinal have 11 sacks in their last two games and 13 on the season.

  • The good: After allowing Foles to complete his first 17 passes (for an average of 10.7 yards per completion), the secondary tightened and the pass rush quickened and Foles was just 7-of-16 from that point on. Not an outstanding performance from the secondary -- but steady, and better than we saw in the previous two weeks.

  • The bad: Losing Shayne Skov -- even for a half, is bad. He brings so much more than just tackles to the Cardinal run defense. An update on his condition is expected sometime today. If he's gone for an extended amount of time, it will be a massive blow to the linebacking corps. They are deep at linebacker, but Skov is irreplaceable.