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Stanford vs. Arizona: Cardinal avoid upset in OT thriller

Stanford won a thrilling Pac-12 shootout on Saturday, as they moved back into the win column with a dramatic 54-48 victory over the Wildcats.

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Nunes, Jackson earn Pac-12 POW honors

Stanford QB Josh Nunes and Cal's Kameron Jackson earned Pac-12 Players of the Week honors on Monday.

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Stanford vs. Arizona final: Cardinal win in OT

Despite a late scare, the No. 18 ranked Stanford Cardinal were able to avoid being upset at Stanford Stadium by the Arizona Wildcats, beating their conference opponent by the score of 54-48 in overtime.

Behind quarterback Josh Nunes, the Cardinal were able to comeback down 14 points with 9:13 remaining in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 48-48. Nunes was responsible for both touchdowns and had a total of five on the day (three rushing), capping off a career day for the quarterback.

However, it was a turnover in overtime that allowed the Cardinal to avoid being upset at home. After shredding the Cardinal defense all day through the air, Wildcats quarterback Matt Scott was intercepted by Chase Thomas. It was Scott's first interception on the day and ended what was otherwise a fantastic day for the quarterback, who completed 45 of 69 passes for nearly 500 yards and three touchdowns.

Two plays later, senior running back Stepfan Taylor took one to the house for a 21-yard rushing touchdown that gave Stanford the lead as well as the win. It was Taylor's 31st carry of the game and second touchdown while the 2- yard gain gave him 142 yards on the day.

Box Score Hero: Arizona wide receiver Austin Hill was the biggest beneficiary of the Wildcats' pass-dominated offense, catching 11 passes for 165 yards and found the end zone twice.

Rankings Ramifications: Despite nearly being upset, the Cardinal did win and could see their ranking improve with the victory.

But Did They Cover? The Cardinal were unable to cover the opening spread of 12 points or the final line as 10-point favorites. The Wildcats, however, did cover the spread as double-digit underdogs.

Next Week's Schedule: The Wildcats will head back to Arizona and prepare to host the Washington Huskies, but will have a week off to prepare until their game Oct. 20 at Arizona Stadium. The Cardinal will go on the road to play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium Oct. 13.

This story was originally published on SB Nation.com.

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Not many Stanford alums came home this weekend

Stanford has never been known for its football crowds, and today is a prime example of why. On homecoming weekend, the Cardinal have about as many empty seats as people in the stands, and many of those in attendance are Arizona fans. Not much support for the No. 18 team in the nation.

Brandon Huffman of Fox Sports tweeted out this photo of the crowd prior to kickoff:

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The crowd has since grown, but plenty of empty seats remain. Cheers for Arizona seem louder than that of Cardinal fans. This is for a homecoming game, traditionally some of the most well-attended weekends in college football.

Stanford is no stranger to this, as it chose to significantly reduce the number of seats in Stanford Stadium when it was remodeled. Even with that reduction, it still appears to be too many.

The Cardinal and Wildcats are tied 7-7 midway through the second quarter in an important Pac-12 battle for both teams.



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Stanford Cardinal facing crossroads in Pac-12

After a very promising 3-0 start and a win over USC to begin conference play, the Stanford Cardinal has faltered, with quarterback Josh Nunes struggling in his first career road start and his team lost to Washington. With a brutal stretch of schedule on the horizon, the Cardinal can go one of two ways.

SB Nation's Stanford blog, Rule of Tree, thinks this game will determine how the rest of the year goes in Palo Alto:

Now, the Arizona Wildcats come to town – and Stanford is looking to settle just which split personality will show up this week.

Can Stanford rebound against Arizona and look more like the team that could go 10-2? Or will it struggle again and look like the team that could go 7-5? Or will it be somewhere in the middle?

Stanford seems like a solid bet on Saturday afternoon. Given their power rushing attack and Arizona's shortcoming up front in their 3-3-5 scheme, running back Stepfan Taylor should be in for a big day. The Wildcats have the offensive firepower to score points, but they're among the nation's worst at turning the ball over and failing to convert in the red zone. This won't be an easy game by any means, but look for the Cardinal to get back on track this weekend.

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Cardinal favored by 9 over Huskies

Odds for Stanford's matchup against the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.

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No QB controversy for Stanford

David Shaw is sticking with his man as Josh Nunes will remain the starting QB for the Cardinal.

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Stanford Cardinal not dwelling on loss

Stanford players aren't focused on their upset loss to Washington and are instead looking ahead to Saturday's game against Arizona.

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