The Stanford Cardinal bounced back from a tough first half to dominate the Arizona Wildcats and emerge with a 37-10 victory in their Pac-12 season opener. Andrew Luck threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns while Stepfan Taylor led a dominant Cardinal rushing attack that put together 242 yards on the ground at a 6.2 yards per carry clip. The Cardinal defense struggled at times against Arizona QB Nick Foles, but they settled down enough to contain him.
At times, Stanford appeared able to move the ball at will on the ground as they averaged over seven yards per carry in the first half. Stepfan Taylor rushed for 153 yards on 22 carries as the Stanford offensive line had its way with Arizona for long stretches of the game.
The problem was that they couldn't punch it into the end zone as they had to settle for three Jordan Williamson field goals in the first half. Stanford went into the half up 16-10, but Arizona seemed to have some momentum on their side as Nick Foles was looking solid against the Stanford secondary.
Foles finished the game 24/33 for 239 yards and a touchdown, but the Arizona offense could not generate sufficient consistency to put points on the board. They missed two field goals that would have tied them game and mixed in too many three and four play series that resulted in a punt. Stanford handed them several opportunities to make this a ball game and Arizona simply could not take advantage.
The Cardinal finally broke the game open in the fourth quarter with an Andrew Luck passing touchdown and a Jeremy Stewart rushing touchdown. The Stewart touchdown capped a 12 play, 91 yard drive that took 6:55 off the clock and sucked the life out of Arizona, even if the Cardinal had only come away with a field goal.
It wasn't the prettiest of victories but Stanford now stands 1-0 in conference and will host in two weeks on The Farm following a bye. With Auburn's loss earlier Saturday, Stanford now holds the longest active win streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision at 11 in a row. The Cardinal will likely move up a spot in the rankings to number five following Florida State's loss to Oklahoma.