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Cardinal Hope To Guard Against Letdown Against Wildcats
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/09/2001
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Nov. 9, 2001

Any chance Stanford had at winning the Pac-10 title most likely ended last week. Now the Cardinal can focus on achieving their best record in nine years when they visit struggling Arizona in a Pac-10 matchup Saturday.

The No. 16 Cardinal (5-2, 4-2) beat ranked teams Oregon and UCLA the last two weeks, but fell to Washington - another ranked Pac-10 team - 42-28 last Saturday.

The defeat means Stanford likely will have to be content aiming for a postseason bid, with its hopes of winning the conference all but gone. The Cardinal are one game behind Oregon, Washington and Washington State, who are tied atop the conference at 5-1.

"That goal is probably removed from the list of things we can accomplish," Stanford coach Tyrone Willingham said. "In this conference it's a rarity a team wins a conference title with two losses."

Willingham's team still has a shot at the school's first nine-win season since Bill Walsh guided the Cardinal to a 10-3 record in 1992. The remaining schedule is favorable for Stanford, which closes the season against four teams with a combined 9-24 record.

Sophomore quarterback Chris Lewis has played well since replacing injured senior Randy Fasani 2{ games ago. Lewis has completed 51 of 89 passes for 670 yards with five touchdowns and four interceptions in those games.

The Cardinal have scored 66 points in two games with Lewis as the starter.

Arizona (4-5, 1-5) ended a 10-game conference losing streak Saturday, holding on for a 38-24 victory over winless California.

Jason Johnson passed for a career-best 315 yards and four touchdowns as the Wildcats snapped a five-game slide with their first win since Sept. 22.

"In November we have two things happening. We are playing for our own championship because we have a chance to win three in a row and qualify for a bowl game," Arizona coach John Mackovic said. "We are not out of it yet. We are just going to have to play as hard as we can to get there."

The struggling Wildcats defense held California to three points through three quarters before the Golden Bears scored 21 in the final 15 minutes. Arizona has surrendered 40.8 points per game in the past six contests.

Arizona has won seven of the last eight meetings with Stanford, including a 27-3 victory at Stanford Stadium last Sept. 30.

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