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"Stanford's Luck, power run game pose giant challenge"

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If the Pacific 10 Conference is the land of quarterbacks, Stanford is the capital. There's no other way to put it: Andrew Luck is great, to the point where his head coach calls him perfect and openly admits he loves him as much as his own wife.



But while head coach Jim Harbaugh is on an endless honeymoon with a man wearing the No. 12 jersey, opposing teams seem to find their Saturday evenings ending with a handshake goodbye and a fake phone number.

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""They've got the right guy as the triggerman, he is a talented guy,"" Arizona co-defensive coordinator Greg Brown said of Luck. ""The guy can throw, he's got accuracy, he's got RPM's on the ball and then when there's trouble the guy can escape with his feet.""



Luck's numbers are astounding – 1,920 yards and 20 touchdowns – but what has terrorized defenses and drawn affection from NFL scouts is his understanding of the game and his accuracy. Even when a receiver is perfectly covered, Luck will put it directly in the one spot where the defender can't catch it.



""We just have to go out there and compete,"" cornerback Robert Golden said. ""It's going to be a long night out there and we have to go out and play hard and contest every ball that's in the air. (Luck) has a lot of ability to go out there and hurt a defense in many ways.""



In last year's 43-38 win at Arizona Stadium, the Wildcats isolated then-running back Toby Gerhart as the key to the game and committed to stop the run. Despite Gerhart being held to one of his lowest season totals, Luck dismantled the defense with 423 yards through the air.



Should Arizona decide to take away Stanford's power running game away again, it's safe to assume Luck will put up big numbers. But if it drops back to defend the pass, Stanford's average of 223.8 rushing yards per game will surely be off to the races.



Needless to say, even the nation's No. 10 total defense will have a hard time stopping such a well-balanced attack.



""They are really, really good,"" Brown said. ""They have such good schematics and they are going to challenge you to the Nth degree. Harbaugh knows exactly what he's doing on offense, they're going to get the most out of their personnel and they present huge challenges both in the passing game and the running game.""



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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (12/4)
744 14 1.9%
Total (8/2)
64,794 1,040 1.6%
Includes tests since August 2, 2021
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated December 5, 2021