Stanford defeats Arizona 37-10 in Pac-12 opener

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Stanford defeats Arizona 37-10 in Pac-12 opener

Sept. 17, 2011BOXSCORE NCAASCOREBOARDSTANFORDPAGE
TUCSON (AP) -- Andrew Luck threw for 325 yards and had both of his touchdown passes in the second half, helping No. 6 Stanford pull away for a 37-10 victory over Arizona on Saturday night in the Pac-12 opener for both teams.Stanford (3-0) struggled to find the end zone in the first half, then wore Arizona down in the second.Luck picked the Wildcats apart on 20-of-31 passing, throwing touchdown passes to Zach Ertz in the third quarter and Levine Toilolo in the fourth. Stepfan Taylor added a career-high 153 yards rushing and Stanford had a balanced 567 yards to win its 11th straight game, the Cardinal's longest run since taking 13 straight from 1939-41.Nick Foles threw for 239 yards and a touchdown, but couldn't overcome Arizona's anemic running game by himself. The Wildcats (1-2) had just 51 yards rushing on 23 carries in their sixth straight loss to an FBS team.Stanford rolled through its first two games, outscoring San Jose State and Duke by a combined score of 101-17. Luck, not surprisingly, was the catalyst, throwing for 461 yards and six touchdowns with one interception.Playing Arizona in the desert figured to be a stiffer challenge for the Cardinal.The Wildcats have one of the nation's best quarterbacks in Foles, who, like Luck, figures to be a first-round NFL draft pick. The 6-foot-5 senior doesn't have the polish that Luck has, but is prolific, completing 76 percent of his passes for 810 yards and six touchdowns the first two games.Arizona also sent Stanford home with a disappointing loss in its last trip to Tucson, scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter for a 43-38 comeback victory.That was just two years ago, but it seems like forever with the direction these teams have headed since.The Cardinal rolled over the Wildcats 42-17 last season behind Luck's 293 yards and two touchdowns. Luck may be even better this season and Arizona struggled against a good passer last week, allowing Oklahoma State's Brandon Weedon to pick it apart for 397 yards and two touchdowns in a 17-point loss.The Wildcats also have been one-dimensional on offense, relying almost solely on Foles while the running game has averaged just 58 yards per game, 115th in the nation. Stanford was second nationally through the first two games, allowing 28.5 yards per game, so it was weakness against strength.And, though it wasn't pretty at times, the game turned out about how you might think.Arizona again had trouble running the ball - minus-6 yards on 10 carries in the first half - but Foles made up for it, completing his first 17 passes while throwing for 198 yards and a touchdown. The score went on a 6-yard pass to Juron Criner, who showed no ill affects from the appendectomy that kept him out of last week's game against Oklahoma State.The Wildcats kept it close, but could have been closer: Jaime Salazar missed field goals to end the second quarter and start the third, making him 1-for-4 on the season after Arizona was haunted by missed kicks a year ago.Stanford's kicking game worked just fine - Jordan Williamson hit from 20, 45 and 33 yards - but the Cardinal wanted touchdowns after getting so deep into Arizona's end. The only one Stanford got came late in the first quarter, when Anthony Wilkerson scored on a 24-yard run on a fourth-and-a-foot misdirection play.Leading 16-10 after one half, Stanford stomped the Wildcats down in the second.Luck hit tight end Ertz on a 16-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, then had two choices to open the fourth quarter on a defensive breakdown by Arizona. He settled on Toilolo (he was deeper), who scored easily on a 34-yard pass to put the Cardinal up 30-10.That's seven touchdowns to tight ends - out of nine - for Luck this season and 53 TDs overall, moving him one ahead of Jim Plunkett for third all-time in Stanford history.Stanford closed it out with a drive that took nearly seven minutes, capped by Jeremy Stewart's 2-yard TD run.

Graveman delivers in front of 'Blue Moon' Odom, rest of A's can't

Graveman delivers in front of 'Blue Moon' Odom, rest of A's can't

ANAHEIM — The A’s collection of individual highlights during their visit to Angel Stadium shouldn’t have equated to a three-game sweep for their opponent.

Jesse Hahn fired eight one-hit innings Tuesday, the same night Josh Phegley delivered a pinch-hit homer in the 10th before the A’s lost in 11 innings. On Thursday, Kendall Graveman turned in perhaps the defensive play of the 2017 season by a pitcher, recording an unassisted double play that was the first by an A’s pitcher in 46 years.

All great moments to relive in the clubhouse afterward, but surely they ring a bit hollow given the final outcomes. The A’s were swept by an Angels team that, like Oakland, has been hit hard by the injury bug. Los Angeles is without key relievers Huston Street, Andrew Bailey, Cam Bedrosian and Mike Morin, not to mention starter Garrett Richards among others.

Yet the Angels pitching staff twice held the A’s to one run over the three-game series, including Thursday’s 2-1 defeat, when the A’s mustered just three hits.

“We’re a little streaky right now,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “… Give them credit, they pitched really well, and they really are down a lot of guys in the bullpen. We would expect to do a little more damage.”

They couldn’t Thursday, and that it made it tough to savor Graveman’s incredible play the way they should have.

With runners on the corners and no outs, he fielded Juan Graterol’s comebacker and caught Ben Revere in a rundown between third and home. Graveman ran him down and after applying the tag, hurdled Revere and made the tag on Cliff Pennington, who was trying to advance from first to third in the chaos.

“That’s probably the best play I’ve ever seen a pitcher make, hurdling over an (opponent) to get the second out unassisted,” Melvin said. “I didn’t even know how to put that one down on my card.”

Graveman, one of the A’s better overall athletes, was asked if he’d ever recorded an unassisted double play before.

“Never. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one,” he said. “(Ryan) Madson said he’s never seen one and he’s watched over 2,000 games.”

Incredibly, the last A’s pitcher to pull off an unassisted double play previously was in attendance Thursday night. John “Blue Moon” Odom did it back on July 11, 1971, also against the Angels. Odom attends most of the A’s games in Anaheim, and he’s struck up a friendship with Graveman over the years.

“Every time we come here and even in spring training, I try to catch up with Blue Moon Odom and see how he’s doing,” Graveman said. “He and Wash (former A’s infield coach Ron Washington) are friends so we always cut up about Wash. He’s a great guy. He sits in the front row. He came in and saw me right before stretch and told me ‘I’m gonna be front row watching you.’ That is pretty neat that that happened.”

A’s first baseman Yonder Alonso said he’s never surprised to see Graveman make a great defensive play.

“The guy’s a pitcher, but it feels like he’s a shortstop playing the position.”

Graveman was visited by trainers after the fifth-inning play, but Melvin said it was mainly to give the pitcher a breather and let him get his adrenaline under control. Neither Graveman nor his manager revealed anything specific that bothered Graveman. Seeing him stay in the game and complete six innings of two-run ball had to be encouraging for Melvin.

“The first thing I asked him was ‘What’d you fall on?’” Melvin said. “He said, ‘My butt.’ I said, ‘Well, you’re all right then.’ But you’re not gonna see that play again probably.”

The A’s are giving their manager and fans some accomplishments to marvel over. As they move on to Houston trying to halt a four-game losing streak, they just need to figure things out on the scoreboard.

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

Raiders' first-round pick Conley opens up on emotions after off-field issues

ALAMEDA – Gareon Conley’s name has been sullied, at least temporarily. He feared it would be long enough to send him free falling down the NFL Draft.

The Ohio State cornerback and top-15 prospect was accused of rape stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland, an allegation he called “completely false.”

The Raiders clearly believe him. That’s why they drafted him No. 24 overall on Thursday evening, and expect him to be a long-term solution in their secondary.

Conley wasn’t sure how far he’d fall after being beaten down by one rough week, when the allegation went public. Reggie McKenzie’s first-round selection and subsequent call was more emotional than expected.

“It made it 10 times more special,” Conley said Thursday night in a conference call. “Just having that doubt in my mind, just not knowing (how far I would fall). Just having faith and having doubt, I didn’t know what was going to happen. When it came, it shocked me. It felt unreal, honestly. It still feels unreal.”

Being a top pick was expected after an excellent career at Ohio State. The rape accusation threatened to destroy his draft-day dreams. Conley has not been arrested or charged in relation to the incident, though an investigation is ongoing.

Conley said he volunteered to take a polygraph test that was shared with NFL teams, and reportedly passed the one he took. He said in a statement there are witnesses and video evidence proving he didn’t do anything illegal.

Conley spent the last few days trying to proclaim his innocence. 

He is scheduled to meet with Cleveland police on Monday to discuss the April 9 incident -- he'll also submit a DNA sample, according to ESPN -- where group sex was suggested and a woman claimed she was sexually assaulted.

Conley believes his name will be cleared in time.

“I’m very confident it will be resolved," Conley said. "I took a test today that helps. Then when I made my statement and all the evidence that I have, I feel confident it’ll be resolved.”

Conley admits he shouldn’t have put himself in a compromising position, which occurred at a Cleveland hotel earlier this month.

“I could’ve made way better judgment,” Conley said. “I mean, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I definitely could’ve made a better decision.”

Conley hopes to move beyond it quickly and start focusing on football. He is scheduled to fly west for a press conference on Friday.

Conley is thankful to the Raiders for believing in him despite his recent troubles.

“It’s off the charts, honestly,” Conley said. “Just to know that they have faith in me, not even just as a football player but as a person like that, it speaks highly of them, and I really appreciate it. It’s an honor to be a part of the Raider organization.”