By Kevin Clerici
Arizona Daily Wildcat November 19, 1996
Where did Stanford come from?
Just one month ago, the Cardinal was 2-5 and coming off a 41-9 drubbing at the hands Arizona State. Chances for a bowl game looked as if they had faded into the sunset. After Saturday's 33-17 defeat of Washington State, though, Stanford has jumped into sole possession of third place in the Pacific 10 Conference.
"It was just a matter of time before we got everything rolling," Stanford quarterback Chad Hutchinson said. "It was a total team effort."
The biggest boost for the Cardinal, winners of three straight, has come from other schools knocking each other off. Arizona lost two straight before beating UCLA, which was coming off a win over Washington State. Southern Cal and California have each dropped their last two.
However, with a 5-5 overall record, Stanford must beat Cal Saturday for any bowl consideration. Six wins is the NCAA's mandatory requirement to play in a bowl. A victory clinches a trip to the Sun Bowl. A loss and the year is done. Stanford's match with Cal will be the 99th meeting between the two teams, and Stanford has won nine of the last 12.
"I still don't think that we've played our best football," Stanford head coach Tyrone Willingham said.
Washington's Corey Dillon played only the first quarter against San Jose State, but that was all it took for the junior tailback to rush for 222 yards and four touchdowns.
"Corey did some fine running," Husky guard Bob Sapp said. "As a matter of fact, I think he is still running."
The 222 yards established an NCAA and Pac-10 record for a quarter. Dillon rushed 16 times for a 13.9 average, with his scoring runs coming from 4, 48 and 78 yards out. He also turned a screen pass into an 83-yard score.
Dillon leads the Pac-10 - and is sixth nationally - in rushing at 140 yards per outing and is first in all-purpose yards - third nationally - at 203.
Dillon's one quarter was good enough to earn Pac-10 offensive player of the week honors for the third time in the last five weeks. His 19 rushing touchdowns are three away from the Pac-10 single-season record of 22, held by Marcus Allen (USC, 1981) and O.J. Simpson (USC, 1968).
Senior James Darling is 13 solo tackles away from breaking the Washington State single-season record. Darling, a 1995 All-Pac-10 linebacker, will have to catch Anthony McClanahan's total of 99 in the Cougars' final regular season game at Washington this Saturday.
The conference leader all season, Darling is averaging 12.5 takedowns a game. His 125 total tackles is 13 better than Arizona's Chester Burnett, who has two more solos but 15 less assists. Darling had 40 by the end of the first two games and 14 solo tackles against Temple.
UA cornerback Chris McAlister's 100-yard kickoff return was good enough to make ESPN Sportscenter's Plays of the Week, but Cardinal Troy Walters' 75-yard punt return earned him the Pac-10 special teams award. Walters' run was the longest punt return in the conference this season and sparked the Cardinal in its come-from-behind win.
The defensive award went to Oregon's Derrick Barnes, who had nine tackles - four for a loss, and three of which were quarterback sacks - in the Ducks' 43-20 win over Cal.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.