STANFORD, Calif. – Josh Nunes bailed out Stanford’s defense for a change and started to erase doubts about whether he’s the right man to replace Andrew Luck after all.
Nunes threw for a career-high 360 yards and two touchdowns and ran for three scores, rallying No. 18 Stanford from a two-TD deficit to stun Arizona (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12) 54-48 in overtime Saturday.
Chase Thomas intercepted a tipped pass by Matt Scott in the extra period and Stepfan Taylor ran for a 21-yard touchdown two plays later to end a week of second-guessing Nunes with a wild celebration in the Cardinal (4-1, 2-1) side of the north end zone.
“This is the kind of game that we needed,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “We needed to fight. We needed to battle. We needed to be into it in the fourth quarter. We needed to be down. We needed to fight back, just to test our character.”
The offense failed to find the end zone in a 17-13 loss at Washington last week. Nunes underthrew several passes or misfired completely, and critics began to mount enough for Shaw to open his weekly news conference defending his new quarterback and boldly calling any question about a change “asinine.”