Stanford and Arizona are meeting up this weekend for an exciting game in Palo Alto, with both teams looking to avenge losses in their last contests.
Stanford fell to Washington just a week after beating then No. 2 USC. Meanwhile, Arizona was defeated by Oregon State a week after losing to the Oregon Ducks.
While both teams should be playing with intensity in this contest, the most interesting matchup will be between running backs Stanford's Stepfan Taylor and Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey .
This article will go through which one is more likely to be the more dominant back in next Saturday's game.
Stepfan Taylor has had a pretty good year so far. The senior running back has 88 carries for 413 yards, good for a 4.7 yards-per-carry average. He also has 3 touchdowns, along with 12 receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown through the air.
However, Taylor has been slightly unpredictable this season. In his first game against San Jose State, he ran for 116 yards. That was followed up by a 69-yard performance against Duke, one in which he carried the ball only 14 times.
The same thing has happened the past two weeks. Against USC, Stepfan was outstanding and rushed for 153 yards on 5.7 yards per carry. He followed that with a disappointing 75 yards on 21 carries in their loss to Washington. He also had four catches for zero yards against Washington.
The good news for Taylor is that Arizona isn't a great team against the run. In the game against Oregon, they allowed 228 yards and a 4.3 yards-per-carry average.
Even worse, Arizona allowed Storm Woods, a freshman from Oregon State, to rush for 161 yards on 29 carries, good for 5.6 yards per carry. To put that into reference, Woods had only 132 career rushing yards coming into this game.
Stepfan Taylor should be able to do some damage in both the ground and air games, especially since he is facing a weak run defense and is coming off of a bad game.
Of the two backs, Ka'Deem Carey has the better statistics so far this season. He has 538 yards on 97 attempts, 5.5 yards per carry, along with 7 touchdowns. He has also made more of an impact on the passing game, catching 14 balls for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Carey has also played in one more game than Taylor, which makes up for some of the disparity in their yards, but Ka'Deem has a much better yards-per-carry average.
Who Will Have a Better Game Saturday?
The biggest difference, however, lies in touchdowns. Stepfan has only found the end zone three times, while Carey has scored seven touchdowns, including three in a game against Oklahoma State. That is largely due to the fact that Ka'Deem has carried the ball 41 times in the red zone, while Taylor has only gotten the ball 25 times.
Unfortunately for Carey, Stanford has a much tougher defense than Arizona. They held USC to 26 rushing yards on 28 carries, a .9 YPG average. Stanford fared a bit worse against Washington, allowing Bishop Sankey to rush for 144 yards, but held the team to 4.0 yards per carry.
I believe that it will be a tight competition between these two backs. In the end, Stepfan Taylor will rush for more yards. He is a talented player who is bound to bounce back from a bad game against Washington. He will be aided by the poor rushing defense that Arizona fields, and will likely top 100 yards and score a touchdown while catching three or four balls.
At the same time, however, Ka'Deem Carey will have the advantage in touchdowns. He benefits from more red zone touches and should be able to find the end zone twice.
I'd choose Stepfan Taylor, since he will have more of an impact for his team. Also, Stanford is going to win the game by a reasonable margin.