TUCSON, Ariz. -- Something about the road brings out the best in Stanford.
Jeremy Stewart scored on a 1-yard run midway through the fourth quarter as Stanford rallied to defeat Arizona 21-20 on Saturday night, winning its second Pac-10 road game in as many tries. The Cardinal's first victory came against then-No. 2 Southern California in Los Angeles two weeks ago.
"It's the white jerseys and the red pants," tailback Jason Evans said with a laugh. "There seems to be something magical clicking there with the red pants."
That seemed a plausible explanation for an improbable victory.
Stanford (3-4, 2-3 Pac-10) won despite being outgained 368-277 and committing three turnovers while forcing only two.
This is the kind of game the Cardinal usually lose, but they figured out how to win on a clear night in the desert.
"We're growing up a lot," said defensive end Udeme Udofia, a Scottsdale, Ariz. product who had two sacks in his return to his home state. "A lot of the young guys are just trying to change the culture around here. Guys are just learning how to win again. It's been awhile since there's been a great Stanford team, and we're on our way to restoring that legacy that our program once had."
Stanford trailed 20-14 when it took over at its own 47 with 11:07 to go. Eleven plays later, Stewart crashed over from a yard out to put the Cardinal ahead to stay.
The Cardinal thwarted Arizona's final threat when cornerback Nick Sanchez forced receiver Anthony Johnson to fumble, and Will Powers recovered at the Arizona 22 with 2:13 to play.
"Our guys, they hung in there," Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said. "First of all, there's no such thing as an ugly win."
It was an ugly game for Arizona (2-6, 1-4), which lost for the fifth time in six weeks. The Wildcats heard boos from what was left of the Arizona Stadium crowd of 55,270.
"They are all disappointing," said coach Mike Stoops, who fell to 9-21 in Pac-10 play. "We had a chance to get a win. They have not come around here frequently."
Stanford won because its defense, ranked 10th in the Pac-10, played well for most of the night. The Cardinal stopped Arizona twice on fourth down. And after a turnover gave Arizona the ball at Stanford's 16-yard late in the third quarter, the Cardinal held Arizona to a field goal attempt, which the Wildcats missed. The kick would have put the Wildcats up by nine entering the fourth quarter.
"That was the game, really," Stoops said.
Stanford sophomore quarterback Tavita Pritchard improved to 2-1 as a starter, both wins coming on the road. Pritchard was 19-of-27 for 181 yards and a touchdown, and he threw two interceptions.