TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Stanford and Arizona both had designs on winning their respective divisions heading into the Pac-12 season.
A string of injuries in both programs have changed their courses a bit. The division titles are all but out of reach, so Saturday night's game in the desert is more about regaining momentum and moving toward bowl eligibility.
The Cardinal were the defending Pac-12 champions and appeared to be a favorite to repeat after opening the season with three strong wins. A blowout loss to then-No. 10 Washington followed, triggering Stanford's first three-game losing streak in the Pac-12 since 2008, leaving the Cardinal needing two wins to become bowl eligible.
Stanford (4-3, 2-3 Pac-12) has not been able to rely heavily on Christian McCaffrey, thanks to an undisclosed injury suffered against Washington State on Oct. 8. Last year's Heisman Trophy runner-up did not play against Notre Dame and was held mostly in check in a loss to Colorado last week.
The Cardinal will not have cornerback Elijah Holder and fullback Daniel Marx against Arizona, with offensive linemen David Bright and Johnny Caspers both listed as questionable.
Arizona bounced back from an opening loss to BYU with a pair of victories, but has been decimated by injuries since then, leaving coach Rich Rodriguez's streak of bowl games in jeopardy.
The Wildcats (2-5, 0-4) have seen their top two quarterbacks go down with injury and were forced to move receiver Samajie Grant to running back due to injuries and off-the-field issues. Quarterbacks Anu Solomon and Brandon Dawkins were back at practice this week, but running back Nick Wilson will be out an extended period of time after suffering a new injury in Arizona's last game against Southern California.