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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    WSU win keeps UA cautious

    For the second consecutive year, the Arizona football team’s season was in disarray when entering the Washington State game, and for the second consecutive year the Wildcats came out victorious.

    As last year’s victory over the Cougars seemed to be the lift the Wildcats needed to finish their season strong – they eventually finished the season bowl-eligible – Arizona is hoping last weekend’s win can supply the same boost this season, as bowl hopes at the moment remain dim.

    The Wildcats (2-3, 1-1 Pacifi c 10 Conference) will try for their second consecutive conference victory when they face Oregon State (2-3, 0-2) in Corvallis, Ore., tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. “”Our kids have done a nice job, but we still have a lot of work to do to get prepared for this game,”” said UA head coach Mike Stoops. “”It was good to see us have some balance in our offense (last weekend), and we will continue to try and move that along in a positive direction.””

    After struggling to move the ball on the ground throughout the year, Arizona rushed for 221 yards last Saturday, taking pressure off quarterback Willie Tuitama.

    In response, Tuitama had what offensive coordinator Dykes said was his best performance of the season, going 22-of-31 with 346 yards and six touchdowns, five through the air.

    “”He made really good decisions and felt more comfortable in the pocket,”” Dykes said. “”He didn’t make many mistakes.””

    As Tuitama gears up against the team against which he made his first career start, in 2005, he remains confident in his abilities.

    “”I think having a running game as well allowed us to put it all together,”” Tuitama said. “”Now the defense can’t just play against one thing . Now they are going to have to worry about both (the run and the pass), which makes things a lot more easier for the passing game.””

    The defense seemed to make strides last weekend by allowing only 20 points to a powerful Washington State offense, but the Cougars still exploited the secondary en route to 418 yards of total offense.

    “”Defensively, I still think we are struggling in some areas (like) getting off of the fi eld and making plays,”” Stoops said.

    “”For whatever reason we are not executing as well as we would like. We just need more guys to step up and make more plays in critical situations.””

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