The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

75° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Football headline must go here

The No. 15 Arizona football team got off to its best start as a program since 1993, defeating the Washington State Cougars 24-7 in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday. The Wildcats won their first game on the road in Pacific 10 Conference play, and improved their record to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play. They established the long-MIA running game in a cold environment on the road.

But for head coach Mike Stoops, all these must seem like consolation prizes after starting quarterback Nick Foles went down with what appears to be a right knee dislocation with 14:07 remaining in the second quarter.

The junior had just completed a pass to receiver Travis Cobb when Washington State (1-6, 0-4 Pac-10) defensive end Travis Long fell on Foles’ right leg. He did not return to the game, and Stoops said he would be “”week-to-week”” and is expected to miss at least the next two games, but indicated that he did not think the injury would be season-ending.

Enter last season’s starter Matt Scott.

“”You always have two quarterbacks ready,”” Stoops said in a press release. “”Matt (Scott) was OK, a little rusty.””

Scott was 14-for-20 with 139 yards. What really carried the Wildcats was the Arizona running game that had been little used until this point in the season. Although it was established before Foles left the game, Keola Antolin and Nic Grigsby took charge. Antolin and Grigsby combined accounted for all of Arizona’s three touchdowns and had 142 yards rushing in the game.

“”We wanted to come out and establish the run game, and that’s what we did,”” said Antolin in a press release.

The Wildcats took an early lead in the first quarter when Antolin rushed for a 9-yard score to put Arizona up 7-0. The sophomore would score again on a 1-yard run with 10:59 left in the second quarter to put the Wildcats up 14-0.

Arizona had a chance for an even bigger lead right before half time, but Scott was intercepted by WSU safety Casey Locker.

Grigsby scored on the opening drive of the second half with a 7-yard run to put the Wildcats up 21-0.

Despite the success on the ground, overall, the offense did not put up huge numbers. The offensive line gave up six sacks, and Arizona only managed 352 yards of offense and 24 points against a Washington State defense that averaged 42 points and 500 yards allowed per game.

“”We have to play better than we did tonight,”” Stoops said.

The Arizona defense got some redemption after giving up 486 yards to Oregon State. The defensive line sacked Cougar quarterback Jeff Tuel seven times, of which Ricky Elmore and Brooks Reed combined half (3.5) of them.  

“”Their speed and their two defensive ends are senior veteran players,”” said Washington State head coach Paul Wuff. “”Their one D-tackle is a senior and they are just very veteran, good stout players that have been there a good long time. They disrupt us enough to create problems.””

The defense was constantly disrupting Tuel and had no problem shutting down the Cougars’ running game. As a result, WSU wasn’t able to get into a rhythm. Tuel’s only score of the night was to Marquess Wilson, a 23-yard strike to ruin the Arizona defense’s shutout.


More to Discover
Activate Search