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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats stomp Cougars

Kick return man Travis Cobb scoots along the sideline in Arizonas win over the Cougars
Kick return man Travis Cobb scoots along the sideline in Arizona’s win over the Cougars

Before most Arizona football fans settled into their seats at Arizona Stadium Saturday afternoon, the Wildcats had already scored all the points they would need in a 48-7 beat down of Washington State.

On the first play of the win, Arizona return man Travis Cobb took the opening kickoff 95 yards to give the Wildcats the early lead just 13 seconds into the contest.

The tone of the game was set and No. 21 Arizona (6-2, 4-1 Pacific 10 Conference) rarely took its foot off the pedal en route to a 41-point rout of the Cougars (1-8, 0-6 Pac-10), one which made the Wildcats bowl eligible and put them into a tie for first place in the Pac-10 with Oregon (7-2, 5-1).

“”We needed a spark to get things going,”” Cobb said. “”I was really excited (during the return), because I knew this was kind of setting the tone for the game.

“”This was the first kickoff return in a long while so I was pretty happy about it.””

The Wildcat defense kept the momentum alive as it began the game with notable intensity. Arizona’s front line dominated the Cougar’s protection, pressuring and sacking Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel four times in the first half.

Arizona’s defense forced WSU into a trio of three-and-outs to start the game and held the Cougars to just 91 yards of total offense.

Washington State’s most promising drive, which set up the Cougars with a first and goal on the Arizona 9-yard line, ended without points after Tuel was hit by linebacker Xavier Kelley who forced a fumble that was recovered by Arizona.

The Wildcats’ offense once again capitalized and added a field goal, bumping the lead to 34 points going into halftime.

“”We did a good job of doing what we needed to do,”” said offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes. “”We came out firing and didn’t turn the ball over.

“”There’s some things we need to take care of and improve on, but it feels good to win a game like this.””

When the game resumed, Arizona’s lineup changed its appearance as most starters saw an end to their day. However, the tone of the game remained the same.

Any chance of the Cougars gaining momentum was stripped away as Wildcat return man William “”Bug”” Wright scored on a WSU kick – this time in the form of a punt – as Wright scampered for a 86-yard score just 1:33 into the third quarter. The return was the fifth-longest punt return in Arizona history.

“”After I got (my kickoff return) I knew Bug (Wright) was going to take one back,”” Cobb said. “”He’s really explosive, and so I just knew it was a done deal.””

Following Wright’s return, Arizona slowed its offensive assault and shifted its game primarily to the ground.

Arizona quarterback Nick Foles left the game in the third quarter after completing 12 of 19 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. Backup quarterback Matt Scott then took the reins for the majority of the second half and found ways to run down the clock with his legs. The sophomore finished the day as the team’s leading rusher with 91 rushing yards on 10 attempts.

Adding 132 yards of offensive output to the Wildcats’ outburst, Scott enjoyed one of his most successful outings this season.

“”I just love being out there, and I just want to help the team out,”” Scott said. “”Anything that I can do to help the team that’s what I want to do. Even if I’m not the starter I want to get out there and run some plays and help the team out.””

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