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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Grigsby sparks ‘Cats to 2-0 start

    Arizona sophomore running back Nic Grigsby avoids a tackle in the Wildcats 41-16 win over Toledo Saturday night at Arizona Stadium. Grigsby rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns in the game and was the first Wildcat to rush for three touchdowns since Mike Bell did it against Washington in 2002.
    Arizona sophomore running back Nic Grigsby avoids a tackle in the Wildcats’ 41-16 win over Toledo Saturday night at Arizona Stadium. Grigsby rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns in the game and was the first Wildcat to rush for three touchdowns since Mike Bell did it against Washington in 2002.

    Arizona 41, Toledo 16

    Arizona running back Nic Grigsby had a feeling he was on the verge of a big game, as evidenced by the sophomore’s actions as he took the field before Arizona’s game against Toledo Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.

    Grigsby, the Wildcats’ starter at tailback, was animated when first taking the field with his teammates, jumping around while gesturing toward Toledo’s sideline.

    “”I just do that every game just to come out and try to intimidate,”” Grigsby said. “”It probably doesn’t work most of the time, but you have to get in (the opponent’s) eye.””

    Intentional or not, it seemed to work in Grigsby’s favor.

    Grigsby rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns – including 95 rushing yards and all three of his touchdowns in the first half – in Arizona’s second game of the season, leading the Wildcats to a 41-16 win over Toledo Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.

    Grigsby’s performance – the first time an Arizona player rushed for three touchdowns in one game since Mike Bell did it against Washington in 2002 – paved the way to Arizona’s second consecutive win to open the season, which is the first time the Wildcats have started 2-0 under head coach Mike Stoops.

    “”He’s got that Reggie Bush in him,”” said the head coach who just saw his Arizona squad score 40 points in back-to-back contests for the first time since 1982. “”He’s got that the instinct to cut back and make people miss. Nic has run really well and I am really glad with the way he has been playing.””

    Arizona’s usually pass-heavy spread offense catered to Grigsby’s hot hand, as the team resorted to a collection of different dive plays with Tuitama under center. In all, Grigsby carried the ball 20 times.

    All of Grigsby’s success came despite the fact he sat out the majority of the third quarter, as Stoops said he wanted to give the running back some rest and spread some reps around to the other tailbacks.

    Though Grigsby was eager to get back into the game, the sophomore had already done enough for his squad.

    “”I am just pressing the holes, doing what I am supposed to do, and if it is there, I am going to hit it,”” said Grigsby, who was awarded the game ball in the locker room following Arizona’s win. “”I feel good, but I can’t be satisfied with that. … We just want to let people know that we are balanced. We can hit you with the pass and hit you with the run.

    “”I felt like our team was going to have a big game today,”” Grigsby added. “”Individuals stepped up and we made plays.””

    A look at the box score may not reveal anything too spectacular for quarterback Willie Tuitama, but the numbers may be deceiving.

    The senior quarterback went 25-for-33 for 292 yards and two touchdowns – undoubtedly solid numbers – but offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes said he felt it was one of the better games Tuitama has played in his career.

    Tuitama led an Arizona offense which converted in all six of its red-zone opportunities, extending the Wildcats’ streak of recording points in their first 15 appearances inside the opponent’s 20-yard-line.

    Dykes said he was most impressed with Tuitama’s intelligent decision making, possibly the most important sign the quarterback has shown in terms of reaching the maturity level the coaching staff hoped he one day would.

    “”What he did tonight, I really think this is the best he has every played,”” Dykes said. “”The stats won’t show it, but his decision making tonight, in my opinion, is so much greater than it has been. He just seemed to do a good job of getting the ball to the right guy and consistently did a good job of reading.””

    Tuitama may not have felt like he lit up the stadium, but his steady progression into one of the Pacific 10 Conference’s better quarterbacks seems to be nearing the end.

    “”For the most part I thought it was good,”” Tuitama said of his decision making.

    Perhaps the most encouraging thing for the Wildcats was their ability to win handily without playing that “”perfect”” game.

    Much of the Wildcats’ coaching staff felt there were a collection of issues that still needed to be dealt with, but nonetheless came out with a rather convincing win over a talented Toledo squad.

    It looks as if Arizona has finally made the move into what could turn into a positive season for the Wildcats.

    “”I think we have,”” Tuitama answered when asked if he feels Arizona has turned to corner. “”We pretty much had good plays every time, and when you do that you will have a chance at winning.””

    LATE HITS

    After the game Stoops announced that Terrell Reese will be suspended indefinitely for getting a DUI Friday night.

    “”The incident with Terrell Reese is very disturbing and very unfortunate,”” Stoops said. “”It was a careless and selfish act and we will deal with that on Monday.

    Stoops said Reese was already suspended from the game for missing class, and the situation will be resolved once he gets a chance to “”collect all the facts.””

    When Stoops was asked what happened, he responded, “”I don’t know, I got a call about it this morning.””

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