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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    1st-Half Summary

    Sept. 1
    Brigham Young 20, Arizona 7
    Provo, Utah

    The Wildcats were underdogs, despite having some of their biggest preseason expectations in years. New offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes was expected to have his newly installed offense come out firing on all cylinders. Instead, Arizona needed time to adjust to the new system, and Dykes’ conservative playcalling upset his players.

    Sept. 8
    Arizona 45, NAU 24
    Arizona Stadium

    Dykes’ well-chronicled spread offense spread the ball around, and the players responded well. Quarterback Willie Tuitama set a career high in touchdown passes (five), and Arizona’s offense pounded the Lumberjacks’ Division I-AA secondary. The Wildcat defense, however, showed some noticeable weaknesses, as it set a school record for points allowed to a D-IAA school.

    Sept. 15
    New Mexico 29, Arizona 27
    Arizona Stadium

    In an outcome that was about as shocking as the entire first half, the Wildcat offense couldn’t quite get a grasp on a tricky Lobo defensive line. Arizona had nine penalties, most of which had impacts on key drives. Mike Stoops took the blame for the loss, saying his call for a timeout late in the first half fueled a Lobo touchdown that put New Mexico ahead for the rest of the game.

    Sept. 22
    No. 6 California 45, Arizona 27

    The Arizona defense again showed some glaring holes as the now-No. 2 Golden Bears scored 28 first-quarter points. The Wildcats started to claw their way back to a two-score deficit, but as soon as California head coach Jeff Tedford put running back Justin Forsett back into the game, Arizona didn’t have an answer.

    Sept. 29
    Arizona 48, Washington State 20
    Arizona Stadium

    In a must-win situation for both teams, the Wildcats took advantage of 28 second-half points en route to a rout of the Cougars. Tuitama had six total touchdowns, and running back Nicolas Grigsby had his coming-out party, accumulating 262 total yards, 186 on the ground.

    Oct. 6
    Oregon State 31, Arizona 16

    In another must-win situation for both teams, the Beavers opened with their usual fast start, getting 24 first-quarter points. Arizona had no offensive touchdowns, only an Antoine Cason interception return for a touchdown. Tuitama had three interceptions, his most of the season, paving the way for an easy OSU win in Corvallis, Ore.

    compiled by Mike Ritter

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