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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Criner, Crump shine behind strong run game

Colin+Prenger+%2F+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AThe+UA+Wildcats+took+on+the+UCLA+Bruins+Thursday%2C+Oct.+20.+In+his+first+game%2C+Tim+Kish+won+against+the+Bruins+48-12.
Colin Prenger
Colin Prenger / Daily Wildcat The UA Wildcats took on the UCLA Bruins Thursday, Oct. 20. In his first game, Tim Kish won against the Bruins 48-12.

Arizona receivers coach Dave Nichol said after Tuesday’s practice that Juron Criner needed to step up in the second half of the Wildcats’ season.

Criner listened.

The 6-foot-4 senior caught 10 passes for 101 yards and tied a career high with three touchdowns in Thursday’s win over UCLA, including a spectacular catch where he caught the ball with his arms wrapped around the defender’s helmet.

“Juron’s going to be a focal point of our offense,” wide receiver Gino Crump said. “We’re going to go to him and we have faith in Juron. He’s been doing his thing for a while now, so for him to come out and reassert himself into the offense, that was great.”

Crump also had a career day, grabbing nine catches for 103 yards, both career highs. The senior said that he had a feeling that a big day was coming, but he didn’t have any specific numbers or milestones in mind.

“I came into the game feeling a lot more comfortable, a lot more relaxed,” Crump said.

Revitalized

Arizona was able to run the ball 46 times for 254 yards, easily surpassing its previous season-high of 129 yards, which it reached Oct. 1 at USC.

The Wildcat offensive line, which had struggled to open running lanes in the season’s first six games, opened gaping holes for Arizona’s backs. Keola Antolin rushed for a game-high 77 yards while freshman Ka’Deem Carey added 67 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.

“Guys took things to heart this past week and came out and had a goal, which was to run the ball down their throat,” center Kyle Quinn said. “It’s the middle of the year and guys are getting comfortable playing with each other, and we’re just getting better with every game.”

Quinn added that Arizona didn’t change anything schematically, but the line took it upon itself to open more holes for Arizona’s backs.

Fullback Taimi Tutogi, who was used as a blocker for much of the night, picked up 32 yards on the ground to go along with two touchdowns. Tutogi also got the ball in several short-yardage situations in which he could take advantage of his 6-foot-1, 250-pound frame.

“They don’t give it to me much, but when I do get it, I’ve got to make something happen,” Tutogi said. “I just want them to trust me some more and know that in third-and-short, fourth-and-short, I can get the job done.”

Found a fix

After struggling to find a usable placekicker throughout the first five games of 2011, John Bonano appears to be the solution for the Wildcats.

Bonano connected on all six of his extra-point attempts and connected on both of his field goals, including a 41-yarder in the third quarter.

“I loved the kicking game tonight,” interim head coach Tim Kish said. “We’ve got somebody. (Bonano) is on my good list.”

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