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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


HALFTIME: Arizona 28, South Carolina State 0

It didn’t take long for the No. 24 Arizona Wildcat to get on the board Saturday night against South Carolina State. A mere 2:59 burned off the clock before the Wildcats led 7-0 in Arizona Stadium, and the UA enters the half with a 28-0 lead.

Wildcat quarterback Matt Scott capped off a nine play, 75-yard scoring drive on Arizona’s opening possession with a 15-yard touchdown pass to junior Richard Morrison.

The Wildcats tried to extend their lead to double digits, but reigning Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week John Bonano missed a 25-yard kick that would have put the UA up 10-0.

At the end of the first quarter, Arizona’s offense rolled up nine first downs and 154 total yards, including 107 passing yards for Scott, who at kickoff, ranked second in the nation nationally with 418 yards per game.

Arizona did extend their lead, however, thanks to senior fullback Taimi Tutogi, who caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from Scott, putting the Wildcats up 14-0 early in the second quarter.

After Tutogi’s touchdown on a seven-play, 53-yard scoring drive that lasted just 2:14, Arizona’s offense had just one play that went for negative yards and averaged 6.9 yards per play.

Arizona’s offense was able to move the ball both through the air and on the ground, with significant balance. The run-pass ratio at the half was 25-26.

UA’s Ka’Deem Carey added to the two-touchdown lead with a seven-yard scoring run, his 13th carry of the half.

On the return, the Bulldogs committed a personal foul penalty that pushed them all the way back to the seven-yard-line, but one play later, running back Jalen Simmons broke a 19-yard run to give them some breathing room.

One play later, however, UA cornerback Jonathan McKnight intercepted a Richard Cue pass at the Arizona 41-yard-line, but the Wildcats could not do much with it, gaining just five yards before being forced to punt.

Defensive lineman Dan Pettinato, who prior to Saturday hadn’t played all season due to injury, finally got some game action and registered three tackles.

In the first half, the Wildcats forced five SCSU punts, while punting just once themselves.

Scott has impressed as the leader of the Wildcats’ offense, and at the half, he has completed 20 passes to nine receivers for 175 yards passing and has 61 yards on the ground, to compliment Carey’s 71 yards rushing on 13 carries.

The Wildcats have outgained the Bulldogs 323-69 in the first half and have 21 first downs to SCSU’s four.

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