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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Final: Oregon 56, Arizona 31

The No. 10 Oregon Ducks only needed seven minutes.

After 18 plays, 152 yards and two touchdowns, there was nothing the Arizona Wildcats could do to contain the Oregon offensive juggernaut any longer, as they fell 56-31 in Tucson on Saturday night.

With the Oregon offense in full force, running back LaMichael James was the battering ram, rushing for a career-high 288 yards and two touchdowns on only 23 carries. It was the first time that a running back gained over 200 yards on the ground against the Wildcats since 2005.

“I thought LaMichael James was spectacular,” Arizona head coach Mike Stoops said. “We just couldn’t get off blocks and make plays. We worked a lot of that with the speed and precision he’s able to make guys miss in space.”

At the start, the Ducks won the toss and came out firing and ready to showcase their dynamic run game. In less than three minutes, the Ducks were on the scoreboard with a 7-0 lead.

After a quick Arizona drive resulted in a punt, the Ducks again returned to their running game and delivered another quick jab to the Wildcats, with backup running back Kenjon Barner crossing the goal line for the Ducks.

This same trend continued for much of the first half and the Wildcats were down 35-3 before any of the Arizona players were able to take a breath.

The Wildcats were finally able to alleviate some of the pressure as Nick Foles completed a 34 yard touchdown pass to Richard Morrison with 2:45 left in the half.

But the Wildcats were in a deep 35-9 hole entering the break.

“I thought the first half was kind of frustrating and humiliating in some ways,” Stoops said. “To come out and not play better, to get behind against these guys, it’s very difficult.”

The Wildcats came out of the break with some fire left, bringing the game within 11 points with 5:43 left in the third quarter.

But that was as close as it would get as the Ducks ignited their offensive again and widened the distance to 25 points, leading 49-24, before finally closing out the game.

Despite a first half filled with inaccurate passing and catching for the Wildcats, Arizona quarterback Nick Foles still managed to finish with 391 yards passing and three touchdowns without giving up an interception. Foles hasn’t thrown a pick in 2011.

“Nick was spectacular,” Stoops said. “ He continues to be a great player. His play speaks for itself. He gets a lot of respect from his competitors. It’s frustrating we didn’t catch the ball better in the first half.”

Senior receiver David Douglas also had a solid outing, catching seven balls for 120 yards.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, their anemic run game is still a problem. Their 82 rushing yards marked Arizona’s most for the season so far.

“We can’t win any games until we get better as a team,” Stoops said. “It doesn’t matter who you play. You can’t drop balls, you can’t not stop the run, you can’t beat anybody like that.”

The Wildcats head to Los Angeles next weekend for to face the USC Trojans with kickoff slated for 12:30 p.m.

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