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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Arizona 48, Washington State 20”

    In an offense that features nine returning starters, it was a pair of 18-year-old true freshmen who did most of the damage in the Arizona football team’s first win of the season over a Division I-A school.

    More importantly, the Wildcats (2-3, 1-1 Pacific 10 Conference) got in the win column against a conference opponent, perhaps saving their season for the time being.

    Running back Nicolas Grigsby unleashed for 262 total yards of offense, including 186 from the ground.

    The previous season-high for rushing yards from a Wildcat tailback was 77 by Xavier Smith against NAU in game two.

    Tight end Rob Gronkowski continued his onslaught with four catches for a career-high 115 yards and two touchdowns.

    “”I think Nic Grigsby and Robbie Gronkowski probably had as good as any two true freshmen performances ever,”” UA head coach Mike Stoops said. “”They’re really special players and they give our offense a dimension that’s going to be around for a long time.

    “”That was fun to see.””

    Grigsby had an average of 6.2 yards per carry and also added 76 yards on nine receptions, including a 22-yard over-the-shoulder grab for a touchdown. In all 30 of his rushes, he didn’t have a single play where he lost yardage.

    Perhaps the only thing that put a damper on Grigsby’s career night was a lost fumble early in the fourth quarter.

    “”Nic gives us some speed and quickness back there that’s very unique,”” Stoops said. “”He catches the ball, he understands everything very well. He’s been a big difference in our success.””

    Cougars head coach Bill Doba said he was surprised by the amount of running plays the Wildcats called for, as they ranked dead last in the Pac-10 in rushing offense before the game.

    “”We had come out looking to slow down the pass,”” Doba said. “”They ran better than we thought they would.””

    The Wildcats had 567 yards of total offense, which tied for the 10th-best in school history.

    Quarterback Willie Tuitama continues to break his own records, accumulating six total touchdowns- five on the pass and one on a dart into the end zone on a quarterback keep play in the third quarter.

    Tuitama finished 22-for-31 with 346 yards.

    But the game ball went to Grigsby, who raised the expectation level of a balanced offensive attack. The team finished with 221 total rushing yards. Through the first four games, Arizona had only 286 yards from the ground.

    “”Our offense is unstoppable,”” Grigsby said. “”We’ve just got to keep playing like we played today. If our o-line keeps doing what they’re doing, we’re going to be pretty hard to stop.””

    “”Our whole offense is young,”” Grigsby added. “”I feel we’re all going to keep growing and growing and growing as weeks progress and as the year progresses. Starting next week, we’re going to make a name for ourselves. We’re gonna start opening people’s eyes up.””

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