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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Arizona cruises past UCLA

    Arizona wide receiver Mike Thomas leaps to make a catch during Saturdays 31-10 Wildcat victory over UCLA in Pasadena, Calif. Thomas recorded 257 all-purpose yards and was named the Pacific 10 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week.
    Arizona wide receiver Mike Thomas leaps to make a catch during Saturday’s 31-10 Wildcat victory over UCLA in Pasadena, Calif. Thomas recorded 257 all-purpose yards and was named the Pacific 10 Conference Special Teams Player of the Week.

    PASADENA, Calif. – The Arizona football team recovered, at least in part, from last week’s loss at New Mexico with a 31-10 win against UCLA in the Rose Bowl.

    The Wildcats (3-1) overcame awful field position early – two of their first three drives started inside their 5-yard line -and rode wide receiver Mike Thomas’ big play ability to beat UCLA (1-2) in a game Arizona could have possibly won by much more in front of the announced attendance of 65,434 in Pasadena.

    “”It was good to see our team overcome that kind of start on the road,”” said UA head coach Stoops. “”It’s something that we’ve struggled with in the past, but our kids just had a focus about them today, and intensity, that they came here to win.””

    Thomas did all he could to secure the win. He recorded 257 all-purpose yards in the game – 146 yards in the first half alone. In all, Thomas tallied 17 yards rushing, 115 receiving yards, 18 yards on kick returns and another 107 yards on punt returns.

    Arizona’s offense was also bolstered by the return of starting tight end Rob Gronkowski, as he made his first appearance for the Wildcats this year after sitting out the first three games with mononucleosis. Gronkowski snagged a touchdown on his first and second touches of the season. The first came via a 22-yard pass from Tuitama at the start of the second quarter and the second was a two-yard touchdown grab early in the fourth quarter.

    The Wildcat defense played a solid game overall – it held holding the Bruins to 196 yards of total offense – and got some consistent pressure on the opposing quarterback for the first time this season. UA linebacker Ronnie Palmer had two sacks in the game, his first since the 2005 ASU game. Defensive end Brooks Reed also had a sack and the rest of the Wildcat defense did its part to frustrate UCLA’s offense and quarterback Kevin Craft for the majority of the afternoon. Craft finished the day 15-for-31 for 81 yards and had 9 carries for 12 yards.

    The Wildcat defense allowed the nation’s worst rushing offense – UCLA averaged 19 yards rushing per game coming into the game – 115 yards on 28 attempts, which some considered a drawback to an otherwise strong performance.

    However, the defense played well enough to keep UCLA out of the endzone. The Bruins’ only touchdown came off of a Nic Grigsby fumble which was returned one yard for a score by UCLA linebacker Korey Bosworth.

    “”It was nice for us to go through that kind of adversity,”” said UA defensive coordinator Mark Stoops. “”(We) came back and showed that we could win when we’re down.””

    Late Hits

    UA starting center Blake Kerley could miss the remainder of the season with what Mike Stoops predicted a strained MCL in his left knee. Starting left tackle Eben Britton left the game due to dehydration, but received an IV at halftime and Mike Stoops said Britton will be OK. … Gronkowski confirmed that he missed the first three games of the season with mononucleosis, not strep throat as previously reported. … Former UA basketball star Steve Kerr was in attendance.

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