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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

COMIC: Rat’s Nest #3
Olivia MoreyFebruary 28, 2024
 

Washington State embarrasses Arizona football, 69-7 in Pullman

A+frustrated+Rich+Rodriguez+watches+his+team+go+down+48-14+against+USC+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+15.
Sydney Richardson
A frustrated Rich Rodriguez watches his team go down 48-14 against USC on Saturday, Oct. 15.

That sound you hear is the door emphatically slamming on the faint hope of a bowl game as the Wildcats football team was destroyed at Martin Stadium Saturday against the Washington State Cougars losing 69-7.

On the first play of the game quarterback Brandon Dawkins found wide receiver Nate Phillips for a 75-yard touchdown, however, offensive linemen Christian Boettcher was called for an illegal man down field penalty and thus halted any chance the Wildcats had at being competitive in the game.

“I’m embarrassed, we should be embarrassed,” said head coach Rich Rodriguez to the Arizona Daily Star’s Michael Lev. “We’ll climb out of this; it’s just right now it’s not fun, not fun for our fans, we’re embarrassed.”

The next quarter would be filled with missed assignments, turnovers, shaky quarterback play and the end to the Wildcats’ bowl hopes.

Quarterbacks Dawkins and Anu Solomon each saw the field and each turned the ball over. The lack of production on the offensive side of the ball gave the Cougars more opportunities for their quarterback Luke Falk, the nations leading passer.

“We were gonna play both of them [Dawkins and Solomon] just to get Brandon to settle down a little bit,” Rodriguez said.

Falk torched the Wildcats for 163 yards on 14 of 16 passes and three touchdowns less than five minutes into the second quarter. Arizona was lost on defense with linebackers DeAndre’ Miller and Paul Magloire Jr. unable to stop underneath throws time and time again. The pass rush of the Wildcats was unable to put any pressure on Falk who seemingly had as much time to throw as he wanted in picking apart the Arizona defense.

The rushing of the Cougars added another dimension the Wildcats could not contain as they ran for 83 yards on 12 carries through 20 minutes of play.

The Wildcats came in hoping senior wideout turned running back Samajie Grant would improve on his running skills and add another element. He did not, instead running sideline to sideline in search of yards that Washington State wouldn’t give up.

The beat-down continued into the second half as the Cougars scored another 31 points on the coat tails of Falk’s 311 passing yards, four touchdowns on 32 of 35 passing. The passing defense was inefficient, causing only five incomplete passes total for the entire game.

“It seemed like when we played man we didn’t get there and they made big plays,” Rodriguez said.

The Wildcats shuffled in and out quarterbacks all game long but nothing could overcome the blitz schemes and pressure applied by WSU. The Cougars sacked UA quarterbacks five times and pressured them continuously the entire game. Arizona’s combined three quarterbacks, including when true freshman Khalil Tate was thrown in the mix, made for 128 yards total passing. Couple the passing with a lackluster rushing attack and it makes a recipe for disaster, which the scene in Pullman definitely was.

Next week the Wildcats have an equal if not harder test as they will face a much improved Colorado team looking to win the South division. Game time is at 8 p.m. at Arizona Stadium and is one of two remaining home games left on the season. 

“For us the only thing we can do is mess up someone else’s season,” Rodriguez said. “We’re not gonna quit trying that’s for sure, that’s what I told the team.”


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