Arizona's Road Triumph: Dominating No. 19 Washington State in Football

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Arizona’s Road Triumph: Dominating No. 19 Washington State in Football

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Arizona faced adversity when a prized recruit decommitted, questioning the program’s development. But the Wildcats showcased their progress by dominating No. 19 Washington State 44-6 on the road. This victory marked the largest margin of victory for the Wildcats in conference play in 40 years, the biggest win against a ranked opponent, and their second consecutive road win over a ranked team.

The last time Arizona achieved this feat as an unranked team was in 1981-82. Sophomore Jonah Coleman starred with three rushing touchdowns and 168 scrimmage yards. Redshirt freshman Noah Fifita secured his first win as the starting quarterback, and sophomore Rayshon ‘Speedy’ Luke scored his first career touchdown and ran for a career-best 71 yards. Defensively, Arizona notched its first two interceptions of the season, both by sophomore cornerbacks, and a sophomore defensive lineman had a crucial fourth-down stop leading to the Wildcats’ second score.

Arizona outgained WSU 516-234, with Fifita passing for 342 yards. The Wildcats held WSU to just 35 rushing yards after giving up 75 on the opening drive. Arizona scored on its first four possessions, a feat not seen since 2019 against Oregon State, though that game ended in a 56-38 loss. This time, they quickly turned the game around, trailing for less than five minutes.

At halftime, the Wildcats led 20-6, the largest halftime lead on the road in Pac-12 play in almost six years. Arizona extended their lead with a 21-yard field goal by Tyler Loop in the third quarter. They sealed the win with Davis’ interception, a 16-play drive, and Coleman’s third touchdown. DJ Williams and Coleman added more touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

After falling behind 6-0, Arizona surged ahead on Coleman’s 1-yard run, immediately following a 69-yard reception. A fourth-down stop and an interception set up more points for Arizona, making the score 20-6 by halftime.

Arizona now enjoys a break before playing two home games against No. 15 Oregon State and No. 18 UCLA. To become bowl eligible for the first time since 2017, the Wildcats need to win two of their remaining five games.

Reference

https://www.azdesertswarm.com/football/2023/10/14/23917459/arizona-wildcats-football-recap-wsu-cougars-blowout-sophomores-fifita-coleman-interceptions-pac12

https://tucson.com/sports/college/football/wildcats/arizona-wildcats-football-throttle-washington-state-cougars-pullman/article_e4361234-6af3-11ee-b630-afc61d624823.html

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