Arizona Wildcats-Washington State Cougars: Five Things We Learned This Week
1. Return Game Keys Win
When Travis Cobb returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown it set the tone for the game.
There are 11-year-old kids who have never seen a kickoff return for a touchdown by the Wildcats. Chris McAlister was the last Wildcat to do that in 1998.
The crowd seemed to know that Arizona would not be taking Washington State lightly. The Wildcats showed up and jumped out to a 21-0 lead within the first eight minutes of the game.
In the second half, Bug Wright had a punt return for a touchdown. The special teams did a great job setting up their blocks and creating holes for Cobb and Wright.
Arizona knew they were better than the Cougars and made sure that they were not upset on their home field during Homecoming.
2. "We've Been There"
Those were the words from Arizona's defensive coordinator after the game.
The score could have very easily 80-0 and showed how dominating they can be. They didn't and didn't need too.
Arizona has been were Washington State is. We all remember all of the one-sided losses that Arizona suffered when they were at their lowest.
Mike Stoops and Co. got out to a comfortable lead and went on cruise control. His goal was to get the win and make sure no one got hurt.
Stoops showed class in what could have become an ugly game. It's nice to see Arizona get a big lead and not have to worry about losing it.
3. Scott Regains Confidence
Matt Scott looked much improved from the last time we saw him in extended playing time.
Scott led the team in rushing with 91 yards on ten carries. He looked comfortable running the ball and showed better accuracy in his throws.
He showed confidence in his ability to make decisions to handoff or keep the ball. While he only threw five passes, he looked a lot better than he did earlier this season throwing the ball.
Getting Scott some reps was important for Arizona in order for him to gain some confidence, in case he ends up having to play when the game is close.
4. Backups play, Starters Rest
This game was an important one, not only for the Cats to become bowl eligible but to get their starters some rest.
Arizona needed the bye week in order to get some of their players healthy. Nic Grigsby and Greg Nwoko both didn't play this week and Brooks Reed saw limited action for the first time since the Washington game. Other Wildcats were reported to have the flu but most played through the sickness.
The Cats are about to embark on their toughest stretch of the season and need their starters to be as healthy as possible.
Arizona had their backup fullback Tami Tutogi play running back in the fourth quarter and he looked good rushing for 50 yards on 11 carries and hitting the endzone once.
5. Arizona has a stable of running backs
Arizona, time and time again this season, has shown its depth. No other position has seen this than running back.
Arizona has started three different running backs this season (Grigsby, Nwoko, Keola Antolin). Five backs have now seen action after all three starters have gone out with injuries.
The one who has been the most impressive has been Nick Booth. Booth isn't the best running back on the team but he has stepped it up when asked.
He wont be going pro, but he has looked good when he has played scoring twice and averaging almost five yards a carry on 28 carries this season.
(Photo by Liam Foley)
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