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November 8, 2008Every week this season, GOAZCATS.com will run a simulation of each game that the Arizona Wildcats football team is involved in. The simulation will run on the Xbox 360 version of NCAA Football 2009 by pitting two CPU-controlled teams against each other.
Arizona went into Pullman as heavy favorites and didn't disappoint as the Wildcats were able to defeat Washington State 56-11.
Willie Tuitama went 22 for 30 for 307 yards with three touchdown passes and zero interceptions. Tuitama was removed at the beginning of the fourth quarter for freshman Matt Scott, who went 4 for 7 for 33 yards. He also added 44 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown.
Arizona received a huge game from tight end Rob Gronkowski, who caught eight passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Thomas had six catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.
Nicolas Grigsby added 144 yards on the ground with two scores and Keola Antolin rushed for 123 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown run in the first half.
The Arizona defense had little trouble with the Cougars.
Quarterback Gary Rogers went 17 for 35 for only 103 yards, zero touchdowns, four interceptions and was sacked six times - three times by defensive end Brooks Reed .
Rogers' line didn't allow him much time to throw and his receivers dropped five passes on the afternoon. The drops were just as much of a problem as the running game was.
Dwight Tardy fumbled twice and rushed for only 42 yards - 30 came on a meaningless touchdown run against Arizona's second and third stringers -- in the defeat. The next highest rushing total for Wazzu was Logwone Mitz's 19 rushing yards.
Arizona came out firing on all cylinders as Tuitama drove Arizona to midfield before hitting Thomas for a 48-yard touchdown to give UA a 7-0 lead.
The next possession for the Wildcats saw Antolin juke three WSU defenders on the way to a 65-yard touchdown run to give Arizona a 14-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Rogers was picked off by freshman Robert Golden, who took the ball 35 yards for a touchdown as Arizona led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Wazzu was able to get a field goal on their next drive to put the Cougars on the scoreboard, but on the following kick off, Antolin took the ball all the way back to the Cougars 25-yard line. On the next play, Tuitama hit Gronkowski for a 25-yard touchdown to make it a 28-3 game.
In the final minute of the half, Tuitama was able to drive the Wildcats down the field again before Grigsby broke off a 3-yard touchdown run with only 17 seconds remaining to make it a 35-3 game in favor of the Wildcats.
Arizona would coast in the second half, letting mostly its back-ups play after a late third quarter Gronkowski touchdown reception. The Wildcat offense and defense handled lowly Washington State with ease.
In a contest that some may have considered a trap game, the Wildcats came out and took care of business and did not take the Cougars lately.
Arizona will travel to Eugene to play the Oregon Ducks next week.
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