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December 6, 2008

Simulation: Easy win for Wildcats

Every 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 and quarterback Willie Tuitama were finally able to get over the hump against Arizona State as the Wildcats defeated the Sun Devils 38-13.

Tuitama, who was 0-3 in three previous starts against ASU, had his best Territorial Cup. He completed 31 out of 38 passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns. Tuitama was not picked off or sacked and was able to keep the Sun Devils' defense on its heels for the majority of the game.

Freshman running back Keola Antolin was able to take a ton of pressure off of Tuitama with a huge game on the ground. Antolin rushed 23 times for 177 yards and a score. Sophomore Nicolas Grigsby had a decent game on the ground himself. On 13 carries, Grigsby grinded out 77 yards and a touchdown.

Arizona State quarterback Rudy Carpenter was harassed all day and his performance suffered because of it. Carpenter finished the game 21 for 35 for 198 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Carpenter didn't receive much help on the ground as running backs Shaun DeWitty and Keegan Herring combined for only 67 yards rushing and didn't reach the end zone.

UA jumped on ASU early with two scores in less than three minutes.

First, Tuitama hit senior receiver Mike Thomas downfield for a 74-yard touchdown on the second play of the game to give Arizona a 7-0 lead.

Then, after a Devin Ross interception gave Arizona the ball back in Sun Devil territory, Antolin was able to break outside on a third-and-short and blew past the ASU defense on his way to a 28-yard TD run.

A Jason Bondzio field goal made it 17-0 going into the half and Arizona State's offense showed little signed of life.

The Sun Devils appear to wake up to start the second half. Carpenter led ASU on a 15-play drive mostly of short plays and passes before he found receiver Chris McGaha for a 19-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 17-7.

Arizona State's defense stopped the Wildcats on the ensuing possession and capitalized with a 33-yard field goal from Thomas Weber to make it a 17-10 game.

Arizona would answer back on the next drive. After Tuitama found tight end Rob Gronkowski twice for gains of 15 and 19 respectively, Grigsby took a hand-off from Tuitama and scrambled for a 21-yard touchdown to give UA a 24-10 lead.

To start the fourth quarter, the Wildcats would put the game on ice with a long drive led by Tuitama. Tuitama's favorite receiver on the drive was sophomore Delashaun Dean, whom he found five times on the drive, including an 11-yard touchdown grab to give Arizona a 31-10 lead and ended any realistic comeback hopes the Sun Devils had.

The teams would each add a score - UA a touchdown, ASU a field goal - as the Wildcats were able to end their losing streak to ASU.

Jason Nimrichter


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