News and Notes: Arizona/Oregon

News, notes and stats from the UA's 28-21 loss to Oregon. It was a game that saw Willie Tuitama make his debut. It was also a game that saw Mike Bell play his best and worst game of the year.


William Tuitama. Tuitama came out of his redshirt during today's game, and had quite an outing. He completed 18 of 34 for 182 yards, and two touchdowns. He did throw one interception, which came late in the third quarter, though it did not result in a score.


Mike Bell broke a 50 yard touchdown run. The run was the longest UA run of the season, and trimmed the lead down to seven points before the half.


Mike Bells two fourth quarter fumbles spelled doom for the Cats. The first resulted in a Duck return for a TD which put them up 28-21. The second fumble occurred late in the game as Arizona was driving down field with an opportunity to tie it up. They never got the ball back.


Today's game was the 31st meeting between the Cats and the Ducks. The Ducks had won the last six matches, and 10 of the last 11 entering the game.

Last time out, Kris Heavner was pulled out of the game and backup QB Richard Kovalcheck entered the game. This time around William Tuitama was pulled out of his redshirt to replace Kovalcheck in the first quarter.


Believe it or not, Kovalcheck is 510 passing yards away from tying Bruce Hill for the #10 single season passing record for Arizona. He is also a mere 14 completions away from tying tenth place for completions in a season.


Oregon began the game with an onsides kick that went out of bounds, giving Arizona the ball at their own 48 yard line. Arizona moved down to the 20 yard line, but Nick Folk missed the 37 yard field goal attempt.


Arizona's first play of the game was a handoff to Gilbert Harris who ran 20 yards for the first down. The run was the longest by the UA this season.

Mike Bell later ran 20 yards of his own. A few drives later and Bell had the big play that had been eluding him this season, as he ran 50 yards for the touchdown to trim the lead down to 7 with 4:52 left in the first half.


Brandon Lopez got his first career start in the game starting at fullback.

Running back Gilbert Harris got the call at running back, in place of Mike Bell.


Travis Bell caught his first pass in his career. It was a TD, thrown by Tuitama. It was his first TD pass as well.

It was the second time in two straight seasons that a tight end made his first career catch, which was also a touchdown, from a quarterback throwing his first touchdown, in his first outing. Both times it came against Oregon. Last year Richard Kovalcheck and Brad Wood hooked up in Eugene for their first career touchdowns.

With 2:01 left in the first half Brandon Lopez caught his first career catch for six yards. The catch got the UA a first down.

Ryan Kilpatrick also got his first career reception, a 16-yard pass from Tuitama for a first down.

The night also began the career of freshman quarterback Willie Tuitama.


The game marked the 14th straight game in which Syndric Steptoe caught a pass. He was knocked out on the play and struggled to find his way to the sideline. He did not return.


For the second straight weekend, the Cats outgained their opponents in total yards, but failed to come away with the victory. Arizona tallied 19 first downs, 212 yards rushing, and 199 yards in the air.

Oregon moved the ball 67 yards on the ground and 240 in the air. The 307 total yards was good enough for 10 first downs.

Arizona also controlled the time of possession with 33:18 compared to the Duck's 26:42.


Arizona suffered some injuries in the game. Steptoe left early with what appeared to be a concussion, though he was seen walking after the game. A good sign considering the hit that was laid upon him.

Brad Wood left the game with a head injury. He returned for one play but appeared woozy and was pulled after that. The most detrimental injury came with Danny Baugher injuring his knee. It appears that the punter is out for the year..


For the second straight year the Arizona/Oregon contest was a game of runs. Last year Oregon scored 28 straight before surrendering two late TD's to the Cats. This year the Ducks scored 21 in a row, before the Cats rattled off three straight scores.


The Cats held Oregon to 8.4 points below their season average and 14 points came from the Duck defense and the special teams. The Ducks were 80.1 yards below their season rushing average and 100 yards below their season passing average.

Arizona had 103.4 yards more rushing than Oregon normally allows but the Cats were actually 45 yards behind Oregon's normal allowance through the air.

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