Cats overcome adversity

For the better part of eight years Wildcat football has been plagued by a tendency to fold when adversity hits. When a bad play, a bad call or just plain bad luck occurs, the Wildcats seemed to have reacted in the worst possible way. On Saturday the Wildcats faced plenty of adversity and came away with a 20-7 win over Stanford.

Sure Stanford is winless. Sure the Cardinal are terrible against the run, but this is a struggling Arizona team. This is a team that had to start their former walk-on quarterback, only to see him go down to a knee injury in the second quarter.

Arizona faced adversity and for the first time in a long time they did not blink.

It was a tough week for the team. It was a week that saw Dana Dimel become the co-offensive coordinator. It saw Willie Tuitama lost for a few weeks with a concussion. It saw one player briefly leave the team and several other wondering what was going wrong.

If ever the Cats could be excused for getting down on themselves, this was the week.

After all they had failed to rush for positive yards in three games. They had lost three straight games. Fans were jumping off the bandwagon and coaches had to be wondering about their future.

All of this happened and the Cats won. They won in convincing fashion and it could have been worse had Austin not gone down with a knee injury.

Thanks to the long dormant run game, the Cats score on three of their first four drives and held on for the win.

The Cats scored on their first drive. The Cats marched 63 yards and capped things off when Chris Jennings burst 16 yards for the score.

Jennings rushed for 89 yards on 17 carries.

A Stanford fumble set up the next score. This time the Cats marched 40 yards in just three plays. Much maligned Chris Henry finished things off with a 18-yard run.

Henry rushed for 92 yards on just 16 carries. Freshman Xavier Smith chimed in with 56 yards.

The Cats added a field goal before Wopamo Osaisai intercepted an Austin pass and raced 72 yards for the only Stanford score. Austin was hurt on the play and left the game. Former starter Kris Heavner took the quarterback reigns and the Cats kept things close to the vest. Heavner led the Wildcats to a third quarter field goal and milked the clock the rest of the way.

The Wildcats threw just 12 passes, with Heavner going 3-3 for 14 yards. Austin was an efficient 6-9 for 64 yards before the injury.

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