Youth Has Been Served

Gronkowski, Grigsby and Ross all played valuable minutes and made the most of them in helping to lead Arizona to its first conference win of the season. The ‘Cats improved their record to 2-3 but more importantly, set the tone for the rest of the season by playing a much more physical and aggressive brand of football.

Youth was served Saturday night in Tucson as Arizona turned to a pair of freshmen on offense and a sophomore on defense to help stem the tide and beat the Washington State Cougars 48-20.

Freshman tight end Rob Gronkowski, a highly touted recruit who plays like Mark Bavarro and looks like Jeremy Shockey (minus the long hair and tats), duplicated the effort of USC's Fred Davis against these same Cougars last week in grabbing 4 passes for 115 yards and two scores.

In the ground game, Nicholas Grigsby set the same physical tone by bouncing off defenders and knifing his way through holes that helped spring him to 186 yards on 30 carries. The team would finish with 220 rushing yards while limiting the Cougars to only 71.

On defense, Devin Ross got much more playing time then he's been accustomed to and in the process introduced himself to the entire country as Arizona's newest Cover Corner.

All in all, it was total domination by Arizona in a second half that saw them outscore Washington State 28-7. Although the statistics don't show it, Arizona controlled the ball, had the momentum and made more of the big plays that kept the crowd alive and into the game until the final gun.

The big plays also kept Arizona returning to the end zone, something they haven't done in the Pac-10 with such regularity since the 2005 Homecoming Weekend Massacre of UCLA.

Willie Tuitama connected on 22 of his 31 passes for 346 yards. The junior quarterback accounted for five Wildcats touchdowns, throwing for four and rushing for another.

Tuitama hooked up with "Money" Mike Thomas on two of his passing touchdowns, Big Gronk on two others, and Grigsby on the other.

Defensively, Arizona looked mediocre in the first half and gave up a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive late in the second quarter that kept the Cougars believing as they headed into the locker room down just 20-13.

Washington State used that momentum to then mount an 8-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to open the second half that tied the score at 20-20.

Arizona answered though, going 62 yards in six plays to retake the lead 27-20.

There was no looking back from there as they would score three more unanswered touchdowns to win going away.

Up next for Arizona is a trip to Corvallis to play Oregon State. The Beavers lost to UCLA Saturday afternoon 44-14 in a game that was close until the Bruins ran off 28 straight fourth quarter points.

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