The Wildcats scored on their first two possessions. Davonte’ Neal danced away from at least four players en route to an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown. Arizona extended its lead to 10-0 with 8:28 remaining in the first quarter when Casey Skowron's 31-yard field goal capped a 13-play drive.
Arizona was just getting warmed up.
Anu Solomon, who completed 19 of 28 passes for 193 yards during the first half, led the Wildcats on a 10-play play drive that culminated with a 2-yard pass from Solomon to Neal and a 17-0 lead.
Seemingly desperate to generate positive momentum — the Cougars had just 70 yards of total offense during the first quarter — coach Mike Leach elected to go for it on fourth-and-1 at their own 34. But redshirt freshman running back Gerard Wicks was stuffed for no gain. That enabled Arizona to quickly extend their first-quarter lead to 24-0 when Solomon zipped a 21-yard touchdown pass to Nate Phillips.
Solomon threw his third touchdown pass of the first half when he converted on fourth-and-goal, a 3-yard completion to Cayleb Jones, to extend Arizona’s lead to 31-0 with 8:56 left before halftime.
Senior quarterback Connor Halliday, who completed 25 of 37 passes for 209 yards and two TDs during the first half, finally ended WSU’s scoring drought by throwing a tight ball into the hands of classmate Isiah Myers for a 37-yard touchdown.
After forcing a punt, Halliday then led the Cougars on a nine-play, 90-yard drive that ended when Myers caught an 18-yard touchdown pass.
Senior linebacker Cyrus Coen then recovered a Tyler Baker fumble on the kickoff return to give WSU possession at the Wildcats’ 17. But the Cougars could not pick up a first down and settled for a 40-yard field goal by Quentin Breshears.
HALFTIME: Cougs gain late momentum
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