Arizona Rides Early Lead to 34-27 Win Over UCLA
Nov. 3, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Willie Tuitama threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns and Arizona held off a UCLA rally Saturday to hand the injury-plagued Bruins their second Pac-10 loss in a row, 34-27.
Tuitama had scoring passes of 55, 8 and 27 yards. The junior completed 21-of-36 passes and was not intercepted. Nicolas Grigsby rushed for 124 yards, including a 60-yarder for an Arizona touchdown.
With UCLA down 34-14, sophomore Osaar Rasshan, the fourth quarterback used by the Bruins this year, led a rally that fell a touchdown short.
Kai Forbath's 51-yard field goal cut it to 34-27 with 5:04 to play, and the Bruins (5-4, 4-2), got the ball again with three minutes to go. Rasshan threw three errant passes in four downs, though, and the Wildcats (3-4, 4-6) had their second league win in a row.
Matt Slater returned a kickoff 100 yards for an early touchdown, but the Bruins had little else go their way in the first half of their second consecutive loss to a team in the lower reaches of the Pac-10. Last week, UCLA was beaten at Washington State 27-7.
Tuitama, meanwhile, took up where he left off in his school record 510-yard passing performance a week ago in Arizona's come-from-behind 48-41 win at Washington.
He found wide-open receivers most of the day, none more so than freshman tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had no one within at least 20 yards of him on a 27-yard touchdown pass that gave Arizona a 34-14 lead with 12:20 left in the third quarter.
Quarterback Pat Cowan, again starting despite a torn ligament in his right knee, was ineffective and replaced by Rasshan early in the third quarter. Rasshan had been moved to wide receiver before sent back to his old position because of the injury situation.
He led UCLA to two field goals and one touchdown.
The Wildcats amassed 345 yards while building a 27-14 halftime lead. In the second quarter, Tuitama was 6-for-9 for 170 yards and two touchdowns. The Bruins, meanwhile, managed 27 yards in the quarter.
The second quarter was a big-play display for Tuitama, who threw for 101 yards in two passes on one drive. From his own 4, Tuitama lofted a 46-yarder to Mike Thomas. After a five-yard loss on one of Bruce Davis' three sacks, Tuitama hit Chris Jennings in stride down the sidelines for a 55-yard touchdown.
Arizona's next scoring drive went 66 yards in four plays, beginning with a 44-yard pass from Tuitama to Delashaun Dean. The Wildcats capped the drive with an 8-yard TD pass to Terrell Turner and went up 27-14 with 6:11 left in the half.