Arizona went into Saturday's game as close to two touchdown favorites over Washington State.
However, it was the Cougars that came out on top, as Arizona struggled in nearly every area of the game en route to a 24-17 loss at Arizona Stadium.
Starting on its own 28, Washington State got a 10-yard pass from Connor Halliday to Dom Williams on second down. After a pass for a one-yard loss, Halliday found Kristoff Williams for 12 yards. Teondray Caldwell proceeded to run for 13 and Williams caught a four-yard pass on the next play. The drive then stalled and Arizona came up with the stop on fourth down.
On first down from the Arizona 28, B.J. Denker connected with Trey Griffey for 11 yards. After a two-yard run by Ka’Deem Carey, Denker was sacked and the drive basically stopped, giving the Cougars possession on their own 40 with 10:11 left in the first quarter.
Washington State started the drive with a five-yard run by Caldwell followed by a 12 and 13-yard pass to Vince Mayle. After a five-yard pass to Isiah Myers, Marcus Mason gained six on the ground and four in the air. On the next play, he scored from 15 yards out, as the extra point put the Cougars on top 7-0 with 7:10 left in the first quarter.
Arizona was not able to get anything going on its second drive. Carey ran for five yards on first down, but Griffey was called for pass interference on second. Carey was able to gain 13 on the ground, but an incomplete pass forced the Wildcats to punt again.
The Cougars took possession on their own 28 with a 13-yard pass to Rickey Galvin. Two plays later, Halliday found Mayle for 27 yards and Caldwell followed it up with 16 on the ground. Arizona then got called for a pass interference penalty before Caldwell ran for three.
Two plays later, River Cracraft gained 13 in the air. The Arizona defense then held, but a 24-yard field goal put the Cougars up 10-0 with about two minutes left in the first quarter.
Needing an answer, the Wildcats started on its own 39 with a 13-yard run from Carey. Denker then connected with Phillips for eight yards and then ten more before Carey scored on the ground from 30 yards out. The extra point cut Washington State’s lead to 10-7 going into the second quarter.
Washington State got two small gains to start its drive, but Tra’Mayne Bondurant intercepted a Halliday pass on third down. Unfortunately for Arizona, Denker fumbled it on the play immediately after and the Cougars got the ball back on the 40.
After a holding call on first, Halliday connected with Williams for 13 yards and then proceeded to complete an eight-yard pass to Myers. A fumble then put the Cougars back seven yards and two consecutive incomplete passes led to a punt, putting Arizona on its own 10.
After a run for no gain, Denker picked up seven on the ground. He then found Terrence Miller for seven more and Carey ran for eight. Arizona got the first down with a three-yard pass to Phillips and Carey matched in on the ground. After an incomplete pass, the drive was kept alive with a defensive holding call.
Carey gained three on first down and Phillips then caught a six-yard pass. Carey picked up the first down with another three-yard run and after two from Denker, Samajie Grant caught a 27-yard pass. Three plays later, Carey caught a seven-yard touchdown with the extra point putting the Wildcats up 14-10 with 7:37 left in the first half.
Wazzu took possession on its own 20 with a two-yard pass to Kristoff Williams. After a five-yard pass to Mason, he gained eight on the ground for the first. Two plays later, Mason ran for 12 more, but a Derrick Turituri sack on the eventual third down forced the Cougars to punt with 4:25 left in the second quarter.
Arizona went three and out on its next series, giving the Cougars the ball on the 50. Mason caught a four-yard pass on first down and the Wildcats then held, forcing a punt from the 46.
Arizona got 15 yards on first down from the 43 due to a facemask penalty. Denker then completed a four-yard pass to Miller and after an incompletion, Carey ran for four. On fourth and two from the Wazzu 30, Denker hit Phillips for six yards and the first down. On that first down, Denker found Grant for a yard.
Miller dropped what would have been a touchdown and Arizona had to settle for a 40, but it missed, keeping the Wildcats up 14-10 at the half.
The first drive of the second half had nothing going for it, as the Wildcats went three and out. Drew Riggleman proceeded to drop the punt and never got it off, giving the Cougars the ball on the Arizona 31.
The drive started with a four-yard pass to Mason followed by a three-yard run to Halliday. After two yards on the ground from Mason, he gained seven more. Reggie Gilbert then got a sack, but it did not matter, as Halliday found Cracraft for a 23-yard touchdown and the extra point put the Cougars up 17-14 with 11:17 left in the third.
Needing an answer from its own 35, Arizona got a 14-yard pass to Griffey. Denker then gained five on the ground before giving it to Carey for four and then seven. Denker ran for five more and Carey proceeded to get gains of three and one. On fourth down, Denker converted with a two-yard run and proceeded to run for nine more.
Carey gained a yard and two plays later, Phillips got five, but Arizona was forced to kick the 25-yard field goal to tie the game at 17 with 6:36 left in the third quarter.
Wazzu tried to answer starting on its own 25 with a two-yard run by Mason. Bobby Ratliff then caught a seven-yard pass and Mason got two more on the ground. Dom Williams caught a five-yard reception and Caldwell caught a five-yard pass two plays later.
Caldwell then gained eight on the ground and Halliday found Cracraft for seven yards. Arizona’s defense then stood its ground and forced the Cougars to punt, taking over on its own 13.
On first down, Phillips caught a 14-yard pass. Two plays later, Carey gained three and Denker picked up the first with a nine-yard scramble. Arizona then got caught with an ineligible receiver and carey gained two yards on first down. An incomplete pass led to 3rd and 13 to start the fourth quarter, Arizona only got three yards and had to punt.
Jeremiah Laufasa started the drive at the 20 with a six-yard reception and Dom Williams added nine in the air. After a sack for a loss of six, Laufasa gained two on the ground. On third down, Dom Williams gained 24 and then followed with 13 more. Arizona was then able to force a 46-yard field goal attempt and it hit the crossbar, keeping the game tied at 17 with 10:24 left in regulation.
Carey ran for two yards on first down and Grant caught a nine-yard pass on the next play. Carey then gained four on the ground and Grant four in the air. Denker ran for 18 yards, followed by 5 and 7 from Carey. Arizona was only able to get a few more yards and tried the 34-yard field goal, which missed with 6:59 left.
Caldwell ran for three yards on the first play from scrimmage and Kristoff Williams then gained 14 in the air. After a sack for a loss of four, the Cougars got it back with a five-yard pass to Ratliff. Dom Williams then caught a 10-yard pass and two plays later, Halliday found Caldwell for 19. A few plays later, on third and four, Halliday connected with Myers for the 25-yard touchdown, as the extra point put the Cougars on top 24-17 with 2:15 left.
Needing a score to tie, Arizona started on its own 25 with a 15-yard pass from Denker to Carey. Two plays later, Griffey caught one for 16 yards and then Carey grabbed an 11-yard pass. Arizona found itself in a fourth and seven situation, but Denker ran for nine yards for the first. Unfortunately, the drive basically stopped there and the Wildcats lost the game.