Wildcats out to 30-14 lead at the half
UCLA's Jordan Lasley (2) is tackled by Arizona's Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles during the UA-UCLA game on Saturday, October 14.
Last season, Khalil Tate’s first start didn’t go too well. The freshman struggled against Southern Cal, eventually finding his way to the bench. The second time around has been very good to the sophomore quarterback as he got off to a hot start Saturday night. The young signal caller darted past the UCLA Bruins on the Wildcats’ first drive, giving Arizona an early 7-0 lead. On the scoring jaunt, Tate flashed the athleticism that made him the talk of the nation last week. It wasn’t the only time the former understudy would amaze the crowd at Arizona Stadium. On the ‘Cats second scoring drive, Tate executed a perfect pass fake and dashed past the Bruin linebacker corps for a seventeen-yard gain.
Tate averaged 14 yards per carry in the first half, but was at times inefficient through the air. His best throw came late in the first quarter, as Shun Brown broke free on a fly pattern. Tate hit the speedster in stride, putting the ‘Cats in position for their second touchdown of the evening, a one-yard plunge by tailback Nick Wilson. Wilson’s score was his 29th at the U of A, moving him past Nic Grigsby for third all time. The senior had a superlative first half, rushing for 53 yards. The Wildcat offense took full advantage of one of the worst defenses in the country, racking up 298 yards in the first half.
Coming into the game, many assumed that Heisman contender Josh Rosen would dominate an Arizona pass defense that has struggled at times. Rosen did complete fourteen passes, but his interception deep in Wildcat territory ended a drive that should have resulted in points. The UA defense forced three turnovers in the half, with two leading to points. Jace Whittaker recorded two interceptions in the second quarter, taking one errant Rosen pass to paydirt, giving the Wildcats a commanding 24-7 lead. The Bruins responded late in the half, scoring on a nine-yard Soso Jamabo run, to cut the lead to 24-14. Unfortunately for the visitors, they were unable to stop the ‘Cats, as Arizona responded late with a six- yard pass from Tate to Trevor Wood. The touchdown pushed Arizona’s lead out to sixteen points, 30-14.
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