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September 20, 2008

Arizona rolls UCLA

Every week this season, GOAZCATS.com will run a simulation of each game that the Arizona Wildcats football team is involved in. The simulation will run on the Xbox 360 version of NCAA Football 2009 by pitting two CPU-controlled teams against each other.

Arizona led from start to finish against an injury-plagued UCLA squad, as the Wildcats defeated the Bruins 23-13.

An efficient offense to go along with a strong performance by the defense led the way for Arizona.

Willie Tuitama and the Arizona offense had a very slow but mistake-free game. Tuitama went 14 for 15 while throwing for 125 yards and a touchdown.

Tuitama had a couple of tricks up his sleeve for this match up.

The surprise came in Tuitama's legs. Tuitama was credited for 10 carries for 21 yards but gained nearly all of the yards a single drive. On that drive, Tuitama capped it off with a rare touchdown run.

On defense, Brooks Reed had a huge day, collecting three sacks, and linebacker Xavier Kelley collected four tackles-for-loss as UCLA had a very difficult time moving the ball against a determined Arizona defense.

Bruins' quarterback Kevin Craft had an extremely effective game but struggled to put points on the board. Craft completed 30 of 38 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown. More than half of Craft's yards came in the fourth quarter when the UA defense went into conservative mode.

UCLA running back Chane Moline had a solid overall game with 115 yards of total offense but failed to reach the end zone.

For the most part, UCLA was only able to move the ball in small increments as the Wildcats were able to control UCLA on both sides of the ball.

Both teams got off to slow starts on the offensive side of the ball.

In the second quarter, the tempo picked up slightly but the scoring didn't. Field position became the name of the game in the first half and Arizona was able to kick two long field goals in the second quarter to go into the half with a 6-3 lead.

On the first drive of the third quarter, Tuitama showed off his rarely-seen running game to lead the offense on its first touchdown drive of the game.

On that drive, Tuitama carried the ball six times for 20 yards and capped off the drive with a six-yard touchdown run to give Arizona a 13-3 advantage.

UCLA started the fourth quarter by moving the ball with more success than it had at any point in the game. Craft connected with wide receiver Terrence Austin three times totaling 30 yards on the drive. They were also helped out on the ground when wide receiver Antwon Moutra took a reverse 14 yards up field for a first down.

Arizona was able to stall the drive when Reed powered his way for two of his sacks on the drive. UCLA settled for a field goal to cut the lead to 13-6.

However, Arizona answered right back when return man Keola Antolin set the Wildcats up with great field position. While Tuitama followed with completions to Mike Thomas and Juron Criner, Nicolas Grigsby added 18 yards on the ground to help the balanced offense. Grigsby capped the drive off with a nine-yard touchdown reception to put the game out of reach at 20-6.

Arizona would add another field goal before the Bruins added a virtually meaningless touchdown with 11 seconds as the Wildcats were able to come away with a victory.

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