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Wildcats shown up by Tigers

SAUL LOEB/Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA QB Ryan O'Hara loses control of the ball as he is hit by Louisiana State University DE Jarvus Ryes on Saturday night. O'Hara completed seven of 20 passing attempts, and threw one interception in the loss to LSU.
By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday September 8, 2003

In Saturday night's 59-13 blowout loss to No. 13 Louisiana State, the Wildcats were left black and blue.

The Tigers supplied the black, while Arizona took care of the blue.

The UA wore its all-blue uniforms for just the second time in head coach John Mackovic's three years in Tucson, in front of a national television audience on TBS.

"LSU is a very good football team. We shouldn't take that for granted," Mackovic said. "Many people feel they are among the best in the SEC and maybe among the best in the country."

"It's too bad (the game) was on national TV, but sometimes it takes a slap in the face for some people to realize that this is (Division I) football," UA freshman quarterback Ryan O'Hara said.

JACOB KONST/Arizona Daily Wildcat
LSU wideout Devery Henderson hurdles over Arizona cornerback Michael Jolivette to score on a 55-yard reception.

The Wildcats committed three turnovers and 11 penalties for 91 yards, and were 1 of 13 on third down conversions on their way to the program's third worst loss in Arizona Stadium history.

"We can't get down on ourselves," said sophomore safety Darrel Brooks, who led all Wildcat defenders with 11 solo tackles and an interception.

The Tigers opened the game with an 80-yard, 15 play drive ¸ capped by a one-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Joseph Addai ¸ and never looked back.

LSU went on to score in its first six possessions ¸ five touchdowns and a field goal ¸ to jump out to a 38-0 halftime lead.


The Tigers out-gained the UA 481-182 in total yardage, most of which came in the decisive first half.

"Their defensive coordinator did a really good job," O'Hara said. "They had a feel for what we were going to do. He put people in the right places and they are good athletes, and they were making plays."

With just over nine minutes to go in the second half, the Tigers had out-gained Arizona in yardage 227-13, with the Wildcats yet to complete a pass.

"They're a veteran team," Mackovic said of the dominating Tigers. "They made few if any mistakes and capitalized on field position and every opportunity they had."

Through the first half, the two UA quarterbacks, O'Hara and sophomore Nic Costa, were a combined 1-of-12 for 19 yards and an interception.

Junior quarterback Matt Mauck did just the opposite for LSU. He was a near perfect 8-of-9 for 124 yards, including a passing and rushing touchdown. Mauck sat nearly the entire second half, making way for backup Marcus Randall who was nearly as impressive, finishing 10-of-15 for 165 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

Addai added to the downpour of LSU scoring with rushing touchdowns of one and eight yards, and the Tigers' second-string quarterback even got in on the action with a 55-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Devery Henderson.

Addai led all rushers with 86 yards on 18 carries.

The Tigers scored two second-half touchdowns on one-yard runs before the Wildcats got on the scoreboard when junior cornerback Zeonte Sherman returned an LSU fumble one yard to break up the shutout.

Arizona scored again with a little over four minutes left in the game when senior running back Clarence Farmer ran in from 10 yards out ¸ and punctuated the score with a spike that received a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"There's nowhere to go but up," O'Hara said. "We've just got to work hard in practice and bring our ╬A' game."

"The only thing we can do is learn from this game and we have to improve," Brooks said.

Mackovic agreed with his young signal caller and defensive leader, and explained the importance of using the first month of the season to improve.

"I've said this from back in August: the whole month of September is what's so important for us," Mackovic said. "How much better can we be at the end of September? We knew we were going to play real good teams. We knew that this whole month is a process before we get to the other seven games in the Pac-10."

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