By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Sunday, October 23, 2005
Earlier this week, Arizona football
head coach Mike Stoops said he’d
take true freshman Willie Tuitama
out of his redshirt if he could
provide a spark for the struggling
The freshman quarterback replaced
Richard Kovalcheck in the first
quarter and led a 21-0 run, but
again Arizona mistakes prevented the
Wildcats for getting in the win
column in the first time in the
Pacific 10 Conference play.
Arizona fell to No. 15 Oregon 28-21
Saturday night in front of 48,052 at
Arizona Stadium in the debut game
for the highly touted Tuitama.
“He played well. He has some
correctable mistakes,” Stoops said.
“We will have to keep working to get
better. He’s pretty special.”
“At first, there was (a nervous
feeling), but after that I got into
a rhythm,” Tuitama said about his
18-for-34 passing for 182 yards, two
touchdowns and an interception.
For the second week in a row,
turnovers, penalties and dropped
balls hurt Arizona.
With the Wildcats and Ducks tied at
21 at the start of the fourth
quarter, senior running back Mike
Bell bumbled a handoff, as
linebacker Brent Haberly scooped up
the ball and took it 34 yards for
the deciding score.
“I take it on my shoulders, say, 'I
lost the game’ because I did -- two
costly fumbles,” Bell said. “There
was a bad exchange between me and
Willie. As a captain, I can’t do
“It’s something (where) you just
have to understand how to do things
every single time," Stoops said.
"It’s fundamentals, just doing
things right, being accountable.
It’s something we struggle with."
Arizona outgained the Ducks in total
yardage and won the
time-of-possesion battle, but two
blocked punts and four turnovers,
including two Bell fumbles and two
interceptions, were the Wildcats'