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Errors again hold back Cats from win


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 Wildcats.

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 that.”

“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' undoing.



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