The play of another strong-armed quarterback meant just one thing for the UA football team Saturday night at Arizona Stadium – another loss, the Wildcats' seventh straight overall and seventh consecutive in Pac-10 play, dating back to last season.
Oregon State was the offender this time, defeating the Wildcats 28-14 on homecoming weekend on the UA campus.
Beaver senior quarterback Derek Anderson threw for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Oregon State win, outdueling UA redshirt freshman Richard Kovalcheck, who managed 235 yards through the air on 19 of 38 passing in his second career start.
Kovalcheck tossed one touchdown but was intercepted twice on the day.
“I was pleased with a lot of our play throughout,” UA head coach Mike Stoops said. “Especially our play in the second half, I thought we looked like a football team – a complete football team.”
With Oregon State (4-4, 3-2 Pacific 10 Conference) leading 21-0 near the end of the third quarter, Kovalcheck connected with wideout Biren Ealy for a 27 yard scoring strike, giving Arizona (1-7, 0-5) first offensive pulse in weeks.
“I was really disappointed in the first half with the way our receivers played,” UA head coach Mike Stoops said, noting the multiple dropped passes by Arizona 's wideout corps. “A quarterback is only as good as his supporting cast.”
The touchdown ended Arizona 's 103 minute scoring drought, dating back to the Wildcats' 28-14 road loss to Oregon two weeks prior and spanning the equivalent of nearly seven quarters of play.
“I was pleased with a lot of our play throughout,” Stoops said. “Especially our play in the second half, I thought we looked like a football team – a complete football team.”
Trailing 21-7, Arizona stopped Oregon State on its next drive, only to see cornerback Wilrey Fontenot drop the ball on an attempted punt return, with the Beavers recovering deep in UA territory.
On the fourth play of Oregon State 's subsequent drive, Anderson kept it himself, scrambling right before diving for the pylon to put the Beavers up 28-7.
Arizona tailback Mike Bell cut the deficit to two touchdowns again with a one yard run with 9:18 to play, capping a 12-play 62-yard drive. Bell 's touchdown was just his second of the season, and first since the Wildcats' season-opening victory over NAU.
Anderson threw for 202 first-half yards, continuing the beating the Wildcats have taken from Pac-10 passers this season.
Oregon State opened the scoring with 6:16 to play in the first on a Derek Anderson 2-yard touchdown pass to Joe Newton after Arizona 's Pat Howard was flagged for pass interference in the endzone a play earlier.
The Beavers took a 14-0 lead less than 2 ½ minutes later when running back Ryan Cole punched it in for a 2-yard touchdown score.
“We've got a lot to play for next week to not finish last,” Stoops said of Arizona 's play date with Washington next weekend in Seattle .
The Huskies fell 31-6 to Oregon Saturday, equaling Arizona 's mark of 1-7 overall while falling to 0-4 in conference play.
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