The Arizona Wildcats weren't their sharpest in Saturday night's 34-17 win over Northern Arizona, but they were effective.
And, on a day filled with thrilling finishes across the nation, that was just fine.
Nicolas Grigsby rushed for two touchdowns and ripped off a 94-yard run to pace the Wildcats, who are now assured of a winning nonconference record for just the third time since coach Mike Stoops took over in 2004. The Wildcats started 2-1 in both 2006 and 2-0 in 2008; they finished 6-6 and 8-5, respectively.
Grigsby's two scores — a 25-yard run and a 30-yard run — helped pace the Wildcats through a sometimes-choppy first half in front of 50,623 at Arizona Stadium.
He was key to the Wildcats' final drive of the second quarter, an 18-play, 99-yard march. Terrell Turner gave the Wildcats a 21-10 lead with a 2-yard touchdown catch from Matt Scott, a play after Delashaun Dean hauled in a 23-yard grab. Dean was drilled by two NAU players at the end of the play, and had to be helped off the field. Scott then found Turner on a short pass to pad the Wildcats' lead.
Arizona added two scores in the second half to put the Lumberjacks (0-1) away. Keola Antolin punched in a 1-yard score on the first play following Grigsby's 94-yard run to give the Wildcats a 27-10 lead with 10 minutes left in the quarter. Backup quarterback Nick Foles hit Juron Criner for a 5-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the fourth quarter to make it 34-10.
The Wildcats (2-0) began emptying their bench midway through the third quarter. Foles entered the game with 7:15 remaining in the quarter, and drove the team about 40 yards before fumbling a snap and turning the ball over. Trevin Wade's second interception of the third quarter gave Arizona the ball back.
Arizona has not lost to NAU, a FCS (formerly Division I-AA) team, since 1937.