Arizona Wildcats report card

Final score: Arizona 48, UCLA 12

Quarterback: B+. Nick Foles was stellar (again), completing 26 of 39 passes for 291 yards and three touchdowns, all to wide receiver Juron Criner; he was intercepted once. Foles would have thrown for more, but Foles was lifted in the fourth quarter for backup Bryson Beirne.

Running backs: A. Arizona's backs waited all season for a night like Thursday. Senior Keola Antolin (8 carries, 77 yards) paced a 254-yard rushing attack. Taimi Tutogi scored two touchdowns, and finished with 32 yards on six carries. Daniel Jenkins was the night's biggest surprise: An afterthought for the first half of the season, he rushed a team-high 10 times for 43 yards. Arizona average 5.5 yards per touch.

Wide receivers: A. Criner played the best game of a frustrating season, catching 10 passes for 101 yards and three touchdowns. Gino Crump (9 catches, 103 yards) had a breakthrough game. Dan Buckner and David Douglas had three catches apiece, while Austin Hill, Richard Morrison and Keola Antolin finished with one grab.

Offensive line: A-. The Wildcats' embattled line solved UCLA's defensive front, sparking a 573-yard offensive explosion. Arizona average 11.4 yards per completion and 5.5 yards per rush. The UA scored more points in the first half (42) than it had in any game so far this season.

Front 7: B+. Interim coach Tim Kish dusted off an old favorite, the double-eagle flex formation, to stop UCLA's Pistol rushing attack. It worked: the Wildcats limited UCLA to just 37 rushing yards, sacked the quarterback twice and forced two fumbles. Freshman Tra'Mayne Bondurant, a safety, started at linebacker/nickelback and led the team with eight tackles. Linebacker Paul Vassallo had six tackles and a sack and recovered a fumble.

Secondary: C. The Wildcats surrendered 296 passing yards and a touchdown - not that it mattered with UCLA playing from behind most of the game. Cornerback Shaquille Richardson was ejected from the game for his part in a brawl just before halftime; former walk-on Lyle Brown finished the game at cornerback. Brown and safeties Marquis Flowers and Robert Golden finished with three tackles apiece. The Wildcats' backup played most of the second half.

Special teams: A+. Seven weeks into the 2011 season, the UA may have found a kicker: John Bonano. The senior was successful on all eight of his kicks Thursday night, hitting six PATs and field goals from 22 and 41 yards away. So what if UCLA's Josh Smith racked up 147 total return yards? It was Bonano's night.


The sports editor of the Arizona Daily Star.