ARIZONA St. 41 Arizona 34: 4th-quarter fail

Arizona quarterback Matt Scott is sacked by Arizona State's Keelan Johnson in the first quarter. Scott's rough night included three interceptions.


Wide receiver Gino Crump's performance in the Arizona Wildcats' blowout win over UCLA was, he said, more a taste of what's to come than a testament to how far he's traveled.

But that's semantics, really, and football is about facts.

Here's the truth:

• Through seven games, Crump - a senior transfer from West Virginia - leads the UA with 39 catches.

• He's third on the team with 387 receiving yards.

• Crump is coming off the best two games of his college career. He caught seven passes for 91 yards in the UA's Oct. 8 loss at Oregon State. His nine-catch, 103-yard showing in Thursday's 48-12 win over the Bruins was an eye-opener. On a shocking night - Arizona entered the game carrying a 10-game losing streak against major college programs - Crump was the biggest surprise.

"You could say that, but I wouldn't go that far," Crump said. "I have greater goals other than (Thursday's) game. It was definitely a good game for me. And (against Oregon State), I had a pretty decent game."

Crump will start at one of the outside receiver spots this weekend, when Arizona (2-5, 1-4) takes on Washington in Seattle.

That he's playing at all is, truthfully, a surprise.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 210-pound Crump arrived at Arizona in 2009 as a football vagabond.

He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., in 2006, and spent the next three years at Fork Union Military Academy, Glendale Community College and West Virginia.

The five-schools-in-five-years tag didn't bode well for his chances to play. Crump was forced to sit out his first season at the UA and was a marginal contributor last year, catching just four passes for 39 yards - all of them coming in nonconference routs of Toledo and The Citadel.

Things changed last spring when Crump, a senior-to-be, started displaying a better grasp of the offense and what's expected of him. He was arguably the team's most impressive wide receiver in training camp.

When Juron Criner, the UA's NFL-ready wideout, underwent an emergency appendectomy in Week 2 and sprained his knee against Oregon State, Crump filled in admirably.

Crump said he didn't lose heart when Mike Stoops was fired Oct. 10; if anything, the receiver said he's embraced what he calls "a transition stage" between Stoops and the UA's next head coach. Crump's travels make him ideally suited to handle the uncertainty, but it's about more than that.

"Being a senior," he said, "I have a responsibility to go out and handle my business the right way, come out and practice hard and give these coaches a fighting chance to win some games and give our team a chance to win some games.

"It's all about doing what I've been doing all year," Crump added. "I have to make sure that the guys that are paying attention to me and watching me, that I'm putting my best foot out there."

Thursday was both a happy ending, and a promising start. Semantics.

"I want to build off of this," Crump said. "I want to continue to keep this swing on the 'up' and finish out strong."

Up next

• What: Arizona at Washington

• When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday


AP top 25

With first-place votes in parentheses, records through Oct. 22 and previous ranking.

1. LSU (49) 8-0 1

2. Alabama (10) 8-0 2

3. Oklahoma St. 7-0 6

4. Stanford 7-0 7

5. Boise St. (1) 7-0 5

6. Clemson 8-0 8

7. Oregon 6-1 9

8. Arkansas 6-1 10

9. Michigan St. 6-1 15

10. Kansas St. 7-0 12

11. Oklahoma 6-1 3

12. Wisconsin 6-1 4

13. Nebraska 6-1 13

14. South Carolina 6-1 14

15. Virginia Tech 7-1 16

16. Texas A&M 5-2 17

17. Michigan 6-1 18

18. Houston 7-0 21

19. Texas Tech 5-2 NR

20. USC 6-1 NR

21. Penn St. 7-1 NR

22. Georgia 5-2 24

23. Arizona St. 5-2 24

24. Cincinnati 6-1 NR

25. West Virginia 5-2 11

Others receiving votes: Auburn 62, Southern Miss. 48, Baylor 47, Washington 32, Georgia Tech 30, Texas 26, Syracuse 24, Miami 6, TCU 4, Rutgers 3, BYU 2, Illinois 2.