No. 19 Arizona 41, Pacific 9
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ A couple of Pacific-Arizona games have been close. This one started that way, but it didn’t last after Dan White got warmed up.
White exploded the idea of Arizona as a run-oriented offense Saturday night, throwing four touchdown passes in the first three quarters of a 41-9, season-opening victory by the Wildcats.
In the second period, senior Jonathan Prasuhn, who had attempted just two field goals in his career, celebrated the end of his apprenticeship behind 1994 Lou Groza Award winner Steve McLaughlin with a 42-yarder, then tied a school record and delivered a 20-3 halftime lead with a 57-yard field goal as time expired.
Fourth-string tailback Scooter Sprotte got the last TD on a 1-yard run as both teams used reserves in the final period of Arizona’s ninth win in nine tries against the Tigers, who haven’t beaten a Pac-10 team since 1983.
Pacific scared the Wildcats two years ago before Arizona pulled out a 16-13 win, but the average score in the series was 35-12.
The Tigers got a 31-yard field goal from Roger Fleenor and a 2-yard pass from Nick Sellers to Kerry Blakney.
Pacific scored first, driving 43 yards after an interception by Vince Bruno before Arizona stiffened and forced the field goal.
Then White went to work, finding Gary Taylor for 46 yards early in an 82-yard march to take the lead. He capped the drive with a 4-yard scoring toss to Mike Metzler.
His next two TDs went for 89 and 9 yards to Richard Dice, whose first catch, on the final play of the first quarter, was the fourth-longest in Arizona history. White found Rod Williams for 12 yards and a 34-3 lead late in the third quarter.
In the second half, Arizona’s stifling defense began teeing off on untested Chad Fotheringham, who started his first Division I-A game after transferring from a junior college.
Defensive end Tedy Bruschi had two sacks in the Tigers’ second series after the half, although one was nullified by a face-mask penalty on a teammate.
White missed his first three passes, including Bruno’s interception, but finished with 15 completions in 24 attempts for 254 yards. Taylor, who gained 96 yards in 11 carries, also had six receptions for 86.