5:00 PM ET, October 4, 2003
Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA
PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Washington State coach Bill Doba had no explanation for the Cougars' sluggish start.
"I don't know if they were up, or down, or whatever, but I thought they were pretty lethargic," Doba said after the Cougars (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 Associated Press) beat Arizona 30-7 on Saturday.
Jonathan Smith looks for an opening. He caught an 11-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.
Matt Kegel threw two touchdown passes and Jason David returned an interception for a score for Washington State (5-1, 2-0 Pac-10), coming off an impressive victory last week at Oregon.
"I thought the defense played hard all game," Doba said.
David, a senior cornerback, agreed that the game was uneven.
"You come off a great win and it's tough to just let go of it. And I don't think we played a great game," he said. "We stayed focused and came out in the second half and played the game we wanted to play."
Washington State dominated Arizona (1-5, 0-2) in the Wildcats' first game since head coach John Mackovic was fired last Sunday. Mike Hankwitz is coaching the team on an interim basis.
The Cougars rolled up 513 yards of offense to Arizona's 198. Although Washington State had a 294-65 advantage in yards, the Cougars held only a 13-0 halftime lead.
"It was a tough week because of all the changes, but I think our players responded and tried to do everything we asked of them," Hankwitz said. "I am pleased overall that we came up here and fought into the fourth quarter."
Washington State held Arizona to just 65 yards rushing and the Wildcats were 0-13 in third-down conversions. The Cougars, who intercepted seven passes last week against Oregon, were able to grab only one against the Wildcats.
Kegel completed 18 of 32 passes for 315 yards, spreading passes among nine receivers. He was intercepted once.
Kegel sprained his throwing shoulder in the second quarter, but stayed in the game until it was well in hand.
"He got hurt in the second quarter, so he has some ice on that shoulder," Doba said. "He played through some pain. I thought Kegel was courageous."
The Cougars scored twice in the fourth quarter.
David stepped in front of a pass from Kris Heavner to Gilbert Harris and raced 34 yards to the end zone.
"It kind of went through my hands and hit my facemask and it was about to become another interception I was going to drop," David said, "but I made sure I caught it this time and took off."
Kegel completed Washington State's scoring when he hit Smith in the end zone on the 11-yard pass. The drive started after Mike Bell fumbled on the Arizona 20 and Eric Coleman recovered at the 19.
Drew Dunning hit field goals of 22, 38 and 23 yards in front of a homecoming crowd of 34,923.
The Cougars' first touchdown came from the Washington State 16, when Kegel hit Darling in stride down the right sideline and the 6-foot-3 junior stepped over linebacker Aaron Wagner, who fell.
Arizona didn't score until the third quarter, when Nic Costa hit Matt Padron with a 5-yard scoring pass to complete a 58-yard drive. The Wildcats gained possession after Washington State's Chris Bruhn fumbled.
Bruhn was filling in for Smith, who sprained his left ankle just before the half, and Jermaine Green, who bruised a rib early in the game.
Heavner completed 18 of 35 passes for 128 yards.
Arizona's defense deprived the Cougars of a score at the start of the second quarter. Michael Jolivette stepped in front of Kegel's pass in the end zone to spoil a 64-yard drive.
Washington State's defense did not record a sack for the first time in 23 games.
The Cougars were hit with a dozen penalties for 89 yards, several negating long gains. Arizona was flagged four times for 38 yards.
"It's nice to win 30-7 and not be satisfied," Doba said. I give Arizona credit. We warned our kids that they were going to be better here today than they were on video all week."