Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Picks Do the Trick at OSU
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 30, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Freshman Willie Tuitama threw for 335 yards in his first career start and Arizona won its first Pac-10 game of the season with a 29-27 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.

Matt Moore threw for 436 yards for the Beavers, but had six interceptions and a fumble as Oregon State lost to the Wildcats at home for the first time since 1998.

Michael Thomas, another freshman, had 162 yards receiving and Anthony Johnson added 117 for Arizona (2-6, 1-3 Pacific-10). The Wildcats built a 23-10 halftime lead after a 40-yard interception return TD by Michael Johnson and a 75-yard TD pass from Tuitama to Thomas. Strong safety Johnson had three interceptions for the Wildcats and the entire secondary joined in with one each from free safety Darrell Brooks and corners Wilrey Fontenot and Antoine Cason.

Mike Hass had 11 catches for 190 yards for the Beavers (4-4, 2-3), passing James Newson (2000-03) to become Oregon State's all-time leader in receiving yards.

Yvenson Bernard ran for 192 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 12 TDs on the season for Oregon State.

Moore completed 32 of 43 passes, but had four interceptions in the first half. He settled down in the second half, leading the Beavers on consecutive scoring drives in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 29-27.

But after the Beavers drove to Arizona's 24, Johnathan Turner stripped the ball from Moore and the Wildcats' Spencer Larsen  recovered. Larsen led all tacklers with a career-high 17 and was helped inside with a career-high 14 hits by freshman linebacker Ronnie Palmer.

The Oregon State defense forced Arizona three-and-out on consecutive drives, but Moore threw two more interceptions, one coming on the last play of the game.

Tuitama, who played for the first time last week to replace Richard Kovalcheck, had success going deep against the Beavers. He completed 13 of 22 passes, and with five for over 35 yards. Thomas and Anthony Johnson averaged 40.5 and 39.0 yards per catch with their seven combined grabs.

Moore, a junior transfer from UCLA, has thrown 16 interceptions to just four touchdowns in Pac-10 play. Arizona took advantage of his throwing errors and fumble to take over the ball at the OSU 40 yard-line -- the one returned for a score by Johnson -- and in its own territory at the UA 27, 20, 19, 14, 10 and 4 yard-lines.

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