Oct. 25, 2010
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - A pair of Arizona football players earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors following the Wildcats' 44-14 victory over Washington last Saturday night, the league office announced on Monday. Quarterback Matt Scott was named the Offensive Player of the Week, while linebacker Paul Vassallo garnered the Defensive Player of the Week honor.
Scott sparked the Arizona offense to its most well-balanced performance of the season as Arizona rolled up 467 yards of offense, including 234 on the ground and 233 through the air. Scott completed 18-of-22 pass attempts for 233 yards and two touchdowns, while turning in UA's first interception-free game of the season on offense. Scott's pass efficiency rating for the game was 200.78, the best mark since Willie Tuitama's 201.84 against Washington State in 2008.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound junior engineered five-consecutive scoring drives for the Wildcats after they fell behind 7-0 early in the first quarter. Scott was nearly perfect in the first half, connecting on 14-of-16 pass attempts for 186 yards and a touchdown through the air, while adding 51 yards on the ground. The first half effort led to the Wildcats accumulating 30 points and 356 yards of total offense, their highest yardage output in the first half of a game since November of 2008 against Washington State.
On the defensive side of the ball, Vassallo headlined another standout performance by the Arizona defense, which shut out Washington in the second half. A junior college transfer who began his UA career last spring, Vassallo collected a career-high 14 tackles in the game, including nine solo stops, to go with a sack. His tackle total was the highest for a Wildcat defender since Xavier Kelley's 15-tackle effort against BYU in the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl.
Vassallo, who has a team-high 54 tackles on the season, was again a key cog in UA's run defense that kept the Huskies under 100 rushing yards in the game, including minus 24 yards for quarterback Jake Locker. Arizona held Washington to 290 yards on 66 plays in the game, solidifying for another week impressive defensive statistics that lead the Pac-10 and rank highly in the nation. The Wildcats rank No. 7 in the nation in scoring defense (13.4 ppg), No. 7 in rush defense (90.86) and No. 10 in total defense (285 ypg.). The Wildcats also rank No. 2 in the country with 3.57 sacks per game and No. 8 in tackles for loss (8.0 per game).
Arizona, ranked No. 15 in the Associated Press Top 25 and in the BCS Standings, turns its attention to UCLA this week. The Wildcats and Bruins will square off in a nationally televised game on Fox Sports Net that kicks off at 12:30 p.m. (PT) on Saturday.