PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) Noah Fifita threw for 342 yards, Jonah Coleman had 168 yards from scrimmage and three rushing touchdowns and Arizona forced three turnovers in a 44-6 victory over No. 19 Washington State on Saturday night.

The Wildcats (4-3, 2-2 Pac-12) scored 44 straight points to break through in a big way after nearly upsetting top-10 teams the last two weeks.

“Washington State’s top 20 in the country, and we went on the road and played our best brand of football,” Arizona coach Jedd Fisch said. “So (I’m) excited about our offense, excited about our defense, excited about our kicking game. And more importantly we as a staff are excited about the direction of our program.”

Arizona lost last week at Southern California in triple overtime and the week before lost 31-24 at home to Washington. The Wildcats were tired of coming close and felt they were getting close to a breakthrough signature victory.

“We’re not here just to be close,” Coleman said. “We’re here to win and dominate. We took that and bottled it up and opened up a can of you-know-what on the team that we played next.”

Fifita started his third straight game in place of the injured Jayden de Laura, a former Washington State quarterback. He was masterful from the start against the Cougars, who dropped their second consecutive game after starting 4-0 and reaching No. 13 in the AP Top 25.

Fifita was 34-of-43 passing, but didn't throw for any touchdowns. All of Arizona's scores came on the ground. Coleman had 70 yards rushing and scored on runs of 1, 1 and 23 yards. Rayshon Luke rushed for 70 yards, including a 40-yarder for a score, and DJ Williams scored from 15 yards. Coleman also had four catches for 98 yards.

The Wildcats outgained Washington State 516-234 and forced three turnovers on downs, grabbed two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

“I liked everything about the way our defense played today,” Fisch said.

The Cougars (4-2, 1-2) scored on Nakia Watson's 1-yard run on their first drive but looked lifeless on offense after that. They were stopped on fourth down deep in their own territory, threw an interception on a double-pass and punted on their next three possessions before halftime.

After a sizzling first month of the season, the Cougars’ offense sputtered for the second straight week. Cameron Ward was 22 of 30 for 192 yards and two turnovers. Watson led Washington State with 88 yards receiving.

When the Cougars tried to get tricky, it backfired. Backup quarterback John Mateer was intercepted on a double-pass in the second quarter, and the Wildcats answered with Luke's 40-yard TD run. Arizona led 20-6 at halftime and was never threatened in the second half.

“We’ve got to find some answers to (our offensive struggles),” Washington State coach Jake Dickert said. “Obviously, the main answer is running the football, being physical, and getting to the point of attack.”


For the second straight week, the Cougars couldn’t get their rushing attack going. They managed 35 yards on the ground after netting 12 yards last week at UCLA. Washington State entered 117th in the FBS in rushing, averaging 103.6 yards per game.


Arizona: The Wildcats may look back at this win as a pivotal moment in the early in Fisch's tenure. After two overtime losses and a near-upset of USC last week, they will now have the full attention of the rest of the Pac-12.

Washington State: A season that started so promising has gone sideways in a hurry. After their first loss of the season last week at UCLA, the Cougars looked out of sorts in all facets.


Arizona: Hosts No. 15 Oregon State on Oct. 28

Washington State: At No. 8 Oregon on Saturday.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

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