Arizona rolled into Toledo on Friday and left with pretty much everything but the key to the city.
QB Nick Foles was as accurate as you could be -- 32-37 for 360 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception off the fingers of FB Taimi Tutogi.
Not to be outdone by Foles, WR Juron Criner put on a show for ESPN's national television audience. Criner -- who finished his night with 11 receptions, 187 yards receiving, and a gorgeous touchdown catch -- picked up a huge 45 yard reception falling on his back. Under heavy coverage -- some may say it looked like defensive PI -- Criner grasp the ball with his right hand, off his right thigh and cradled for the the catch with his left hand. Flip on SportsCenter, it will be there.
The defense looked rather solid considering all the questions about the inexperienced linebackers. JuCo transfer LB Derek Earls picked off a pass. DEs Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore made their presence known. Freshmen Shaquille Richardson and Marquis Flowers got in on the action as well.
Overall, the defense pitched a shutout. Toledo's only points came on a holding call in the endzone that resulted in a safety.
Special teams showed up as well. WR and returner William "Bug" Wright had a solid 35 yard punt return. Late in the game, Arizona forced Toledo's standout freshman WR from last year, Eric Page, to cough up a return inside his five to effectively close out the game.
Arizona opened the game moving the ball very effectively and scored on a gorgeous pass to David Douglas in the back of the endzone. On the next few series, Arizona struggled to move the ball, going three and out.
Pinned deep in their own territory after a Toledo punt, Arizona brought in Matt Scott under center. After barely dodging a safety call on a Keola Antolin rush to the right, Scott scrambled to the first down marker. However, the run was taken off the board, and Toledo was awarded with a safety for a blatant hold about 5 yards deep in the endzone.
The game seemed to be shifting momentum towards Toledo. Arizona initially struggled to get a running game going. The Rockets were fired up, making solid tackles, stalling Arizona drives, and firing up the crowd. Arizona burned two timeouts because of confusion.
Soon, Arizona got it together. Nic Grigsby rushed up the middle on a delayed handoff and cut outside for a 36 yard touchdown and the Wildcats established a healthy 21-2 lead by the half.
The second half was all Arizona and Juron Criner put on a clinic for spectacular catches. Arizona's dominance became very apparent and ESPN began focusing on the reactions of the Toledo crew operating their cannon that fell silent tonight.
The victory marked Arizona's first road opener victory since 2001.
Next week, Arizona hosts The Citadel. However, all eyes will be looking towards week 3 against #9 Iowa in Tucson.