The Arizona Wildcats struggled mightily for the first half against the Grambling State Tigers. There seemed to be no answer for Devante Kincade on defense and the offense was stagnant as Brandon Dawkins had early jitters in his first career start.
But things suddenly clicked for Arizona on both sides of the ball in the second half once the defense was able to figure out Trevon Cherry. It started with an interception from Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, which ended up being the first of five turnovers on the night for Grambling State.
"D-line they forced the quarterback to throw the ball quick. I didn’t have to do much but just sit there so thanks to the d-line," Flannigan-Fowles said after the game. "Hats off to the line. They did an extraordinary job of forcing the quarterback to make quick throws."
But once sophomore cornerback Jace Whittaker snagged an interception of his own, things really started to fall in Arizona’s favor.
Dawkins seemed a lot more comfortable as the game went on, dropping a beautiful pass to Trey Griffey towards the pylon for a 34-yard touchdown.
From there, the Arizona defense was able to give Dawkins the ball again after Cody Ippolito fell on a fumble in Grambling State territory. This led to another scoring drive, with Nick Wilson capping it off with an 11-yard touchdown run to give Arizona the first lead of the night, 24-21.
On the Tigers’ ensuing drive, Ippolito was able to fall on yet another fumble after Parker Zellers came up with the strip sack.
Dawkins used his feet to extend the lead to ten points, after weaving through the defense for a 21-yard touchdown run courtesy of some nice blocks downfield by his receivers.
Arizona was able to hold Grambling to zero points in the second half, ending the game with a Jarvis McCall interception.
The Tigers’ backup QB’s mistakes allowed Arizona’s defense to gain some confidence and turn the tide of a potentially disastrous game.