QB Solomon returns to field, leads Arizona to 44-7 rout over Oregon State

TUCSON, Ariz. — Anu Solomon returned from a one-game absence and re-ignited the Arizona offense in the Wildcats’ 44-7 rout of Oregon State on Saturday.

The redshirt sophomore and second-year starter, who sat out last week’s 55-17 loss at Stanford because of a concussion, completed 17 of 30 passes for 276 yards, before sitting out the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) amassed 645 yards to 249 for the Beavers (2-3, 0-2).

Arizona rushed for 368 yards. Jared Baker led the way with 123, 70 on one play. Orlando Bradford gained 83 yards and scored three touchdowns. Nick Wilson, the Pac-12’s leading rusher entering the weekend, ran for 78 and scored twice.

Beavers’ freshman Seth Collins was 8 for 24 for 56 yards with one interception, ran for 56 yards and scored the Oregon State touchdown.

Collins and his top receiver Jordan Villamin left the game with injuries in the first half, Collins limping into the locker room before the second quarter ended. But both of them returned to start the second half.

The Wildcats took the opening kickoff and needed just 2:06 to go 75 yards in nine plays, the big one a 50-yard pass from Solomon to wide open David Richards. Wilson capped the drive with a three-yard run.

Arizona’s next two drives stalled, and the Wildcats settled for a pair of field goals by Casey Skowron.

Oregon State was down only 13-7 after Collins burst up the middle 17 yards for a touchdown with 10:59 left in the first half, and it looked like the Beavers might make it competitive in their bid to give first-year coach Gary Andersen his first Pac-12 win.

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But the Wildcats, the defending Pac-12 South champions who were outscored 111-47 in losses to UCLA and Stanford, scored the next 31 points. The first 14 of them came on three plays from scrimmage.

After Oregon State’s kickoff, Baker ran through a big opening up the middle for 70 yards, setting up Wilson’s 7-yard touchdown run.

On the Beavers’ next possession, defensive lineman Anthony Fotu tipped Collins’ pass into the air, then gathered the ball in and rumbled six yards to the Oregon State 1. Bradford scored from there, making it 27-7.

Arizona got one more touchdown before halftime, converting on third down four times in a 15-play, 65-yard drive. Solomon threw 11 yards to Richards on third-and-10, then threw 18 yards to Cayleb Jones to the Beavers 3. Bradford scored two plays later from the 1 and the Wildcats led 34-7 at the half.