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One might have expected a blizzard of weather-related questions for Rich Rodriguez after Saturday's game.

But they weren't the kind that Arizona might have been expecting to get before they pounded Utah 42-10 in the cold and wet weather at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Hailing from the desert conditions of Tucson, the Wildcats were widely expected to struggle in the less favorable Utah weather conditions. Kyle Whittingham had even openly asked for rain in the week leading into the contest.

Maybe practicing in sprinklers helped?

"Maybe the guys will be able to tell you more about that," he said. "I know that in the first half, it was like we overprepared, but in the second half when it started raining pretty hard, it was like we had the sprinklers on."

An early morning practice with the water running certainly helped Arizona prepare for the elements. But the Wildcats seemed ready in more ways than one to handle No. 20 Utah.

Their offense blew over the Utes after a few fruitless first quarter drives, even sustaining the loss of starting quarterback Anu Solomon. When they couldn't pass, they ran, and their blocks lined up almost in perfect sync to cut lanes into a respected Utah defense. Arizona's 520 yards of offense are the most any opponent has had all season on the Utes.

And on defense? Utah's sputtering passing game certainly played into their hands, but the Wildcats did plenty of work on their own: 7 tackles for a loss, three sacks and three picks spoke to the effort from a much-maligned side of the ball for Arizona.

In the win, the Wildcats proved both superior in speed and physicality, but that was helped along by the level of preparation they brought to the table. That's why, for the first time since 1998, Arizona has won nine games this season.

Maybe it shouldn't be a surprised: Of Arizona's last 11 games under 50 degrees, it has won 10. But that's not going to stop Rodriguez from dragging out his guys for sprinkler practice: That dedication has set the Wildcats — considered a less talented team than many in the Pac-12 — apart.

"We aren't the most impressive getting off the bus," he said, "but getting on the bus after the games, they have been a little more impressive." Twitter: @kylegoon —

Arizona stuns Utah

R The Wildcats drop a season-best 520 yards on Utah's defense.

• Arizona holds the Utes to 171 passing yards with three interceptions.

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