Tag Archives: Arizona football

Oregon State Wins Shootout In Arizona

Oregon State started both halves fast, but used bigger finishes to both halves to outdistance Arizona in a shootout in Tucson Saturday. The Beavers scored on their first possessions of the game and after halftime, but it was a 28 point 2nd quarter and 2 more scores in the last 8 minutes of the game that produced the Wildcat Homecoming spoiling 56-38 win.

The Beavers rolled up 572 total yards, including 385 in the first half, using a balanced attack that saw both Artavis Pierce and Jemar Jefferson run for over 100 yards, and Jake Luton complete 20 of 26 passes, for 328 yards and 3 touchdowns.

The 1-2 punch of Pierce (114 yards on 15 carries), above, and Jefferson (105 yards on 22 rushes), who was seeing his first significant action since the Hawaii game, also accounted for 4 of Oregon State’s 5 rushing touchdowns, 3 by Jefferson.

Isaiah Hodgins had another monster game, with 7 catches for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns, and overcame a knee injury that knocked him out of action briefly late in the 2nd quarter, but Noah Togiai also had 5 catches for 69 yards and a score as well. Luton found 6 other Beavers as well.

The offensive barrage came despite the naming this week of Arizona Hall-Of-Famer Chuck Cecil as the ‘Cats’ new Defensive Coordinator.

Oregon State needed nearly all of it though, as the Beaver defense, though continuing their trend of being better at times, still gave up 526 yards, 378 in the air to a combined effort of Kalil Tate and Grant Gunnell, who combined to complete 26 passes.

The ‘Cats also got 78 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing from JJ Taylor, and another 54 yards and a score from Gary Brightwell, most of that on a late 3rd quarter Arizona drive that pulled the ‘Cats within 42-31. Taylor also had 7 catches for 89 yards.

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Arizona Dominates Outmaned Oregon State

Oregon State has returned from its 2 week venture into Big West and bottom of the Mt West territory, and the results in their Pac-12 opener were predictable. Arizona established the upper hand early, opening a 14-7 first half lead that belied how large their statistical advantage was. The Wildcats became dominant in the second half, and pulled away to a 35-14 win that was in line with an advantage in yardage of 594 to 238.

The ‘Cats served notice on the first drive of the game when JJ Taylor went 40 yards for the first of his two long touchdown runs that bookended his 284 yard afternoon to take a a 7-0 lead.

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Arizona Runs Over Oregon State

Last November, Oregon State beat a beat up Arizona team 42-17 in Corvallis. Going into tonight’s rematch in Tucson, most folks were expecting a similar score, except with the teams reversed.

And that was about what happened, as the ‘Cats literally ran over the Beavers for a 49-28 win, though that did represent the smallest of victories for Oregon State under interim coach Cory Hall, as the line was 22 points, so the Beavers did cover.

That’s about it though, and it was effectively over by halftime. Arizona, led by Heisman hopeful Khalil Tate, set the tone for the evening early, which was one of the ‘Cats literally shredding the Beaver defense.

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Thoughts On The Khalil Tate Phenomena And Oregon State In The Desert

Oregon State takes on Arizona tonight in Tucson. Its a rare (for the Beavers) actually nationally televised game on ESPN2, but the buzz won’t be about the visitors; the relatively large scale attention is entirely about the ‘Cats phenomenal phenome quarterback Khalil Tate.

Tate only took over as Arizona’s QB after Brandon Dawkins was rode into the bench in the ‘Cats first drive of their 5th game of the year at Colorado, and he’s already become a candidate to at least get an invite to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation.

Tate became the first person ever to be named the PCC/Pac-8/10/12 conference offensive Player of the Week 4 weeks in a row, in a magical October winning streak.

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Final Thoughts On The Return Of The Cats

Tonight (late tonight), Oregon State takes on Arizona for this year’s Dad’s night game,which will also be the 300th OSU game played at Parker/Reser Stadium .

It will be cold, damp, dark, and generally miserable, especially for the desert dwelling Wildcats. It will be interesting to see if the ‘Cats even bother to try, and there’s history of them not under difficult circumstances, including as recently as last year in Seattle. In fairness, its impossible to prepare in Tucson for what football in November in the northwest can be like.

Further, Arizona is the one team in the conference that’s in even worse shape than Oregon State, as far as injuries, talent deficit, and lack of depth goes. It’s why the ‘Cats are also 2-8, the same sorry record that the Beavers have, and an even worse 0-7 in conference. And why the Beavers are 6 1/2 point favorites, the first time Oregon State has been favored in a Pac-12 game in the Gary Andersen era, or against any FCS squad not named San Jose State in years.

It’s also the first visit to Reser by the ‘Cats since 2011, when a 37-27 Beaver win set up Oregon State for a 3 win season (the same thing a win tonight could do), and led to the firing the first of the following week of Arizona coach Mike Stoops. Which led to the hiring of Rich Rodriguez, and bowl trips every year for the ‘Cats until this season’s injury induced collapse.

Unlike Stoops, Rodriguez won’t be fired should Oregon State win.

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OOC Spotlight: Arizona

This summer, I wanted to review some of the top out-of-conference games in the Pac-12 and what they mean for the involved teams. I am not looking at necessarily the biggest opponent games, but more the ones that will could show what a team’s trajectory might be.

Arizona (7-6 in 2015):

vs Brigham Young University Cougars
U. of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Saturday, Sep. 3

Opponent at a Glance:
9–4 in 2015 (Vegas Bowl)

In the first year of the Kalani Sitake era at BYU, the Cougars are in a bit of a rebuild at spots, they do return 4 starters on their offensive line and most of their backfield. Quarterback Tanner Magnum is a dual threat QB who, if he can stay healthy, is a legit threat on any play.  I also like their running backs on offense.  Ty Detmer is the new OC for the Cougars and I think we can expect there to be some footballs flying around.  With Mike Empey as their offensive line coach, I think the tradition of stout and physical linemen will continue.

On the defensive side, BYU is going to be fully bought into the 3-4 defense, and have a lot of returning linebackers and defensive linemen to help ease the burden on their secondary.  I think up front, BYU will be stout and a tough team to handle.

Replacing all your receivers is not always easy, as we Beaver fans saw in 2014.  Another thing that is not easy is coaching transitions (again, close to home experience).  Sitake is a great guy and a perfect fit for BYU.  I am not sure how many parallels there will be to what Coach Andersen is doing at Oregon State, but BYU will probably have some confusion and changes that are going to show in game 1. While Arizona returns a lot of starters and experience, the Cougars will be starting off with a lot of new terminology and expectations. It will be interesting to see how the incumbent players and personnel respond.

What this game means for the rest of the season?
A lot of people are down on Arizona.  They are down on Solomon and the Wildcat defense.  I think that is dangerous.  As we saw, they are explosive when they want, and are aggressive on both sides of the ball. I think a win over BYU will be a big step in showing that Arizona is ready to compete in the south. I think their schedule sets them up nicely for a decent year.  A win over BYU would give them, most likely, a 3-0 start heading into their game against UW.  I am going to call that a loss, but if they can split their middle 4 games (@UCLA, @Utah, USC an Stanford) they have a shot at ending their season 3-1 for a 9 win season and a 4-2 record in the south. That would be a good boost to their already Pac-12 leading recruiting class of 2016.

So this BYU game is a huge one for Arizona to get rolling.