Notes, quotes and stats from the Arizona Wildcats’ 30-24 loss to No. 23 Utah
The Arizona Wildcats lost to No. 23 Utah 30-24 Friday night at Arizona Stadium. Here are some pertinent notes, quotes and statistics:
* Arizona has given up three points in the fourth quarter over the last three games and has lost two of them.
* Arizona committed five turnovers for the first time since a 49-0 loss to Oregon on Sept. 22, 2012 – Rich Rodriguez’s fourth game as Wildcats coach.
* Brandon Dawkins’ three interceptions were a career high. He also had a career-high 24 completions. Dawkins became Arizona’s all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks with 1,464 yards.
* The attendance of 36,651 marked Arizona’s first sub-40,000 home crowd since Nov. 26, 2011, vs. Louisiana-Lafayette. That was the Wildcats’ final game in a 4-8 season.
* Utah QB Tyler Huntley completed 8 of 9 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown before exiting in the second quarter because of injury. Replacement Troy Williams completed 9 of 18 passes for 131 yards.
* Arizona allowed 112 rushing yards, its lowest total in a Pac-12 game since surrendering 94 to Colorado in 2014. The Wildcats have allowed 129 rushing yards in their past two games, their lowest two-game total since holding UCLA and Washington State to 124 in 2009 (both victories).
* Opponents are 4 of 22 on third down against Arizona the past weeks.
* Utah’s Darren Carrington II had four catches for 76 yards in the first half. He got shut out in the second.
* Arizona outgained Utah 252-136 in the second half.
Rodriguez on what the loss means: “I’m proud of their effort. A lot of mistakes that we made we can fix. I think these guys will take it seriously, to heart, and try to fix some things. I still feel we can compete in the conference for a championship. A lot of football left.”
Rodriguez on Dawkins not seeing an open Trevor Wood on fourth down in the fourth quarter: “Well, let’s see here. If a guy is running a pattern on a pass play, he’s one of the options. Sometimes you miss him. Most of the time you don’t. But sometimes you do.”
Rodriguez on the UA defense’s performance: “They competed well. We gave up some first-down runs at times, so we couldn’t get a quick series. We were trying to establish the tempo and get their big guys tired on defense. So we didn’t get a lot of three-and-outs. But at the same time, they competed, tackled pretty well, got a couple big plays. There’s a lot of young guys playing for the first time. I like their intensity.”
Rodriguez on the replay review of Dawkins’ fumble: “I just watched what you all watched on screen. When they go for that long and it stands, because you can’t see the ball … I didn’t think it was a fumble. They called it a fumble from the start.”
Rodriguez on the targeting review on Dawkins’ final interception: “And then the last play, that was reviewed forever. It didn’t go our way. They didn’t throw a flag, but for some reason they stopped and reviewed it. They can review a potential targeting. I watched the replay on the screen. You saw the same replay I saw? OK.”
Rodriguez on how Dawkins can improve: “Just execute better. Trust the timing of the routes. Trust the patterns that we’re running. Sometimes the protection broke down a little bit too. It’s not always the quarterback. There’s a lot on his plate at times. We competed enough to win. We just made a few key mistakes.”
Dawkins on the loss: “Any loss hurts. You never want to go out with a loss. But, you know, I’m proud of the guys. Nobody gave up. Nobody hung their head throughout the whole game, and everybody kept playing. Tough loss, but a close loss we can build off of.”
Dawkins on whether he thought he fumbled: “No, but, I mean, you gotta go with the ref’s call. That’s what they called, and I shouldn’t have made it close. I should’ve held the ball a little bit tighter and not let them get a late strip. That’s on me regardless.”
UA freshman linebacker Tony Fields II on dealing with defeat: “Losing, there’s always a lot of frustration. But it’s about how you take the loss, not about how it happens. If we dwell on it, we become a worse team next week. But if we take the loss and try to do the best we can next week in practice in preparation for Colorado, we’re better.”
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham on having to switch quarterbacks: “Obviously, we want Tyler back as soon as possible. But Troy won nine ballgames for us last year, and he was ready. To his credit, when his number was called, he was ready, because he practices the right way all week long.”
* Arizona had 24 first downs; Utah had 21.
* Arizona had 200 rushing yards; Utah had 112.
* Arizona had 448 total yards; Utah had 341.
* Arizona averaged 5.3 yards per play; Utah averaged 5.2.
* Utah ran 66 plays and possessed the ball for 30:50; Arizona ran 84 plays and had the ball for 29:10.
* Utah committed nine penalties for 83 yards; Arizona committed four for 60.
* Dawkins had a game-high 90 rushing yards.
* Nick Wilson and J.J. Taylor combined for 88 yards on 23 carries (3.8 ypc).
* Tony Ellison led Arizona in receiving with six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.
* LB Colin Schooler led Arizona with eight tackles, including two for losses.
* Safety Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles had seven tackles and a pass breakup.
* Fields had six tackles, including a sack.
* DE Kyle Wilborn had five tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.