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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Defense carries Arizona football to its second win of the season

Amy Bailey
Arizona safeties Jaxen Turner (24) and Colin Schooler (7) tackle Texas Tech’s offensive player before giving up another first down. The Wildcats won the game 28-14.

Arizona football defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders with a final score of 28-14 at home last night in a game where fans anticipated a high-scoring game and a poor performance from Arizona defense.

Senior Khalil Tate outdid himself with an 84-yard touchdown run to beat his previous record of 82 yards in a game against Washington State during his sophomore year.

“We implemented some more run plays this past week,” Tate said on his record-breaking touchdown run. “No doubt we knew that would be an X-factor in this game. I’ve been using my legs a little more.”

The game was head-to-head for pretty much the entire night with one team scoring after the other until the fourth quarter.

          RELATED: 5 astounding stats from Arizona football’s rout of Texas Tech

After 45 minutes of action, the Wildcats pulled ahead of the Red Raiders and converted on two drives, one of which being 99 yards down the field, to get a 14-point lead and bring the score to 28-14.

On offense, Arizona’s rushing game led the way with a total of 314 yards on the night compared to Texas Tech’s measly 104 yards.

“It’s always nice giving up 14 points on a win, but there’s still a couple things we can clean up,” freshman linebacker Colin Schooler said. “Take away some of the big plays, those are kind of momentum swingers. But I liked the way that we battled tonight. I like the way how, when they did have big plays, we kind of quieted it down.”

Quarterback Tate led the way in rushing for the Wildcats with a total of 129 rushing yards and one touchdown. Gary Brightwell trailed behind Tate with 85 rushing yards on the night but scored two touchdowns for the Wildcats.

With windy conditions for most of the night, keeping the ball on the ground was definitely the safe bet. Arizona only passed for a total of 185 yards compared to Texas Tech’s 311 yards in the air.

Without a doubt, Arizona’s ability to perform under high pressure conditions helped them secure a win against a team like Texas Tech. Interestingly enough, the Wildcats went 15-for-21 on third downs compared to the Red Raider’s 7-for-17 on the night.

After penalties hurt the Wildcats last weekend against NAU, the team had no other option than to fix that this weekend when playing a team like Texas Tech. Sure enough, Arizona only had five penalties for 37 yards on the night, a contributing factor to its success against the Red Raiders.

After defeating the Red Raiders at home on Saturday evening, Arizona football will have a bye week. The team will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 28 at home against the UCLA Bruins.

Follow Amit Syal on Twitter.

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