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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


’Cats corralled by Cowboys

Emily Nielsen
Photo courtesy of Emily Nielsen/The Daily O’Collegian

STILLWATER, Okla. — On the third play of Thursday’s 37-14 loss to No. 9 Oklahoma State, the Arizona defense had a chance to make a statement.

With the Cowboys facing a third-and-seven from their own 15-yard line, Arizona could have sent the potent OSU offense to a three-and-out.

Instead, Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden connected on a seven-yard pass to receiver Josh Cooper to convert the first down, and the nine-play, 88-yard drive eventually resulted in one-yard touchdown run by running back Joseph Randle.

“It was a big momentum play for them,” UA safety Robert Golden said of the early third-down conversion. “They had the momentum on their side for pretty much the whole game.”

Oklahoma State scored on its first three possessions, racing to a 21-0 lead over the Wildcats, who weren’t able to get anything going offensively. Arizona rushed for just 49 yards, while OSU picked up 197 yards on the ground.

After picking up two first downs on its first possession, the Arizona offense sputtered with back-to-back three-and-outs, netting a combined four yards.

Although Arizona found itself facing a large deficit early in the game, quarterback Nick Foles said the offense didn’t ditch plans to run the ball.

“I think you stick with your scheme,” said Foles, who finished with 398 yards and a touchdown on 37-of-51 passing. “I think we stayed with how we play. We had a couple bad breaks and had some penalties that put us in bad situations.”

Arizona racked up 67 penalty yards on 11 infractions, three of which came during a crucial sequence midway through the third quarter.

With Arizona trailing 21-7, junior safety Mark Watley intercepted a Weeden pass at Arizona’s 5-yard line. After picking up five yards on first down, Arizona took a timeout because of confusion about substitutions.

After the timeout, Arizona was called for an illegal substitution penalty and then a false start on consecutive plays, and punter Kyle Dugandzic was forced to punt from the back of his own end zone, a play that Arizona was flagged on for lining up in an illegal formation.

“That’s coaching,” Stoops said. “It’s our fault … it’s bad. Just bad.”

Weeden set a single-game school record by completing 42 passes, breaking his own record of 34. The senior completed his first 13 pass attempts, and was 28-of-32 passing in the first half with 240 yards. Weeden finished the game with 397 yards and two touchdowns .

Criner “questionable” for Stanford game

After missing Thursday’s game because he underwent an appendectomy, Arizona receiver may not be ready to play next Saturday, when No. 6 Stanford travels to Tucson.

“We’ll see,” Stoops said. “It’s one of those freak things that’s disappointing for him.”

Criner’s appendix problems are the latest in the string of injuries for Arizona, which is leading some players to wonder if the team is snake-bitten.

“I guess it’s football,” linebacker Paul Vassallo said. “I don’t know, an appendix, if you can say that’s just football. But it is what it is right now.

“There’s no re-do, let’s come back in eight (or) nine months and do it again,” he added. “This season’s going, and we have to go forward with the people that we have.”

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