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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football wins Pac-12 opener for first time since 2014

Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics
JJ Taylor had a career high rushing day of 284 yards during the UA vs OSU game on Sep 22. UA defeated OSU 35-14.

Fueled by a season-high 594 yards of offense and 432 rushing yards, Arizona football defeated Oregon State by a score of 35-14 in Corvallis, Oregon to get back to .500 (2-2). 

Arizona now moves to 1-0 in Pac-12 play, marking the first time since 2014 that the Wildcats have won their opening conference game.It’s also the first time the ‘Cats have won their first road conference opener since beating Oregon State in 2009. 

Running back J.J. Taylor highlighted the offensive outburst with a career-high 284 rushing yards on 27 carries, including two touchdown runs, while teammate Gary Brightwell added 113 rushing yards of his owno and his first career touchdown.

          RELATED: Five stats that defined Arizona’s win over Oregon State

Taylor put the game out of reach with six minutes to go in the fourth quarter as he took off on a 62-yard touchdown run to give Arizona a three touchdown lead.

The blowout came after a back-and-forth first quarter. After ending the first in a 7-7 tie, UA outscored OSU 28-7 the rest of the game.

Khalil Tate wasn’t asked to do much as the running game averaged 8.7 yards per carry. The junior quarterback completed 9 of 17 pass attempts for 152 yards and a two touchdowns, but was limited to minus-nine yards rushing.

Tate’s ineffectiveness in the run game was largely due to when he appeared to get hurt after he was tackled awkwardly by an Oregon State defender in the second quarter. Tate limped around after the play, but he stayed in the game afterwards and was limited in his mobility. 

Arizona’s defense also showed improvement, allowing a season-low 238 yards and holding the beavers to an average of 3.4 yards per play. Sophomore linebacker Colin Schooler was the backbone of the defensive unit once again, recording 10 tackles and one sack.

The Wildcats struck first as they took their opening drive to the house as Taylor bolted off on a 40-yard touchdown run. Oregon State tied it up late in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Arizona went on a 10-play, 90-yard drive that ended in a 21-yard touchdown pass from Tate to Shun Brown. Brown did most of the work as he took a screen pass and ducked and dodged around Beaver defenders to find the endzone.

          RELATED: Pac-12 season so far defined by new coaches, Heisman hopefuls

Coming out of halftime, the Wildcats got the ball to start and Tate led the team on a 4:21 scoring drive that resulted in a 16-yard screen pass to Shawn Poindexter for a touchdown. 

Early in the fourth quarter, Brightwell capped off a 94-yard Wildcat drive with an eight-yard TD run. The Beavers made things interesting when they brought UA’s lead down to just two possessions mid-way through the fourth quarter, but Taylor’s monster performance reached a climax with his 62-yard run.

Extra point:

  • Lucas Havrisik missed two early field goals, so Arizona called for a fake field goal to begin the third quarter. Holder Jake Glatting took the snap and ran eight yards to get the first down. Tate hit Poindexter for the score a few plays later.

Follow Alec White on Twitter

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