The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

86° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona football vs. No. 11 Oregon State recap: Wildcats one win from bowl eligibility

The+Wildcats+stay+quick+on+their+feet+during+the+Saturday%2C+Oct.+28%2C+football+game+against+Oregon+State+University.+Arizona+took+home+a+27-24+win+by+the+end+of+the+night.
Olivia Malone
The Wildcats stay quick on their feet during the Saturday, Oct. 28, football game against Oregon State University. Arizona took home a 27-24 win by the end of the night.

The Arizona football team played host to No. 11 Oregon State University on Saturday, Oct. 28, and pulled off the 27-24 upset. The Wildcats have now taken back-to-back wins against ranked opponents for the first time since the 2014 season when Arizona appeared in the Fiesta Bowl. Arizona also snapped a streak of four straight losses at home against ranked teams, with the last win coming in October 2018.

The Wildcats knew that a challenge was in store, with this tilt being their third top-12 matchup in the last four games and fourth consecutive ranked matchup. Oregon State quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was named to both the Maxwell Award and Manning Award watch lists, running back Damien Martinez is among the most productive in the Pac-12, and wide receivers Silas Bolden and Anthony Gould have been giving defenses fits. 

Offense

Noah Fifita returned as the starter for his fourth straight game with Jayden de Laura still apparently battling an ankle injury, despite him suiting up and being shown warming up on the sidelines. Fifita maintained poise throughout the game, completing 25 of 32 attempts for 275 yards and three touchdowns despite throwing an interception and being sacked a career-high four times. He now leads the team in all major passing categories.

Wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan remains Fifita’s favorite option, as he saw a team-leading 11 targets. He hauled in eight passes for 80 yards and a touchdown – his third in four games from his old high school quarterback. On the other side of the field, Jacob Cowing added to his streak and recorded his 52nd consecutive game with at least one reception, which is the second-longest active streak in the nation. Cowing recorded six catches for 36 yards and one rushing attempt for four yards. 

The running backs were the engine of the offense for the day. Senior Michael Wiley made his return after being sidelined with an injury for the last three games. His pass-catching prowess was on full display, recording five catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown was a 40-yard catch-and-run to put the Wildcats ahead 27-17 with under four minutes to go in the game. Jonah Coleman showed off his contact balance on a run where he shook off five defenders and Oregon State needed a sixth to bring him down. DJ Williams had a standout drive where he carved up the defense to set up Wiley’s second touchdown while taking time off the game clock.

Defense

The defense had a bend-but-don’t-break type of night. Oregon State entered the game a perfect 25-for-25 on red zone trips, but the Wildcats pulled off a crucial stop to leave the Beavers 28-for-29 on red zone trips by the end of the night. 

The defensive backs found themselves in the right spots throughout the night. Cornerback Tacario Davis had three passes just barely escape his hands that should have been interceptions, sending a message to Uiagalelei about throwing in his direction. One of Gunner Maldonado’s seven solo tackles was the touchdown-saving tackle on Oregon State kicker Atticus Sappington on a fake field goal attempt. Treydan Stukes and Ephesians Prysock each registered a pass breakup and three total tackles.

Jacob Manu continued to fill out the stat sheet from his middle linebacker position. He finished second on the team with eight total tackles, recorded two quarterback hits, combined with Justin Flowe for 0.5 tackles for loss apiece, and broke up a pass in coverage in the end zone. 

Special teams

Kicker Tyler Loop hit a career-long 51-yard field goal in the first quarter, surpassing his previous record of 48 yards from last season’s matchup against the University of Washington. Fifita was sent out on a pooch punt in the fourth quarter, netting 49 yards and setting Oregon State up on its own 5-yard line.

Record-setting night

Oregon State tight end Jack Velling hauled in his eighth receiving touchdown of the season. He is now tied for the single-season receiving touchdown record for Oregon State with the rest of the season to go. No other tight end in Oregon State history has hauled in more than seven touchdown passes in a season.

Looking ahead

Arizona will look to continue its winning ways on Saturday, Nov. 4, when No. 23 UCLA comes to Tucson for homecoming. The Wildcats (5-3) are just one win away from becoming eligible for a bowl game appearance. Arizona kicks off against the Bruins at 7:30 p.m. in their fifth consecutive ranked matchup.


Follow the Daily Wildcat on Instagram and Twitter/X


 

More to Discover