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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona vs. Cal football game preview

Kohichiro Yamada

The Arizona football team stands at the entrance to the field on Sept. 17 at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats would go on to win the game 31-28 and improve their record to 2-1 on the season. 

Start time: 2:30 p.m. MST

Location: California Memorial Stadium

Channel: Pac-12 Networks – J.B. Long, Max Browne

Line: Cal -3

O/U: 50

The Arizona football team will travel to Berkeley, California to play the University of California, Berkeley for the first time in California Memorial Stadium since 2017, and for the thirty-sixth time in program history. Arizona pulled out the win during their last contest in Berkeley 45-44.

The Arizona Wildcats defeated the Cal Golden Bears last season which broke Arizona’s 13-game losing streak.

“It was a relief, but we don’t even talk about that anymore,” Offensive Coordinator Brennan Carroll said.

The Wildcats are currently on a six-game winning streak against the Golden Bears, dating back to when Cal beat Arizona 24-16 in Berkeley. Arizona has an all-time record of 19-14-2 against Cal and is 8-7-2 during games at California Memorial Stadium.

Arizona has lost their previous two opening games of Pac-12 play and is 22-22 all-time during their first game in conference play of the year.

A key storyline heading into this week’s game is that the game features two Plummer brothers on both teams. Cal’s starting quarterback Jack Plummer is the brother of Arizona backup quarterback Will Plummer. Jack and Will Plummer seem to be playing it fair and not giving each other any tips about one another.

RELATED: Arizona beats NDSU by 3 points

Arizona tight end Tanner McLachlan has had a good start to the season, catching nine passes for a total of 111 yards and the third most receptions on the team.

McLachlan came to Tucson in December after deciding to leave Southern Utah University where he played the previous seasons at. McLachlan had to have surgery shortly after to repair a torn ACL. He chose to take a chance and join the team as a walk-on, earning a scholarship as the season was starting.

“I was kind of in between programs and decided to bet on myself, and that’s when I decided to walk on here,” McLachlan said.

McLachlan was also named Wildcat of the week this past week. Wildcat of the week is given to a football player that affects the program both on and off the field.

One of Arizona’s starting cornerbacks, Treydan Stukes, had a bone bruise in his knee during fall camp and is finally almost back to 100 percent after missing the first game against San Diego State University and playing a smaller role in Arizona’s past two games.

“It was a little tough at first, but my teammates were always there for me,” Stukes said.

After last week’s win against North Dakota State University, six Wildcats were given game balls: Jayden de Laura, Dorian Singer, Michael Wiley, Jonah Coleman, Hunter Echols and Kyon Barrs.

Arizona’s leading wide receiver Jacob Cowing is now tied for second in Football Bowl Subdivision football in touchdowns with five through the first three games. He has also continued his streak of 35 games with at least one reception. He is second in most games straight with a catch only behind University of Minnesota wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell.

Arizona defensive lineman Echols was named Pac-12 Co-Defensive Lineman of the Week, along with University of Oregon’s Brandon Dorlus for week three.

“We expected him to be a very good football player for us and [to] be able to help us grow on the defensive line,” Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch said. “We were hopeful, and he has achieved the leadership from the defensive line.”

As a whole, Arizona currently has the same amount of turnovers on defense as they did during the entire 2021 season. The Wildcats struggled to stop the Bison’s rushing attack, where they gave up 283 yards, which is their fourth most allowed during a win since 1980.

The Golden Bears have a very good defense as they have only given up over 20 points once this season, just last week against the University of Notre Dame.

“Defensively they are very sound, they have done it for a long time together … they are a very fundamental defense that plays tough,” Fisch said. “On both sides, I think they have very good skill players. I think that they have very good players that can make plays in space.”

Cal’s offense is the weakest part of their team, scoring only 37 points combined in their last two games. Last week against Notre Dame, Jack Plummer struggled as he completed 16/37 passes for a total of 184 yards and 1 touchdown.

Arizona has won two out of their last five games that were held at California Memorial Stadium. Each of the previous three contests were decided by 8 or fewer points.


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