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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football’s key plays from season opener win over SDSU

Nathanial Stenchever

Jacob Cowing, a wide receiver on the Arizona football team, works on returning kick-offs on Aug. 20, 2022, at Arizona Stadium. The mock game would consist of the offense taking on the defense for the night in a friendly scrimmage.

The Arizona football team secured their first win of the season after defeating San Diego State University 38-20 on Saturday at Snapdragon Stadium in San Diego, California. Here are some key plays from the victory.

Halfway through the first quarter of play, redshirt freshman Dalton Johnson blocked a SDSU punt to set up the Wildcats with their best starting field position of the day on the Aztec 40-yard line. From there, it took only seven plays for Jayden De Laura and the Arizona offense to march down the field, resulting in a Jacob Cowing 17-yard touchdown reception to put the Wildcats up 10-0.

San Diego State began a drive on the Arizona 40-yard line following a de Laura interception. With Arizona ahead 17-10, SDSU could tie the game late in the second quarter with a score. After a 25-yard rush was brought back due to holding, SDSU quarterback Braxton Burmeister passed up the middle and was intercepted by Arizona defensive back Jaxen Turner with 2:15 left until halftime. The takeaway was key in preventing a SDSU score and setting up Cowing’s second touchdown catch of the day to put Arizona up 24-10 at the half.

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Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch must have been telling the team not to let up during his halftime speech. The Wildcats marched down the field and following a 37-yard pass to Tetairoa McMillan on the right side of the field, de Laura hit Cowing down the middle for a 25-yard touchdown, his third of the day. Arizona came out of halftime strong to take a 31-10 lead. Cowing is the first Power 5 receiver to have three touchdowns in a debut since Michael Crabtree in 2007, according to Fisch.

DJ Williams led the Wildcats’ rushing attack with 88 yards on 14 carries and a score. Leading 31-20 early in the fourth quarter, Williams ran to the left side for a 10-yard touchdown to put Arizona fans slightly at ease up by 18 points with 13 minutes remaining. Paris Shand forced a fumble and Kolbe Cage recovered it for the Wildcat defense later in the fourth as they secured the victory with a final score of 38-20.

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