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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA-OK State game notes: Cowboys mishaps prove costly; Arizona joins Top 25

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Colin Prenger/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Against Toledo, Arizona struggled its way to 24 points in an overtime victory. That wasn’t the case Saturday, as the Wildcats’ offense had its way with No. 18 Oklahoma State defense, scoring 59 points.

Arizona was able to take advantage of four Oklahoma State turnovers and 167 yards worth of penalties to score more than 50 points, the first time a Wildcats team has done that since a 2010 52-6 victory over the Citadel.

Just because the Wildcats put up 50 points and beat the Cowboys by 21 points doesn’t mean Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez was at ease with the way his team played.

“There’s a bunch of excited guys in that locker room,” Rodriguez said. “I wasn’t comfortable until the end; we’re going to have to grind out a lot of games this year. I told the guys I’m comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

The fact that Arizona was able to intercept Cowboy quarterback Wes Lunt three times, who was a perfect 11-for-11 against Savannah State last week, and not turn the ball over itself, is rather ironic considering OSU is known for its ability to force turnovers.

In 2011, the Cowboys led the nation with 44 takeaways.

“We shortened the field for them too many times,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said. “It was poor coaching and poor playing; that’s a bad combination. You can’t win, can’t be a good football team and you can’t win on the road, especially, playing like that.

“Give them credit. They didn’t turn the ball over and made plays when they needed to.”

The penalties by the Cowboys weren’t simply encroachment or holding, there were multiple 15-yard penalties stemming from unsportsmanlike penalties and unnecessary roughness calls, including a 30-yard gain on penalties from Oklahoma State defensive end Calvin Barnett’s roughing the passer, which he followed up by using a “WWF move” slamming Arizona quarterback Matt Scott on the ground, according to Rodriguez.

“It’s undisciplined,” Gundy said. “It’s on the coaches and it trickles down to the players. We gave them 167 yards in penalties and four turnovers. It’s bad football.”

Doing work in the red zone

After leaving multiple points on the field last week against Toledo, Arizona’s offense was perfect, scoring all eight times they had the ball inside the 20-yard-line, thanks in large part to a bounce-back game from kicker John Bonano, who made all three of his field goal attempts and seven extra points.

“I was frustrated at first because we kept settling for three points in the red zone and I knew that wasn’t going to be enough.” Rodriguez said. “But at least we were scoring.”

The Wildcats had scoring plays of one, 15, 13, eight and 25 yards all in or right outside of the red zone.

Against Toledo, only one scoring play —receiver Terrence Miller’s game-winning touchdown catch in overtime touchdown— was inside the redzone.

Arizona reaches top 25

Thanks to its performance against Oklahoma State Saturday night, the Wildcats made an appearance in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll at No. 24.

The Pac-12 now has five teams in the Top 25, with USC at No. 2, Oregon at No. 4, Stanford at No. 21, UCLA at No. 22 and the UA at 24.

The Bruins joined the rankings after upsetting No. 16 Nebraska 36-30. Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Oregon State shocked No. 13 Wisconsin in a 10-7 win.

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