Arizona vs. NDSU football game preview


Kohichiro Yamada

Wildcats Issaiah Johnson (left) and Roberto Miranda (right) have smiles on their faces before a game against Mississippi State University on Sept. 10, 2022 at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats would lose 39-17. 

Ryan Wohl

Time: 8:00 p.m.

Location: Arizona Stadium in Tucson

Channel: FS1- Alex Faust and Petros Papadakis

Betting Line: NDSU -3

Over/Under: 49.5

This is the first time that the Arizona football team and the North Dakota State University Bison have ever faced off in a game. NDSU is 2-0 in the 2022 season so far after defeating Drake University and North Carolina A&T University by a combined 82 points while allowing 17 points. NDSU is a known powerhouse on the FCS level, winning nine championships within an 11 year span.

“[NDSU is] a very good team, I’m excited about our team, excited about our players where they are their mindset right now they recognize the challenge ahead of us we are really excited about our home field right now,” head Arizona football coach Jedd Fisch said. “I thought it was a great opportunity for our players to go play a great football team.”

Arizona has a good history against FCS opponents, winning 15 out of their previous 16 matchups. The Wildcats are currently on a one game losing streak against FCS teams after losing at home last season against NAU.

Arizona suffered a 22-point loss to Mississippi State University a week ago at Arizona Stadium in the Wildcats’ home opener. Quarterback Jayden de Laura threw three interceptions but the atmosphere in the locker room still appears to be positive.

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“He’s been very focused this week … we talked a lot about game management,” Fisch said. “We are going to continue to educate him, but I thought he really handled himself very well this week coming out and being determined to have a better game than he had last week.”

“Offensively, we don’t and can’t turn the ball over. It’s really important in a game like this to maintain possession,” Fisch said.

The Wildcats struggled to run the ball last week after having five different players attempt a rush for a total of 40 yards. On the flip side, Arizona’s defense has had trouble containing the opposing team’s rushing attack. They allowed 170 yards against SDSU and 106 yards vs. Mississippi State. NDSU is averaging 198 yards per contest on the ground throughout their first two games.

The Wildcats start four freshmen across the offensive and defensive side of the ball while having 28 total starters listed on their active depth chart.

“I think I saw something like we had 685 snaps of either a freshmen or redshirt freshmen last game along against Mississippi State,” Fisch said. “When you are playing so young in a lot of positions your gonna have little obstacles along the way that you are going to have to navigate.”

Arizona WR Jacob Cowing is a on a 34-game streak with at least one reception and is tied for the second-longest active streak among FBS players. After two weeks Cowing is tied for the most touchdowns in the Pac-12 with four while being third in receiving yards with 198.

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