Brandon Dawkins hadn’t played for Arizona since he was shoved into a bench in the first quarter at Colorado on Oct. 7. Khalil Tate was then inserted into the lineup, and the Wildcats haven’t looked back.
Dawkins came in Saturday to relieve Tate in a blowout, and helped Arizona’s rushing attack complete another historic evening.
Arizona racked up 602 yards of offense and rushed for a program-record 534 yards in Saturday’s 49-28 win over Oregon State.
Dawkins rushed for 30 yards on three carries and scored a touchdown with 6:33 remaining to close out the game, but that was just the icing on top of a very large cake for Arizona’s rushing attack.
The Wildcats set a school rushing record and scored seven touchdowns. Arizona rushed for the previous record of 511 yards against Arizona last year … you know, the game where the Wildcats didn’t throw a pass in the second half.
Saturday marked the fourth time Arizona has rushed for at least 400 yards this season, and the second time it has rushed for 500.
The Wildcats now lead the nation in rushing yards per attempt (7.3) and rank third in rushing yards per game (347.7). The school record for rushing yards per game is 276.5; the Wildcats are far ahead of that pace with still two regular-season games — plus a bowl game — to play.
UA coach Rich Rodriguez said the record is “nice,” and as much about the linemen as the skill-position players.
“Especially, if you ask anybody, it’s the big guys up front that take the most pride in it,” he said.
Tate rushed for 206 yards on 16 attempts, giving him 100 or more rushing yards for the sixth straight game and 200 or more yards for the third time this season. Only two players in Arizona history had more than two career 200-yard rushing games, and both of them — Ka’Deem Carey and Trung Canidate — were running backs.
Navy’s Keenan Reynolds holds the Division I FBS record for career rushing yards by a quarterback, and he only rushed for more than 200 yards four times.
Tate now has 1,293 rushing yards this season, the seventh-most in school history.
But Saturday was about more than the quarterback.
J.J. Taylor recorded his second 100-yard game of the season, with 129 on 10 carries. Fellow running back Nick Wilson rushed for 101 yards on 17 carries, and Zach Green scored his eighth and ninth touchdowns of the season.
Green is Arizona’s third-string running back.
“It starts with the big guys up front. They’re a really hard-working group. Our tight ends do a great job of blocking our receivers are overlooked in the way they blocked,” Rodriguez said. “We try to do different things with the run … there’s different things we do with the zone read and the reverse stuff that create big plays for us. So you don’t always have to throw it.”
Pima trio makes
Arizona Stadium debut
Landry and Wesley Payne have followed each other from Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix to Mesa Community College to Pima College and, now, to Oregon State.
“It’s been a miracle,” Landry Payne said earlier this week. “Me and him have had this dream all our lives and to be able to keep doing what we do together on the same team is a blessing. It’s something that I don’t take for granted.”
Both Landry, a safety, and Wesley, a linebacker, weren’t offered scholarships by Arizona.
Neither was receiver Timmy Hernandez, also a Pima alum. Hernandez caught his second touchdown against the UA in as many years on Saturday, this one a 15-yard score that came with 10:44 left.
Wesley Payne didn’t record a tackle on special teams, but Landry Payne finished with four stops.
- Arizona’s game at Oregon next Saturday will kick off at 5 p.m. and will air on the Pac-12 Networks.
- Scottie Young did not play against Oregon State with an apparent injury. Young was not listed on Arizona’s injury report before the game. Defensive tackle Kurtis Brown (concussion) was listed as questionable on the report and did not play. Junior safety Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles limped off the field in the fourth quarter and did not return. Receiver Shun Brown (foot) was listed as probable on the injury report and played, though he did not record a catch.