ARIZONA’S REPORT CARD
FINAL SCORE: Arizona 34, Utah 24
Quarterback: B. Matt Scott played well enough to win in his return from a concussion, completing 12 of 27 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown and rushing 13 times for 74 yards and a score. Scott and tailback Ka’Deem Carey muffed two exchanges, and the Cats’ quarterback looked sluggish at times. But Scott played well when the UA needed him to: His 18-yard touchdown pass to Austin Hill gave Arizona the lead for good with 11 minutes 7 seconds remaining in the game.
Running backs: A-. Carey played like his old self, rushing for 204 yards and a score, even if he wasn’t feeling his best. Carey ran 26 times against the Utes’ formidable front, and was spelled by Daniel Jenkins (7 carries, 42 yards, 1 TD).
Wide receivers: B-. Arizona’s receivers had a hard time getting past Utah’s press coverage all night, and it cost them. Still, the UA’s top pass-catchers did a good job of making plays when it mattered. Hill had six catches for 96 yards; his lone touchdown gave the Cats a late lead. No other UA receiver had more than two grabs.
Offensive line: A. The Wildcats’ front five neutralized Utah’s Star Lotulelei, arguably the west’s top defensive prospect. That in itself is an accomplishment: Mix in the UA’s 320 rushing yards and the fact that Utah failed to sack the Wildcats once, and the line’s performance is worthy of a parade.
Front-six: B-. Utah gained 449 yards, the best performance of its season, and controlled the time of possession. But the Wildcats’ defense stiffened up when it mattered most; the UA made stops on Utah’s final three possessions to put the game away. Linebacker Marquis Flowers finished with a team-high11 tackles, and Jake Fischer had eight.
Back-five: C+. Again, do you praise the team for its solid finish or punish for the slow start? Say this about Arizona: The Wildcats did a good job limiting Utah’s top playmakers. Running back John White averaged 4.1 yards per carry, and quarterback Travis Wilson completed 28 of 40 passes for 311 yards and two touchdowns.
Special teams: B-. Utah turned a fake field goal into a touchdown, and kept the Wildcats’ specialists on their toes with threats of unconventional plays. Fortunately, the Wildcats played well enough on special teams to avoid getting burned. Kylan Butler thwarted a fake punt with a tackle from behind in the fourth quarter, and UA kicker John Bonano limited Utes kick returner Reggie Dunn to just 25 yards.