ARIZONA’S REPORT CARD
FINAL SCORE: No. 24 Arizona 56, South Carolina State 0
Quarterback: B. Matt Scott completed 30 of 36 passes for 277 yards and three scores against an overmatched SCSU defense, and ran nine times for 61 yards and a score. Backup B.J. Denker made his college debut and was solid, completing 6 of 10 passes for 78 yards and a score.
Running back: B+. Arizona emphasized the run against its small-college foe, and ended up averaging 5.8 yards per run. Daniel Jenkins led he team with 76 rushing yards on 12 tries, and Ka’Deem Carey (13 carries, 72 yards) was also solid. Both scored touchdowns, as did fourth-stringer Jared Baker.
Wide receivers: B. Twelve different Wildcats caught passes during the eight-touchdown, 689-yard onslaught. Dan Buckner led the way with six catches for 85 yards and a touchdown, his first of the season. Austin Hill (5 catches, 56 yards) was held below his conference-leading pace; Tyler Slavin and Johnny Jackson finished with five catches apiece.
Offensive line: B+. It’s hard to quibble with a unit that kept Scott relatively safe all night, and cleared the way for a rushing bonanza. The Wildcats’ front five continued to impress in Week 3; there may not be a deeper, more experienced unit on the field.
Front-six: B+. Arizona defensive line and linebackers helped pace the Wildcats’ first shutout in four years. Jake Fischer led the team with six tackles, and Marquis Flowers had four. Defensive end Dan Pettinato and linebackers Hank Hobson and Dakota Conwell made their debuts after missing the first two games with injuries. One quibble: Arizona finished with just one sack.
Back-five: A. The Wildcats’ starters played only about a half before being replaced by underclassmen and down-the-depth-chart players. Both units played well, limiting SCSU to 89 passing yards. Jonathan McKnight tallied his second interception in as many weeks.
Special teams: B. Saturday night was sweet for the special teamers, many of who got to watch from the sidelines. John Bonano missed a 25-yard field goal that would have extended Arizona’s lead early, but was a perfect 8-for-8 on PATs. Punter Kyle Dugandzic kicked just once for 44 yards. Arizona’s return men brought back the opening kickoff, then were never used again.