ARIZONA’S REPORT CARD
FINAL SCORE: Arizona 49, Nevada 48
Quarterback: B+. Matt Scott was a hero in his final college game, leading the Wildcats to two touchdowns in the final minute as Arizona stunned Nevada. His 2-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Slavin with 19 seconds left tied the game; John Bonano’s ensuing PAT gave the Wildcats their first lead of the game. Scott completed 28 of 47 passes for 382 yards and three touchdowns, all of them coming in the fourth quarter. He was intercepted twice.
Running backs: A. Ka’Deem Carey rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns against the Wolf Pack, extending his NCAA lead in rushing yards per game and taking the lead in total rushing yards. Carey’s numbers are even more impressive given Arizona’s precarious spot in the fourth quarter: The sophomore tailback was used primarily a pass-blocker while Scott dug the team out of a hole.
Wide receivers: A-. Austin Hill finished his breakthrough season with a flourish, catching a game-high eight passes for 175 yards and two scores. His second touchdown cut Nevada’s lead to six points with 46 seconds remaining. Garic Wharton (7 catches, 84 yards) and David Richards (5 catches, 53 yards) both made clutch plays, and Slavin (3 catches, 23 yards, TD) made the most of a rare opportunity to play.
Offensive line: B+. Arizona’s veteran line played another solid game, clearing the way for 578 yards of total offense while keeping Scott safe. Seniors Kyle Quinn and Trace Biskin did a great job of blocking during the furious comeback; any sack would have spelled disaster.
Front-six: D+. Already stretched thin due to injuries and inexperience, the Wildcats’ front suffered a huge loss when nose tackle Tevin Hood was sent to the locker room for fighting with teammate Cody Ippolito on the sideline. Hood’s absence was felt the rest of the game: Nevada rushed for 403 yards and three touchdowns, and set an NCAA postseason record with 39 first downs. There were some bright spots: Freshman linebacker C.J. Dozier finished with a game-high 15 tackles, linebacker Jake Fischer had 13 stops and Marquis Flowers intercepted a pass on Nevada’s final drive.
Back-five: C-. Nevada’s Cody Fajardo picked Arizona’s defense apart before suffering a pair of injuries in the second half. And the UA still can’t cover tight ends — the Wolf Pack’s Zach Sudfeld finished with two scores. The Wildcats were opportunistic at times, though: Shaq Richardson intercepted Fajardo, and safety Jared Tevis forced a fumble. The Wildcats played without safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant, who was out with an ankle injury. Wayne Capers Jr. played well in his first career start, putting up seven tackles and forcing a fumble.
Special teams: A-. Arizona’s improbable comeback — and win — can be credited to Bonano, who executed an onside kick perfectly and then put the game-winning PAT through the uprights. Bonano was a perfect 7 for 7 on points-after; Kyle Dugandzic punted four times for 161 yards. The one downside? Kickoff returns. Daniel Jenkins muffed the first ball he touched, though he recovered and took the touchback; Jared Baker fumbled his first return, and Nevada recovered and scored.