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Arizona Wildcats report card: QB, special teams, defense don't "grade out" in loss to ASU

2012-11-24T02:38:00Z 2012-11-24T02:44:27Z Arizona Wildcats report card: QB, special teams, defense don't "grade out" in loss to ASUBy Ryan Finley, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

ARIZONA’S REPORT CARD

FINAL SCORE: Arizona State 41, Arizona 34

Quarterback: C-. Matt Scott struggled in his final home game, completing just 19 of 39 passes for 230 yards and three touchdowns. He was intercepted three times, and fumbled once, the latter turnover giving the rival Sun Devils a chance to climb back in the game. Though his coach and teammates rallied around him postgame, it’s clear that Scott had a rough night — and was devastated by the result.

Running backs: B+. Ka’Deem Carey set the UA’s single-season rushing record, and finished with 172 rushing yards on 25 carries despite missing most of the second half with an apparent collarbone injury. Daniel Jenkins (21 carries, 78 yards) was a nice complement to the Wildcats’ biggest offensive threat, but Arizona’s rushing attack wasn’t enough to stop the Devils’ physical defense.

Wide receivers: C-. With Dan Buckner limited by an ankle injury, the Wildcats looked down their bench for production. They found some: Garic Wharton caught six passes for a game-high 89 yards and a touchdown, and backups Johnny Jackson (3 catches 21 yards) and Tyler Slavin (1 catch, 19 yards) produced. But Austin Hill was limited to 70 yards on five grabs, and Scott was wild on throws to other receivers.

Offensive line: B-. Arizona’s front five struggled to stop ASU defensive tackle Will Sutton, who finished with five tackles and two tackles-for-loss and disrupted a dozen plays. But the Sun Devils finished with just one sack, a victory — or at least it seemed — for the home team. Carey averaged 6.9 yards per rush behind the veteran group.

Front-six: C+. Walk-on nose tackle Tevin Hood finished with a team-high 10 tackles and one tackle-for loss, and linebacker Jake Fischer both forced and recovered a fumble. Justin Washington had the game’s only sack, and both Fischer and linebacker Marquis Flowers forced fumbles. But ASU averaged more yards per play (5.5) than Arizona (5.4), and ran at will during a fourth-quarter surge.

Back-five: C+. ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly completed 16 of 29 passes for 191 yards, and didn’t throw for a single score against the Wildcats’ secondary. But he hit a handful of receivers in the hands, and the Devils were unable to capitalize on a handful of keep plays. Tra’Mayne Bondurant forced a fumble, recovered a fumble and broke up two passes in his return from an injury, and finished with seven tackles. The Cats’ cornerbacks and safeties didn’t play poorly, but there weren’t enough game-breaking plays to push the team over the top.

Special teams: C. ASU blocked Kyle Dugandzic’s fourth-quarter punt, flipping the field position — and momentum — and giving the Devils’ offense a shot at an easy touchdown. UA placekicker John Bonano missed his first career PAT, but made up for it with a 2-point conversion run later in the game. He also connected on field goals from 33 and 23 yards. ASU’s Jon Mora, a former Wildcats walk-on, hit two field goals on a solid special teams night for the visitors.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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