Arizona wide receiver Shawn Poindexter makes a touchdown reception against Purdue during the first half of the Foster Farms Bowl NCAA college football game Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – It was a back-and-forth battle between Arizona and Purdue in the Foster Farms Bowl, but a career night for quarterback Khalil Tate wasn’t enough as the Wildcats fell to the Boilermakers 38-35. 

With 5:37 remaining to in the fourth quarter, Tate led the Wildcats down the field and tossed his fifth touchdown to Shun Brown and Arizona retook the lead 35-31.

The ensuing drive, Arizona’s defense nearly caught a break with Purdue quarterback Elijah Sindelar fumbling on second down, but he picked it up and completed a pass to keep the drive alive, which brought up third and 10. With 1:37 left on the clock, Sindelar threw fade route to Anthony Mahoungou, resulting in a touchdown.

The Boilermakers popped Arizona’s late-game bubble and won the Foster Farms Bowl despite Tate throwing for 302 yards and five touchdowns, both career highs.

The Wildcats dropped four out of their last five games and finish the season 7-6. Rich Rodriguez is now 3-2 in bowl games at Arizona. 

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Arizona Wildcats aren’t dead yet.

Down by 17 at halftime, Arizona trails Purdue 31-28 through three quarters of the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi’s Stadium.

Khalil Tate has thrown a career-high and UA bowl-record four touchdown passes. A pair of 40-yard TD tosses, to Tony Ellison and Tyrell Johnson, accounted for the only scoring of the third quarter.

The second TD pass followed a tipped-ball interception by freshman safety Scottie Young Jr., the first of his career.

Tate is 14 of 18 for 245 yards. Purdue QB Elijah Sindelar is 25 of 40 for 305 yards and three touchdowns.

Arizona is set to punt from its 14-yard line to start the fourth quarter.


SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Arizona’s defense is losing bodies, and the Wildcats are losing ground.

Arizona trails Purdue 31-14 at halftime of the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi’s Stadium.

The Wildcats are in danger of losing for the fourth time in five games to close the 2017 season.

Purdue quarterback Elijah Sindelar has completed 18 of 28 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns. Khalil Tate is 10 of 14 for 145 yards and two scores. He has rushed for 37 yards.

Arizona defensive end/linebacker Kylan Wilborn left the game in the first quarter because of an undisclosed injury. The Wildcats were already without defensive tackle Parker Zellers, who was suspended for a violation of team rules.

The score was tied 14-14 entering the second quarter, and Arizona appeared to force a three-and-out. But J.J. Taylor nudged Purdue punter Joe Schopper, drawing a flag and extending the drive. The Boilermakers capitalized, as Sindelar found Gregory Phillips for a 22-yard touchdown.

Purdue scored again on in its next possession on a 13-yard run by D.J. Knox. That made it 28-14 with 4:11 left in the half.

Even when they appeared to have something going, the Wildcats were their own worst enemies. They advanced to the Purdue 32-yard line with less than a minute left, but Tate fumbled at the end of a 15-yard run.

The Boilermakers took over with 56 seconds left and appeared content to run out the clock. But Coach Jeff Brohm dialed up a fake kneel-down that resulted in a 30-yard gain for Knox. The drive ended with Spencer Evans’ 26-yard field goal, bumping Purdue’s lead to 17.

Purdue has outgained Arizona 371-228.


SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Arizona Wildcats are tied with Purdue 14-14 entering the second quarter of the Foster Farms Bowl at Levi’s Stadium.

After falling behind 7-0, Arizona scored 14 unanswered points on a pair of Khalil Tate touchdown passes. First, Tate found Shawn Poindexter running free for a 31-yard score, the first of Poindexter’s career. A well-executed play fake sucked in the secondary, leaving Poindexter uncovered up the right seam.

After Arizona’s DeAndre’ Miller stuffed Markell Jones for no gain on fourth-and-1, the Wildcats took possession at the Purdue 34-yard line. Three plays later, Tate lofted a perfect pass to Tony Ellison, who was one-on-one with safety Navon Mosley. The 29-yard TD gave Arizona a 14-7 advantage.

The lead was short-lived. The Boilermakers went 75 yards in five plays. Elijah Sindelar connected with Gregory Phillips for a 42-yard TD. Phillips beat tight coverage by cornerback Jace Whittaker.

The normally reliable Whittaker had a rough first quarter, surrendering two touchdowns.

Sindelar is 11 of 14 for 133 yards. Tate is 5 of 5 for 88 yards.



Michael is an award-winning journalist who has been covering sports professionally since the early '90s. He started at the Star in 2015 after spending 15 years at The Orange County Register. Michael is a graduate of Northwestern University.