Just when Arizona appeared to have a reliable quarterback who could keep the Wildcats competitive in games, it was gone in one play.
At the start of the fourth quarter during Arizona's 34-16 loss to UCLA Saturday night, UA quarterback Jordan McCloud was sacked at the Wildcats' 43-yard line, fumbled the football and then exited the game immediately with a leg injury.
Arizona head coach Jedd Fisch said in his postgame press conference that McCloud's "right knee or right leg injury" isn't a "short-term injury," which could cost him significant amount of time or potentially the season.
Jedd Fisch says he doesn’t have a diagnosis for QB Jordan McCloud’s right leg injury. pic.twitter.com/16lhxLmHAj— Justin Spears (@JustinESports) October 10, 2021
"I I think we'll have to see the extent of it here soon," Fisch said. "Emotionally, it hurts. It's a first-and-10 ... He wound up taking a sack. With that fumble, with losing a quarterback, with having to put the defense on the field, that's a tough one."
Added Fisch: "There was a little bit of a deflation there, but our defense stepped up and did an incredible job of stopping them. ... It hurts when your quarterback spent the last couple weeks trying to get ready."
Prior to McCloud's injury, the South Florida transfer, who started his first home game on Saturday, was 21-for-30 passing for 182 yards while tacking 21 rushing yards. After throwing five interceptions against Oregon in Eugene for his first start at Arizona, which resulted in 20 points for the Ducks, McCloud completed 70% of his passes and didn't throw any interceptions Saturday night. First-day starter Gunner Cruz completed 4 of 7 passes for 48 yards, and is expected to be the Wildcats' starter against Colorado in Boulder.
One noticeable component to Arizona's offense that has significantly changed under McCloud's direction is third-down conversions; with McCloud, the Wildcats are 13-for-27 (48%) and are 9-for-47 (19%) without him.
After getting an MRI, McCloud's season will be announced during Fisch's news conference Monday at noon.
Contact sports producer Justin Spears at 573-4312 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @JustinESports