The Arizona Wildcats lost to Arizona State 41-40 on Saturday at Arizona Stadium. Here are some pertinent notes, quotes and statistics:
- Kevin Sumlin finished with a losing record for just the second time in 11 seasons as a head coach. The only other time was 2010, his third season at Houston, when the Cougars’ top two quarterbacks suffered season-ending injuries. Arizona had just one losing season in six years under Rich Rodriguez.
- The loss to ASU was Arizona’s second one-point defeat of the season, the other coming Oct. 20 at UCLA. The Wildcats previously hadn’t lost by one point since a 30-29 setback against the Sun Devils in double overtime in 2010.
- ASU’s comeback from a 19-point deficit was its fourth largest since 1996.
- Arizona’s 40 points were the most given up by Arizona State this season. The previous high was 35 against USC on Oct. 27.
- ASU improved to 4-1 in games decided by three or fewer points under first-year coach Herm Edwards.
- Senior receiver Shawn Poindexter finished with six catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. The TD was Poindexter’s 11th of the season, tying Juron Criner (twice), Mike Thomas, Theopolis Bell and Austin Hill for the most in program history.
- Tailback J.J. Taylor ran for 144 yards on 28 carries for his seventh career 100-yard rushing game. Taylor finished the season with 1,434, fourth most in school history.
- Taylor’s 244 all-purpose yards gave him 2,027 for the season. Ka’Deem Carey (twice) is the only Wildcat with more since 2000.
- QB Khalil Tate threw three touchdown passes to give him 26 for the season, fifth most in school history.
- Senior receiver Shun Brown had five catches for 76 yards. He finished his career with 150 catches, which ranks eighth all time at Arizona.
- ASU tailback Eno Benjamin’s 80 rushing yards represented his fourth-lowest total of the season. He entered Saturday averaging 131.3 yards.
- ASU receiver N’Keal Harry caught four passes for 55 yards – his second-lowest totals in each category this season.
Sumlin on the difference in the game: “You go to the first half, we really moved up and down the field and kicked field goals instead of getting touchdowns. You get back to the end of the game and turn it over, you can’t do that in a close football game – in any game.”
Sumlin on his postgame message to the team: “First, I thank the seniors. I haven’t been here a year yet. I’m very appreciative of their work. You’ve got guys in there that are junior-college guys. You’ve got guys like Tony Ellison. Tony’s been here five years. … I appreciate them. You get a new coach, there are all kinds of new things that happen.
“For the young guys, the feeling in that locker room should be something that you don’t forget. In the offseason, when you don’t necessarily feel like that extra rep or that extra run, you’ve gotta go back to this feeling. There’s nothing wrong with that. Not forgetting that feeling and actually keeping that feeling in the offseason to help push you.”
UA linebacker Colin Schooler on the fourth-quarter turnovers and turnaround: “On a ball that gets intercepted, we want that back. Especially at the time of the game. But we can’t change what happened. The defense gives up a touchdown at the very end. If we hold them to a field goal, it’s a different ballgame.”
Schooler on whether he thought the game was over when it was 40-21: “No. It’s college football. Anything can happen at any moment. But we’ve gotta take care of the ball better on both sides. There’s two balls on the ground that the defense could’ve gotten this game that we didn’t. If we get those, that’s a huge momentum swing.”
Edwards on ASU’s comeback: “We just keep battling, and that's what makes football so great. It's the ebbs and flows of the game, and you just have to watch it unfold. A lot of games are tight, and you can't blink when you feel like you can get back in it.”
QB Manny Wilkins on ASU’s comeback: “So much adversity throughout this whole game, and we just stayed poised and trusted the game plan. Nobody was pointing fingers when something went wrong, and that's why we finished with one more point than they did.”
- Arizona had 26 first downs; ASU had 20.
- Arizona had 238 rushing yards; ASU had 136.
- Arizona had 520 total yards; ASU had 401.
- Arizona committed seven penalties for 62 yards; ASU had nine for 74.
- Arizona possessed the ball for 32 minutes, 17 seconds; ASU had it for 27:43.
- Arizona converted 9 of 18 third downs; ASU converted 4 of 12.
- Arizona scored touchdowns on 1 of 4 trips into the red zone; ASU scored on 3 of 5.
- Wilkins completed 18 of 31 passes for 265 yards and one touchdown; he had 57 rushing yards on nine attempts.
- Tate completed 21 of 39 passes for 282 yards with three TDs and one interception; he had 46 rushing yards on nine attempts.
- ASU’s Brandon Aiyuk caught five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown.
- Arizona’s Tony Ellison had five three catches for 50 yards and two TDs.
- Arizona’s Dylan Klumph averaged 49.3 yards on three punts, with two downed inside the 20.
- ASU’s Demonte King had a game-high 10 tackles.
- Arizona’s Tony Fields II had a team-high eight tackles, including one TFL.
- Arizona’s PJ Johnson had four tackles, including two TFLs, one of which produced a safety.