The Arizona Wildcats lost to Houston 45-18 on Saturday at TDECU Stadium. Here are some pertinent notes, quotes and statistics:
- Arizona is 0-2 for the first time since 1981, when it opened the season with consecutive losses to UCLA and Cal. The Wildcats finished that year, Larry Smith’s second as coach, with a 6-5 record (4-4 Pac-10).
- Arizona has dropped five straight games, dating to last season. It’s the Wildcats’ longest losing streak since they lost eight straight in 2016.
- Arizona did not record a sack or a takeaway for the second straight game. That combination – no sacks or takeaways – didn’t happen a single time last season. It happened three times in 2016 (UCLA, USC, Washington State). All five games were losses.
- Arizona has lost two straight games to Houston, scoring a total of 34 points and only three touchdowns.
- Arizona has held the lead for just 7 minutes, 25 seconds of clock time through two games.
- Khalil Tate’s 46-yard pass to Tony Ellison in the fourth quarter was Arizona’s longest play of the season.
- Tate has gained just 22 net yards on 15 carries this season. He had no fewer than 24 rushing yards in any game last season.
- Tate has thrown three interceptions in two games vs. Houston. All three picks were by safety Garrett Davis.
- Tate established career highs in passing yards (341), attempts (45) and completions (24).
- Receivers Shawn Poindexter and Shun Brown set career highs with seven and nine receptions, respectively. Poindexter’s 134 receiving yards were the most by a Wildcat since Cayleb Jones had 182 in the 2015 New Mexico Bowl.
- LB Colin Schooler tied his career with three tackles for losses, including a safety.
- Safeties Xavier Bell and Dayven Coleman set career highs with six tackles apiece. Coleman’s stat line included 1.5 TFLs.
- Freshman tailback Darrius “Bam” Smith scored his first career touchdown and totaled 54 scrimmage yards on 12 touches.
UA coach Kevin Sumlin on running 100 plays but scoring only 18 points: “That’s very frustrating. We have to examine that piece. Last week we had four penalties and no turnovers; today we had eight penalties and two turnovers. A combination of all those things, that adds to a slow start. It’s something we’ve gotta fix.”
Sumlin on whether Houston’s tempo got the better of Arizona: “We practice against that all the time. We have a lot of good-on-good with that tempo. Heck, we ran 100 plays. We ran more plays than they did. They had more big plays. They took more shots. It’s a combination of the tempo and the deep throws. They hit a couple of them. We had a couple pass-interference calls.”
Tate on what’s holding back the offense: “One play. We’re basically one play away from being what we can be. One catch away, one read away, one breakaway touchdown. It’s simple. People just expect things to happen so fast.”
Schooler on whether the Wildcats were outplayed: “I had the confidence in our defense that we were going to dominate this game. They came out strong, and they played better than we did.”
Davis on the defensive strategy vs. Tate: “The game plan was to contain him. He’s a Heisman candidate, elusive quarterback, elusive guy. Containing him was going to be one of our biggest keys to victory.”
UH coach Major Applewhite on QB D’Eriq King, who accounted for six TDs: “I’m just proud of him. Forget titles, that guy is so competitive. He’s a great leader. He’s tough, because he’s been through adversity. He’s been told he’s too short his whole life. I feel that. I’m pulling for him. I love him as a competitor, and I’d love him if he didn’t play football. He’s just that kind of guy.”
- Arizona had 31 first downs; Houston had 28.
- Arizona had 150 rushing yards; Houston had 297.
- Arizona averaged 3.0 yards per rush; Houston averaged 7.4.
- Arizona had 531 yards of offense; Houston had 551.
- Arizona averaged 5.3 yards per play; Houston averaged 6.9.
- Arizona possessed the ball for 35 minutes, 21 seconds; Houston had it for 24:39.
- Arizona converted 8 of 20 third downs; Houston converted 8 of 18.
- Arizona was 0 for 2 on fourth down; Houston was 2 for 2.
- Backup QB Rhett Rodriguez completed 4 of 5 passes for 40 yards.
- Schooler had nine tackles, two QB hurries and a pass breakup.
- Dylan Klumph averaged 42.3 yards per punt with a long of 51 and three inside the 20.