Arizona vs. Utah college football

Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin watches with a pained expression during the first half Friday. The first-year coach is 3-4 overall and 2-2 in Pac-12 play.

The Arizona Wildcats lost to Utah 42-10 on Friday night at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City. Here are some pertinent notes, quotes and statistics:

NOTES

  • After winning four games in a row in the series, Arizona has lost three straight. The Wildcats have lost two in a row in Utah. Their last victory, in 2014, came by the same 42-10 score.
  • The 32-point margin was Arizona’s largest in a defeat since its 69-7 loss to Washington State in 2016. The Wildcats lost by 25 points each of the next two weeks. Their largest loss last season was 20 points (at Oregon). They lost by 27 at Houston in Week 2.
  • Utah outscored Arizona 28-0 in the first half. Opponents have outscored the Wildcats 121-58 in the first halves of games this season. Arizona has outscored the opposition 134-80 after intermission.
  • Utah converted its first four third-down attempts. The Utes went 1 for 9 from that point forward. They were 3 for 3 on fourth down. Arizona was 1 for 5.
  • Utah’s opening possession took 7 minutes, 13 seconds off the clock. It was the Utes’ longest scoring drive of the season.
  • Utah held Arizona to 72 rushing yards, the fourth time in six games the Utes have held an opponent under 100.
  • Arizona QB Khalil Tate (ankle), offensive tackle Layth Friekh (ankles) and defensive tackle Dereck Boles (undisclosed) left the game because of injuries and did not return.
  • Rhett Rodriguez notched career highs in completions (20), attempts (38) and yards (226). He also threw his first career TD pass.
  • Cedric Peterson caught the touchdown. He notched career highs with four catches for 57 yards.
  • Arizona linebacker Colin Schooler recorded his second interception in as many weeks but had a season-low five tackles, including only one solo.
  • Tyler Huntley became the second Utah quarterback in as many years to pass for a touchdown, rush for a score and catch a TD pass in the same game. Troy Williams did it against USC last year.

QUOTES

Schooler on why the defense struggled: “We were poor on third down. The past couple weeks we’ve been improving on that. This week, we take two steps back. The first drive they converted (three) third downs. Those are … opportunities to get off the field that we didn’t execute.”

UA safety Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles on the defense taking a step backward: “We had tons of confidence. We didn’t come out here and do our job, me included. We’ve gotta make sure we come back next week and tighten things up.”

Rodriguez on what he saw from Utah’s defense: “They didn’t really do anything that was surprising. They are who they are. They have their scheme. They’re pretty good at it, and they stick with it. At the end of the day, we’ve just gotta execute better – the whole offense, including me.”

UA coach Kevin Sumlin on the opening possession: “Against the types of teams we’re playing, you can’t continue to give up third-and-long situations and stay on the field for seven minutes on the opening drive. That set the tone.”

Sumlin on Arizona’s fourth-down failures: “We tried a couple different schemes to run on fourth-and-short, and we weren’t able to make them. At a certain point, football becomes about winning your one-on-ones. We weren’t able to do that tonight.”

Rodriguez on Sumlin’s postgame message: “His message was that we’ve just gotta play better. At the end of the day, there’s not really much to talk about. All three phases, we gotta player better. We can control our effort. That’s all fine and dandy. But if you don’t execute and you keep making the same mistakes, you’re not going to be able to win.”

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham on the Utes’ fake punt in the fourth quarter: “The best run, I thought, of the night was from Mitch Wishnowsky. And just for the record, that is not a called fake punt. When we rugby-punt and roll out, if the defense does not cover correctly, it is the green light every single time. That was not a matter of gamesmanship. It was Mitch doing what Mitch was supposed to do in that situation.”

STATS

  • Utah had 23 first downs; Arizona had 19.
  • Utah had 230 rushing yards and averaged 5.0 yards per carry; Arizona had 72 yards and a 2.3-yard average.
  • Utah had 495 total yards and averaged 7.3 yards per play; Arizona had 318 yards and averaged 4.1.
  • Utah possessed the ball for 33 minutes, 10 seconds; Arizona had it for 26:50.
  • Utah’s average starting field position was its 30-yard line; Arizona was its 23.
  • Arizona RB J.J. Taylor had 61 yards on 13 carries.
  • Utah RB Zach Moss had 68 yards on 15 carries.
  • Arizona WR Devaugh Cooper had four catches for 57 yards.
  • Wishnowsky averaged 48.2 yards on four punts, dropping three inside the 20-yard line.
  • UA safety Jarrius Wallace had a game-high 11 tackles.
  • UA cornerback Lorenzo Burns had eight tackles and a sack.
  • Flannigan-Fowles had seven tackles, a TFL and a pass breakup.
  • Utah’s Chase Hansen had nine tackles and a sack.

Contact sports reporter Michael Lev at 573-4148 or mlev@tucson.com. On Twitter @michaeljlev