The Arizona Wildcats lost to San Diego State 38-14 on Saturday at Arizona Stadium. Here are some pertinent notes, quotes and statistics from the UA’s home opener:
The loss was Arizona’s 14th in a row, a school record. The Wildcats last won a game on Oct. 5, 2019, at Colorado. When Arizona kicks off vs. NAU this upcoming Saturday, 714 days will have passed since that victory in Boulder.
SDSU snapped a four-game losing streak against Arizona. It was San Diego State’s first win against the UA since Nov. 10, 1979.
San Diego State is 6-2 against the Pac-12 since the start of the 2016 season. It was the Aztecs’ fourth road win ever over a Pac-12 school since becoming a member of Division I.
Arizona fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter. It was the second consecutive home game in which the Wildcats faced a 21-0 first-quarter deficit.
Arizona had only nine first downs, its lowest total since amassing just 11 against Utah in the next-to-last game of 2019. The Wildcats’ 228 total yards also were their lowest since that game (196).
Arizona converted only 1 of 13 third-down opportunities, its worst showing since going 2 of 13 against Washington in the second game of last season.
The Wildcats allowed four sacks for the second consecutive game and at least four for the fourth time in their past seven outings.
Arizona had two sacks in the first quarter, upping its season total to three. The Wildcats had only two sacks in five games last year.
Tayvian Cunningham, who caught Will Plummer‘s first career TD pass, tied his career high with five receptions for a team-high 81 yards.
LB Anthony Pandy led Arizona with 11 tackles. It was the second double-digit tackle output of his career (Nov. 23, 2019, vs Utah).
Kyon Barrs had a career-high 1.5 tackles for losses, including a sack he split with fellow DT Trevon Mason.
CB Treydan Stukes notched two pass breakups, becoming the first Wildcat to post two PBUs in a game since Christian Roland-Wallace on Nov. 16, 2019, at Oregon.
UA coach Jedd Fisch on losing in front of the home crowd: “I think there were 39,000 in attendance tonight (official attendance: 39,097). The ZonaZoo was packed. And we let them down. ... We will continue to work as hard as humanly possible to put a better product on the field. That is our goal.”
Fisch on why he changed quarterbacks in the third quarter, switching from Gunner Cruz to Plummer: “I didn’t just take him out because we weren’t moving the ball. ... We didn’t have our left guard; we didn’t have our left tackle. The game was a little bit out of hand, but not completely. He was getting hit pretty good back there, and we weren’t doing a good enough job to help him. So I wanted to see if we could get a spark, change it up a little bit, different dynamic with Will. He came in slinging, and I appreciated that.”
Fisch on Plummer’s performance: “Will competed. He came in and didn’t worry about the scoreboard and just played hard like we ask our team to do. ... He said, ‘Hey, the score’s the score. I’m going to go out there and make plays and do what I’m supposed to do and play the position the way I’ve been coached to play it.’ Will’s got a chance to be a good player for us, as does Gunner.”
Fisch on the UA defense’s struggles vs. the SDSU offense: “When you sell out to stop the run against a team, there’s going to be times someone can sneak through. ... They’re going to hit a couple play-action passes on you; that’s just what’s going to happen. You hope that you can get them in negative yardage on first down, so second down doesn’t feel like a play-action (possibility). But they were able to get 4 or 5 yards on first down. On second-and-5, second-and-4, now you can call what you want. That’s what we were not able to do. We were not able to call what we want, because we were always behind the chains.”
DE Jalen Harris on the defensive game plan: “We wanted to stop their run. We knew that’s what they wanted to do. That was our goal ... get them to third-and-long and throw the ball. We obviously didn’t do that today.”
Plummer on Fisch’s message to the team: “Pretty much what’s happened this year, it’s already happened. We’re 0-2. You can’t go back. You can’t change that. You can’t go replay the game we just played. It’s over. We’re gonna watch the tape (Sunday), and Monday we’re gonna just put that to rest and we’re gonna come out and have the best week of practice that we can have.”
Harris on the team not giving up vs. SDSU: “I would say that’s a good thing, but you’ve got to put together a full 60 minutes of football. We’ve gotta play from start to finish. We can’t start slow.”
San Diego State had 21 first downs; Arizona had 9
SDSU had 271 rushing yards; Arizona had 51
SDSU had 454 total yards; Arizona had 230
SDSU averaged 6.5 yards per play; Arizona averaged 4.1
SDSU had 8 penalties for 84 yards; Arizona had 7 for 58
SDSU possessed the ball for 37 minutes, 34 seconds; Arizona had it for 22:26
SDSU converted 5 of 14 third downs; Arizona was 1 of 13
SDSU’s average starting field position was its 29-yard line; Arizona’s was its 23
Aztecs RB Greg Bell carried 17 times for 125 yards and 1 TD
Aztecs QB Jordon Brookshire completed 10 of 14 passes for 183 yards and accounted for 3 touchdowns
Aztecs TE Daniel Bellinger had 3 catches for 113 yards and 1 TD
Cruz completed 10 of 19 passes for 70 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception
Plummer completed 8 of 17 passes for 109 yards with 1 TD
Wildcats WR Stanley Berryhill III had 93 scrimmage yards on 7 touches, including a 43-yard TD catch
Wildcats punter Kyle Ostendorp averaged 52.2 yards on 10 attempts with a long of 71
Aztecs DE Cameron Thomas had 4 tackles and 1 sack
Arizona’s Jaxen Turner and Harris each had 6 tackles; Harris also had 1 sack
Contact sports reporter Michael Lev at 573-4148 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @michaeljlev