The Arizona Wildcats lost to Washington State 44-18 Friday night in Pullman. Here are some pertinent notes, quotes and statistics from the UA’s latest setback:
Arizona lost its second game in a row after defeating Cal on Nov. 6. The Wildcats have dropped 22 of their past 23 contests.
Arizona lost for the third straight time at Gesa Field (aka Martin Stadium). The Wildcats have allowed an average of 60.7 points in those games.
WSU’s 44 points were the most by a UA opponent this season. Arizona had allowed 41 points on two prior occasions (at Oregon, at USC).
Arizona allowed 482 total yards, the second-highest total by an opponent this year. It was the third time in the past four games that the Wildcats allowed 468 or more.
Arizona needs a victory at Arizona State to avoid its first one-win season in a full campaign since 1957, when the Wildcats went 1-8-1. They were 0-5 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
RB Drake Anderson‘s 71-yard run in the second quarter was the longest rush recorded by an Arizona player since Khalil Tate‘s 84-yard scoring scamper vs. Texas Tech in 2019. Anderson’s 87 yards were his most at the UA.
QB Will Plummer posted his first multi-touchdown game as a passer, going 24 of 42 for 222 yards with two TDs and one interception. He had three career TD passes entering Friday.
WR Boobie Curry‘s 11-yard TD catch in the second quarter was his third of the season. He had none entering 2021.
RB Michael Wiley also recorded his third TD reception of the season. He also had none entering this year.
CB Christian Roland-Wallace tallied his first career sack. He became the first Wildcat cornerback to record a sack since Jace Whittaker at Oregon in 2019.
LB Kenny Hebert had a team-leading and career-high seven tackles, including one TFL. He also had a pass breakup.
LB Dante Smith, subbing for the injured Jerry Roberts, had a career-best six tackles, including one TFL.
WSU QB Jayden de Laura’s four touchdowns were a career high. He went 13 of 22 for 259 yards, averaging 19.9 yards per completion.
UA coach Jedd Fisch on Arizona committing 10 penalties: “The penalties were brutal today. And they were weird penalties. I think we had five or six false starts or (illegal) formations. We had a chance to hit (Dorian) Singer right down the sideline for a touchdown. He ended up (out of bounds), but we were illegal because our tight end wasn’t on the ball. We had about four false starts. There were some snap-count things that were going on that I heard about. But it’s our responsibility to watch the ball. We had three receivers false-start. ... Those things really hurt you.”
Fisch on Arizona converting only 23.5% of its third downs: “Third-and-long too much. We didn’t throw the ball very well. We had a lot of guys that we should have hit that we didn’t. Will, it felt like he was a little bit off on third downs. Our receivers didn’t catch the ball as well as they should have. I need to do a better job of getting us (manageable) third downs.”
Fisch on WSU’s draw plays: “I don’t think we counteracted it enough. Losing our starting Mike linebacker (Roberts) on the first play the game, the draw play a lot of times is the linebackers’ responsibility, the defensive ends’ responsibility. We’re probably rushing up the field a little bit and then probably missed some keys there.”
Fisch on whether the fog was a factor: “Both of the play-callers are on the field. It wasn’t hard to see what was going on. We had no problems with our communication in terms of down, distance, hash marks — none of those things were an issue. I had a good feel for what coverages they were in. So I didn’t see that was much of a problem for us.”
Fisch on whether he considered pulling Plummer in the fourth quarter to save him for ASU: “I couldn’t really pull him out because I don’t have any other quarterbacks. I could have put (walk-on) Luke (Ashworth) in at some point in the game, but the way the game was going, it was 37-18, a 19-point game. That’s three possessions. We got a stop at that point. With (9:29) left, we got the ball back. We wanted to just try to execute some plays. Will has to learn how to play the game versus these different coverages, to understand how to progress and execute. Will’s a freshman. As many reps as he can take, the (better). We’ve got one game left, and he’ll be healthy enough to go for it.”
WSU interim coach Jake Dickert on RB Max Borghi’s 139-yard, two-TD performance: “That was classic Max Borghi. ‘Our fans will remember Max, and obviously he’s gonna be a Hall of Famer here one day, so it was exciting to put a stamp on his career like that.”
Borghi on the fog and snow: “Obviously, Arizona hated it a lot more than us. We were having fun with it. I think they were pretty miserable.”
WSU receiver Travell Harris on the weather: “We knew it was a little too cold for them. We knew they (UA’s DBs) didn’t want to run. That’s what me and (WR) Calvin (Jackson Jr.) told (QB) Jayden (de Laura) and our coaching staff, and we showcased it.”
Each team had 18 first downs
WSU had 223 yards rushing; Arizona had 147
WSU averaged 8.3 yards per play; Arizona averaged 5.2
Arizona had 10 penalties for 59 yards; WSU had six for 55
WSU converted 4 of 11 third downs; Arizona converted 4 of 17
WSU’s average starting position was its 31-yard line; Arizona’s was its 21
Wiley had 8 catches for 87 yards and 1 TD
WR Stanley Berryhill III had six catches for 61 yards
Harris had 6 catches for 95 yards and 2 TDs
Jackson had 4 catches for 133 yards and 2 TDs
WSU linebacker Jahad Woods had 12 tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble and 1 pass breakup
Contact sports reporter Michael Lev at 573-4148 or email@example.com. On Twitter @michaeljlev