The Arizona Wildcats lost to NAU 21-19 on Saturday at Arizona Stadium. Here are some pertinent notes, quotes and statistics from the UA’s latest setback:
* The defeat marked the Wildcats’ first loss to the Lumberjacks since 1932 and only the second all time in 17 meetings. Arizona finished non-conference play without a win for the first time since joining the Pac-10/12 in 1978.
* Arizona extended its school-record losing streak to 15 games. It’s the longest skid in the nation among FBS teams. The Wildcats last won on Oct. 5, 2019, at Colorado.
* Arizona failed to score 20 points for the fifth consecutive game. The Wildcats have averaged 15.8 points over that span.
* NAU outrushed Arizona 148-106. The Wildcats have been outrushed in every game this season. They had 431 rushing yards in the last meeting with the Lumberjacks in 2019.
* Arizona had three turnovers, eclipsing its total from the first two games (two). The Wildcats have won the turnover battle only once in their past nine games (Colorado, 2020).
* QB Jordan McCloud made his UA debut. He completed 6 of 7 passes for 66 yards and a touchdown, all in the fourth quarter.
* Third-year WR Boobie Curry scored both of Arizona’s touchdowns. They were the first two TDs of Curry’s career.
* Second-year RB Jalen John had five carries for 37 yards. He had four carries for 30 yards last season.
* LB Kenny Hebert, who played his first four seasons at Vanderbilt, recorded his first career interception.
* CB Christian Roland-Wallace had his second career pick. It was his first since Sept. 7, 2019, vs. NAU.
* Arizona DT Kyon Barrs had a sack in the first quarter, giving him 2.5 for the season. The Wildcats had two sacks in five games last year.
* Arizona’s Mo Diallo and Jaxen Turner were ejected for targeting in the second half and will have to sit out the first half of next Saturday’s game at Oregon.
UA coach Jedd Fisch on whether the goodwill he built up during the offseason is gone: “I hope not. I don't think treating people right should be affected by whether or not we were able to come out with the outcome we wanted. I hope that reaching out to our community and reaching out to our former players and to our alumni and bringing back some of the great ones that we have had here will affect what we're trying to get accomplished. We are in Year 1, Game 3 of a 12-game season and trying to build something over time. Of course we're always gonna be frustrated when the outcome is not what we want it to be. But we also recognize that we're going to try to see the forest through the trees and not get caught up in one game.”
Fisch on his quarterbacks’ poor situational awareness: “We have situations in the game that we have to do better at. We have to understand down and distance better, we have to understand field position better, we have to understand when to take shots, when not to take shots, when to take sacks, when not to take sacks ... when to take a chance, when not to take a chance. There's so much learning that has to occur. And we have to try to fast-forward the learning. We have to figure out a way to keep pushing it so we understand it better.”
WR Stanley Berryhill III on the most disappointing aspect of the loss: “We didn't execute in the red zone once again (one touchdown in three trips). That's probably the most disappointing thing, knowing we had opportunities to end the game in the first half. You let them sit around, you never know what could happen in college football.”
LB Treshaun Hayward on whether the defense becomes frustrated when the offense struggles: “We're all human. Of course it's gonna be frustrating. But it's the game of football. You’re always gonna have adversity. You gotta bounce back. ... If the offense is slow, we're gonna still have their backs. If the defense is slow, they’re gonna have our backs. We all got to come together as one. We gotta go out and win. That's the only thing that's important right now.”
NAU coach Chris Ball on the win: "This is a game that's going to put us on the map. We're going to get a lot of recognition for it. We're gonna enjoy it tonight, then put it to rest and start working towards a Big Sky championship."
NAU tailback Kevin Daniels, who rushed for a game-high 127 yards, on the key to the Lumberjacks’ victory: "We were just tougher today, and we wanted it more. We came in with the attitude that we need this and we wanted it. My linemen came in and did a great job. I feel like it was a great opportunity just to play here, because they (Arizona) had the chance and they didn't want me. I'm so grateful Coach Ball came and got me.”
* Arizona had 19 first downs; NAU had 15
* Arizona had 363 total yards; NAU had 240
* Arizona averaged 5.3 yards per play; NAU averaged 3.7
* Arizona had 7 penalties for 70 yards; NAU had 4 for 30
* Arizona converted 3 of 14 third downs; NAU converted 4 of 15
* Arizona’s average starting field position was its 33-yard line; NAU’s was its 28
* NAU had 10 tackles for losses, including 2 sacks; Arizona had 7 and 1
* Arizona RB Drake Anderson rushed 12 times for 72 yards
* Arizona QB Will Plummer completed 19 of 34 passes for 191 yards with 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions
* Berryhill had 11 catches for 94 yards and five punt returns for 73 yards, including a 51-yarder
* NAU punter Derek Amson averaged 51.6 yards per attempt with 3 punts inside the 20 and no touchbacks
* Arizona punter Kyle Ostendorp averaged 48.8 yards per punt with 3 inside the 20 and 4 touchbacks
* NAU’s Harrison Beemiller had 10 tackles, 4.5 TFLs and 1 forced fumble
* NAU’s Morgan Vest had 8 tackles and 1 fumble recovery
* Hayward had 8 tackles, including 2 TFLs
* Roland-Wallace had 7 tackles, 1 TFL and 1 INT
* Arizona’s Christian Young had 7 tackles and 1 TFL