Arizona Opens Pac-12 Play at No. 3 Oregon
TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Wildcats (0-3) kick off Pac-12 Conference play this Saturday, Sept. 25 with a trip to face the No. 3 Oregon Ducks (3-0) at Autzen Stadium. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. MST with a television broadcast on ESPN.
Saturday's tilt against the Ducks will be the first conference action for head coach Jedd Fisch as a full-time head coach. Coach Fisch and the Wildcats seek their first win of the 2021 season and the program's first upset of a ranked opponent since taking down then-No. 19 Oregon in 2018 by a score of 44-15.
A complete game preview is below.
ARIZONA NOTES & NUMBERS
- Arizona opens up Pac-12 play on the road vs. No. 3 Oregon on Saturday night. It marks the first meeting between the two since 2019. Arizona looks for its first victory in Eugene since the 2014 campaign (31-24).
- Saturday's game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. MST on ESPN. Dave Flemming and Rod Gilmore will be on the call and Stormy Buonantony will be reporting from the sideline.
- Stanley Berryhill's 28 receptions through three games is the second-most in the Pac-12 and fourth-most nationally. The Tucson native trails USC's Drake London by just one reception for the Pac-12 lead. Additionally, his 87.7 yards per game are the third most in the conference.
- Berryhill leads the Pac-12 with 133.3 all-purpose yards per game and Tayvian Cunningham leads the conference with 140 kick return yards for an average of 23.3 yards on six kick returns.
- Boobie Curry caught two TD passes vs. NAU this past Saturday, the first two of his career, including a 49-yard score in the first quarter. Curry also caught a three-yard fade to the corner of the end zone to make it a two-point game late in the fourth quarter.
- Arizona picked off two passes vs. NAU thanks to interceptions by Kenny Hebert and Christian Roland-Wallace, matching Arizona's interception total from last season. Hebert's interception was the first of his career.
- Through three games, Arizona is allowing 160.7 passing yards per game, which is 20th in the nation and fourth in the conference. Additionally, Arizona's 7.0 tackles for a loss per game ranks 37th in the nation and second in the conference.
2 — Boobie Curry caught his first two touchdowns of his career vs. NAU last week.
3 — Arizona forced three turnovers vs. NAU, which matches its season total from 2020.
7 — Arizona averages seven tackles for a loss through three games, which is the second-most in the Pac-12.
28 — Stanley Berryhill III's 28 receptions vs. regular-season non-conference opponents is the most since 2002 when Bobby Wade also had 28 receptions. Wade did it in four games while Berryhill did it in three.
32 — Offensive lineman Donovan Laie has started the first 32 games of his career. Only eight other offensive linemen have started 30 or more consecutive games since Arizona began tracking game-by-game starters in 1993.
WRAPPING UP SATURDAY AND LOOKING AHEAD: Boobie Curry caught his first two career touchdowns vs. NAU … Arizona matched its 2020 total with two interceptions vs. NAU … Treshaun Hayward led Arizona with eight tackles and two for a loss … Kenny Hebert picked off his first-career pass … Jordan McCloud entered the game at quarterback in the fourth quarter and went 6-7 for 66 yards and a touchdown … Drake Anderson's 72 rushing yards is the most any Wildcat has rushed for this season.
VERSUS OREGON: Arizona is 17-27 all-time against Oregon … Jedd Fisch is looking for his first win as the head coach of Arizona … Arizona is looking to snap its 15-game losing streak … The Wildcats will also look to break their six-game losing streak vs. Pac-12 teams on the road … The last time Arizona beat a ranked opponent was back on Oct. 27, 2018 when they beat No. 19 Oregon by a score of 44-15 … The last time Arizona beat a ranked team on the road was on Nov. 22, 2014 when they beat No. 20 Utah in Salt Lake City … Arizona's last win over a top-five opponent came on Oct. 2, 2014 when they beat No. 2 Oregon in Autzen Stadium.
MR. YAC: Stanley Berryhill III has been outstanding for the Wildcats through three games thus far. A team-captain and one of the recipients of the No. 1 jersey, Berryhill leads Arizona with 28 receptions and 263 yards. Where the Tucson native does his most damage is after the ball is in his hands, hence the name Mr. YAC. Against NAU, he finished the game with 11 catches and 94 receiving yards, 52 of which were after the catch. Berryhill also had a 51-yard punt return, which is the longest return by any Arizona player since Shun Brown in 2017. Through three games, Berryhill is first in the Pac-12 and 20th in the nation in all-purpose yards per game, second in the Pac-12 and fourth in the nation in receptions and third in the conference in receiving yards per game.
EARLY SUCCESS FOR BERRYHILL: In the three non-conference games, Berryhill caught 28 passes for 263 yards. That is the most passes any Wildcat has caught during the non-conference portion of the regular season since Bobby Wade also caught 28 in 2002. However, it took four games for Wade to catch 28 passes while it only took three for Berryhill.
Pac-12 All Purpose Yards per Game Leaders
|Stanley Berryhill III||Arizona||133.3|
|Rachaad White||Arizona State||126.0|
FBS Receptions Leaders
|Trey McBride||Colorado State||30|
|Jalen Cooper||Fresno State||29|
|Stanley Berryhill III||Arizona||28|
Pac-12 Receptions Leaders
|Stanley Berryhill III||Arizona||28|
|Calvin Jackson Jr.||Washington State||18|
|Travell Harris||Washington State||18|
Pac-12 Receiving Yards per Game Leaders (min. 2 games)
|Stanley Berryhill III||Arizona||87.7|
APPLYING PRESSURE: Through three games, Arizona has 21 tackles for a loss for an average of seven, which is second in the Pac-12 and 37th in the nation. Kyon Barrs, who leads the way for Arizona with 3.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks, is one of 14 players on the defensive side of the ball to be involved in a tackle for a loss. Barrs has already surpassed Arizona's sack total from last season while the team is only four TFLs away from last season's total.
THE PANDY MAN CAN: Senior linebacker Anthony Pandy is back for his fifth year as a Wildcat and has a large leadership role under first year head coach Jedd Fisch as he was named a team captain. Pandy leads the Arizona defense in tackles and is fourth in the Pac-12 with 25 through three games. Pandy tied his career-high with 11 vs. San Diego State in week two and forced a fumble vs. NAU last week.
Pac-12 Tackles Leaders
HEY TRE: Linebacker Treshaun Hayward comes to Arizona with already boasting a very successful career. The 2019 MAC Defensive Player of the Year played 39 games for Western Michigan and totaled 229 tackles, 16 TFLs and 5.5 sacks. Hayward was flat out dominant in 2019 as he was named an All-American by Sporting News and Phil Steele. The Ypsilanti, Mich. native finished the season with a conference-high 142 tackles and added in 10.5 TFLs. His 142 tackles was the third-most in the country and was one of five players to post 130+ tackles and 10+ TFLs. Through three games, Hayward has the second-most tackles on the team with 20 and is also second on the team with 2.5 TFLs. He had a team-high eight tackles and two for a loss vs. NAU last week.
WILDCATS MAKING THEIR FIRST START LAST WEEK:
- DL Paris Shand (Freshman)
- DL Mo Diallo (RS Senior, first start as a Wildcat)
KICKIN' KYLE: Sophomore punter Kyle Ostendorp has been stellar to begin the 2021 campaign. He opened the season vs. BYU with a trio of punts downed inside the 20, one of which pinned the Cougars at, their own 1-yard line, which eventually resulted in a safety. Against San Diego State in week two, he had an average of 52 yards per punt on 10 kicks, including a career-high 71-yard punt, which is the longest punt by an Arizona punter since Keenyn Crier's 84-yard punt back in 2007. Through three games, Ostendorp averages 46.7 yards per punt on 24 kicks. He has a Pac-12 high nine punts of 50 yards or more and has downed five inside the 20.
AIR-IZONA: Through three games, Arizona ranks third in the Pac-12 averaging 260.3 yards per game through the air. Additionally, Arizona's 79 total completions ranks second in the Pac-12, just three behind USC.
Pac-12 Completions Leaders
Pac-12 Passing Yards per Game Leaders
I AM #1: At the beginning of camp, Jedd Fisch announced he would be holding a competition for who gets to wear the No. 1 jersey for the season. The Monday of week 1, it was announced that team captains and Arizona natives Stanley Berryhill III and Jalen Harris would each don the No. 1 jersey. Berryhill III is Arizona's leading returning wide receiver while Harris registered 18 tackles and 2.5 for a loss last season.
O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!: Much like the NFL, head coach Jedd Fisch named team captains from the offense, defense and special teams unit… two from each unit to be exact:
Arizona 2021 Team Captains
|Stanley Berryhill III (WR)||Offense|
|Josh McCauley (OL)||Offense|
|Jalen Harris (DL)||Defense|
|Anthony Pandy (LB)||Defense|
|Lucas Havrisik (K)||Special Teams|
|Thomas Reid III (WR)||Special Teams|
#ITSPERSONAL: The No. 1 message Jedd Fisch has been pushing since he arrived on campus in December 2020 is 'Its Personal.' It's not just a catchy slogan that gets printed on shirts and that you see on social media, it is how the Arizona Football program is approaching every aspect of the 2021 season. From how the team plays on the field to how the coaches work on the recruiting trail… Its Personal.
WE EDUCATE WENDESDAYS: Every Wednesday, Jedd Fisch brings in a guest speaker to talk to the team either in person or virtually about a myriad of subjects during We Educate Wednesday. Below is a list of a few speakers that have led We Educate Wednesday discussions.
- Dr. Richard Carmona – former United States Surgeon General
- Steve Kerr – Wildcat alum and Golden State Warriors Head Coach
- Jim Caldwell – Former NFL Head Coach
- Sean McVay – Los Angeles Rams Head Coach
- Pete Carroll – Super Bowl Champion and Seattle Seahawks Head Coach
WILDCATS IN THE NFL: As of week two, the Wildcats are once again well represented in the National Football League with nine former letterwinners active across the league. One of Arizona's most prestigious alums, tight end Rob Gronkowski, returned from retirement in 2020 to rejoin his longtime quarterback Tom Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over 10 seasons in New England and Tampa Bay, Gronkowski has hauled in 8,613 yards and 90 touchdowns. Quarterback Nick Foles is in his 10th NFL season after rewriting the Wildcats record books during his time in Tucson. The most recent Wildcats to make the transition to the NFL are running back Gary Brightwell (New York Giants) and defensive end Roy Lopez (Houton Texans). For a complete list of former Wildcats in the NFL, see the comprehensive chart below.
Current Wildcats on NFL Rosters
|Nick Foles||QB||Chicago Bears|
|Rob Gronkowski||TE||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Jace Whittaker||CB||Arizona Cardinals|
|Gary Brightwell||RB||New York Giants|
|Nick Folk||K||New England Patriots|
|J.J. Taylor||RB||New England Patriots|
|Roy Lopez||DL||Houston Texans|
|Dane Cruikshank||DB||Tennessee Titans|
|Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles||LB||San Francisco 49ers|