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Wildcats Welcome Golden Bears to Tucson for Homecoming

Nov 1, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Wildcats (0-8, 0-5) return home for a Saturday afternoon Homecoming matchup against the California Golden Bears (3-5, 2-3) on Nov. 6. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. MST with a television broadcast slated for the Pac-12 Networks.

Every year at Homecoming, we gather to honor traditions and celebrate our Wildcat ties. Be a part of the Homecoming festivities all week long and wrap-up the weekend at Arizona Stadium when we announce the with winner of the Homecoming at halftime.

In addition to Homecoming, Saturday's game will also be a fan red out. RED OUT Arizona Stadium as fans are encouraged to wear a RED Arizona Football t-shirt to the game.

Finally, join us as we welcome back two Wildcat greats, Earl Mitchell and Brooks Reed, and celebrate their names being added to the Football Ring of Honor.

A complete game preview is below.

  • Arizona is back home for the first of their final two home games of the season. This week, the Cats will take on Cal at noon MST for homecoming. On the call will be Roxy Bernstein and Lincoln Kennedy for the Pac-12 Network.
  • The Wildcats set season-highs in points (34) and total yards (466) vs. USC. 
  • Will Plummer threw for a career-high 264 yards vs. USC, the first time he eclipsed the 200-yard mark. He also ran for his first career touchdown on a 16-yard scamper early in the fourth quarter.
  • Arizona allows just 193.5 passing yards per game, which is second in the Pac-12 and 24th in the nation. The Wildcats have held their opponent to under 100 passing yards twice this season, the first time they have done so since 2008.
  • The Wildcats are fifth in the Pac-12 in total defense as they allow 385.5 yards per game. Arizona hasn't finished better than eighth in the conference since the 2010 season, which is also the last time Arizona allowed fewer than 400 yards per game.
  • Arizona has held their opponents under 400 yards in total offense five times this season after having achieved the feat just once across the 2019 and 2020 seasons. The last time Arizona allowed fewer than 400 yards five times in one season was the 2017 season.
  • Eight games into the season, Stanley Berryhill III has 59 receptions and is on pace to challenge Bobby Wade's school record for receptions in one season (93). He is six- catches away from breaking into the top 10. Berryhill averages 7.4 receptions per game, which is second in the Pac-12 and 10th in the nation.
  • Kyle Ostendorp is second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation averaging 47.9 yards per punt.

5.4 — Arizona's two freshmen running backs Jalen John & Stevie Rocker Jr. combine to average 5.4 yards per carry.

34 — Arizona scored 34 points vs. USC, the most since Nov. 2, 2019 when they scored 38 vs. Oregon State.

37 — Offensive lineman Donovan Laie has started the first 37 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.

59 — Stanley Berryhill III has 59 catches in the first eight games of the season and is on pace to challenge the school record.

70+ — After his 73-yard TD against USC, Tayvian Cunningham joins Juron Criner and Cayleb Jones as the only three Wildcats with multiple 70+ yard TD receptions in their career over the last 25 years.

WRAPPING UP SATURDAY: Arizona's offense enjoyed their best performance of the season, setting high-water marks in total yards (466) and points (34) … Will Plummer earned the start at quarterback and finished the night 20-for-34 through the air for a career-high 264 yards … Early in the first quarter, wide receiver playing quarterback Jamarye Joiner threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Tayvian Cunningham. It was Arizona's longest play of the season and the Wildcats longest play since Cunningham caught a 75-yard touchdown pass against USC in 2020 … The Joiner to Cunningham connection also marked Arizona's first opening-drive touchdown of the season and their first since week two of the 2019 season against Northern Arizona … Plummer also added a rushing score, a 16-yard scramble in the fourth quarter. It was his first career touchdown on the ground … Sophomore running back Michael Wiley picked up his first rushing touchdown of the season, a 1-yard rush late in the second quarter. It was the fourth rushing score of his career … The Wildcats 34 points scored on Saturday in the Coliseum are their most of the season. Arizona last eclipsed the 20-point mark in their second game of the 2020 season against Washington (L, 27-44) … 34 points scored is Arizona's greatest offensive output since scoring 38 against Oregon State in 2019 (L, 38-56) … Linebacker Anthony Pandy's pick-six was Arizona's first interception returned for a touchdown since Scottie Young Jr. and Azizi Hearn (fumble recovery after Colin Schooler INT) both logged pick-sixes against California in 2018. It was the fourth interception of Pandy's career … Viper Chrisitan Young led the defensive effort with 15 tackles, a career-high that more than doubled his previous high-water mark of seven … The Wildcats defense combined for six tackles for loss, marking the fourth time this season they have piled up five-plus TFL in a game.

VERSUS CALIFORNIA: Arizona is 18-14-2 all-time vs. Cal … The Wildcats have won the last five contests … Arizona and Cal have not faced each other since 2018 when the Wildcats won 24-17 in Tucson … Only 13 players on the current roster played the last time Arizona and Cal faced off … Bryce Wolma, Josh McCauley, Donovan Laie, Jamarye Joiner, Christian Young, JB Brown, Thomas Reid III, Malik Hausman, Anthony Pandy, Lucas Havrisik, Jalen Harris, Zach Williams and Stanley Berryhill III.

MOVING THE ROCK: Arizona had their best offensive game of the season vs. USC, scoring a season-high 34 points and gaining a season-high 466 yards. For the first time since the second game of the 2020 season, Arizona eclipsed the 20-point mark and also had their greatest scoring output since scoring 38 vs. Oregon State in 2019. Not only that, Arizona scored a touchdown on their opening drive for the first time since Sept 7, 2019 in week 2 vs. NAU.

SWARM TO THE BALL: If there's one thing defensive coordinator Don Brown emphasizes to his defense, it's run to the ball. There's no question that the Arizona defense takes to his coaching very well as eight different players have at least 30 tackles and 10 different players have at least 25 tackles this season. No other team in the Pac-12 has 10 or more players with at least 25 tackles and only Washington State and Oregon State have eight with 30 or more.

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 with 60 and is eighth in the Pac-12 with an average of 7.6 per game. Pandy did it all against USC this past week as he had his first-career pick-six and also carried the ball for 32 yards on a fake punt. It was Pandy's fourth-career interception and according to him, his first carry in his entire football career going back all the way to youth football.  

ON PACE FOR GREATNESS: Eight games into the season, Tucson's own Stanley Berryhill III has 59 receptions and is on pace to challenge Bobby Wade's school record for receptions in one season. He is also on pace for 750 yards, which surpass his total yards from his first three seasons at Arizona combined (733 yards). Berryhill, who averages double digit targets per game, ranks second in the Pac-12 and 10th in the nation in receptions per game (7.4).

MR. YAC: Stanley Berryhill III has been outstanding for the Wildcats through eight games thus far. A team-captain and one of the recipients of the No. 1 jersey, Berryhill leads Arizona with 59 receptions and 500 yards, both career highs for one season. Where Berryhill does his most damage is after the ball is in his hands, hence the name Mr. YAC. Through eight games, 299 of Berryhill's 500 yards have been after the catch and also has two games with at least 70 YAC.

JUST A FOOTBALL PLAYER: Will Plummer said it best, Jamarye Joiner is just a flat-out football player. The Tucson native has been asked to expand his role unlike anything anyone expected this season as he has taken snaps at the quarterback, running back and wide receiver positions in the past few weeks due to Arizona's injury problems at the quarterback position. Against USC, where he was featured at QB quite often, he launched a 73-yard touchdown pass to Tayvian Cunningham, which is the longest play of the season for the Wildcats. The last non-QB to throw a pass of 50+ yards was Matt Morin back on Oct. 15, 2016, also vs. USC. With that touchdown, Jordan McCloud, Gunner Cruz, Will Plummer and Jamarye Joiner each have two touchdown passes this season.

THE YOUNG GUNS: Freshmen running backs Jalen John and Stevie Rocker Jr. handled the ball carrier duties for Arizona against Washington and helped the Wildcats rush for a season-high 218 yards as the duo combined for 27 carries for 152 yards. Rocker's 52-yard rush was the Wildcats' longest rush of the season, which propelled him to a game-high 87 yards on the ground. On the season, John and Rocker combine to average 5.4 yards per carry.

Arizona has held their opponents to under 400 yards in five of their eight games this season. Prior to the start of the 2021 season, Arizona had held their opponent to under 400 yards in five of the previous 29 games. The last time Arizona held their opponent to under 400 yards of offense five times in one season was back in 2017. Arizona, which ranks fifth in the Pac-12 as they allow 385.5 yards per game, haven't finished better than eighth in the conference in total defense since 2010, which is also the last time Arizona allowed fewer than 400 yards per game. The 2010 defense finished third in the Pac-10 allowing 340.8 yards per game.

IN THE KITCHEN: For the fourth time this season, the Arizona defense combined 5+ tackles for a loss in one game as the Wildcats had six vs. USC. Leevel Tatum III and Paris Shand each had 1.5 TFLs on Saturday. On the season, 19 Wildcats have at least half a tackle for loss and are led by Mo Diallo, who has 7.5 on the season. 

Speaking of getting into the kitchen, Arizona blocked their first punt since Oct. 27, 2018 as Nazar Bombata blocked Washington's first punt of the evening on the first possession of the game. He is the first Wildcat to block a punt since Chacho Ulloa did it against Oregon.

KICKIN' KYLE: Sophomore punter Kyle Ostendorp has been terrific during the 2021 campaign. On the season, Ostendorp ranks second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation with 47.9 yards per punt. He has downed the second-most punts inside the 20 with 12, and is second in the Pac-12 with 19 50-yard punts. His 71-yard punt vs. San Diego State is also a Pac-12 high and is the longest punt by an Arizona punter since Keenyn Crier's 84-yard punt back in 2007.

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.

NO FLY ZONE: Arizona, who hasn't allowed fewer than 200 yards per game through the air for a season since 2008, has been exceptional defending the pass this season as they allow just 193.5 yards through the air per game, the second-fewest in the Pac-12 and the 24th-fewest in the nation. The Wildcats have held their opponent to under 100 passing yards twice this season, making it the first time since 2008 they have done so. Against UCLA, the Bruins had just 82 passing yards for the game and threw for just three yards in the first half. 82 passing yards allowed is the fewest Arizona has allowed since limiting The Citadel to 21 in 2010 and it is the first time the Wildcats held an opponent to under 100 yards passing since Colorado had 92 in 2020.

CONVERTING UNDER PRESSURE: Arizona converts on fourth down at a 65% clip, the fourth-best conversion rate in the Pac-12. Additionally, Arizona's 11 fourth-down conversions are the second-most in the Pac-12 and the 16th-most in the nation.

WOLMA NAMED CAMPBELL TROPHY SEMIFINALIST: Senior tight end Bryce Wolma was named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy on Wednesday morning, as announced by the National Football Foundation. The Campbell Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership. Wolma, who graduated in the spring of 2021 with a degree in business management, finished undergrad with a GPA of 3.49 and has been studying Entrepreneurship as his postgrad study. The Saline, Mich. native caught his first touchdown pass of the season last week at Oregon on an 11-yard pass from Jordan McCloud. Wolma has five catches for 36 yards this season and has 47 catches for 412 yards and four touchdowns for his career.

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.

DO THE SAFETY DANCE: With a sack by Mo Diallo in the third quarter vs. Oregon, Arizona became the first defense in the country with two safeties on the season. The previous safety came in the season opener against BYU as Rashie Hodge Jr. and Trevon Mason combined to bring down the BYU running back. Arizona had a two-safety season back in 2019, but prior to this year, Arizona defenses have forced only six safeties in the previous 15 seasons combined.

#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.

WILDCATS IN THE NFL: As of week eight, 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 8,668 yards and 90 touchdowns. Quarterback Nick Foles is in his 10th NFL season after rewriting the Wildcats record books during his time in Tucson. Running back J.J. Taylor, in his second season in the league with the Patriots, scored his first two career touchdowns in week seven against the New York Jets. 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

Player Position Team
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