Wildcats Resume Series at Washington State
TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Wildcats (1-9, 1-6) take their show on the road to face the Washington State Cougars (5-5, 4-3) in a Pac-12 cross-division showdown this Friday night. Kickoff from Gesa Field is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. MST with a television broadcast slated for the Pac-12 Networks.
A complete preview of Arizona's penultimate game in the 2021 campaign is below.
ARIZONA NOTES & NUMBERS
- Arizona will head to the Palouse for a Friday night game at Washington State with kickoff set for 7 p.m. MST. JB Long and Maurice Jones-Drew will be on the call for the Pac-12 Network.
- The Wildcats are coming off a hard-fought game vs. Utah on senior day last week. Arizona held Utah, one of the more prolific rushing attacks, to their second-fewest rushing yards on the season.
- Arizona allows just 193.6 passing yards per game, which is second in the Pac-12 and 21st in the nation. The Wildcats have forced their opponent to pass for fewer than 100 yards this season, the first time they have done so since 1996.
- The Wildcats are fifth in the Pac-12 in total defense as they allow 365.6 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 six 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 six times in one season was in 2010.
- The Wildcats, and more specifically Nazar Bombata, blocked their second punt of the season vs. Utah on Saturday. Arizona is one of 14 teams in the country with two blocked punts and it is the first time since 2018 that Arizona has blocked two punts in one season.
- Stanley Berryhill III has 68 receptions and is on pace to become the sixth player in school history with 80 catches in one season. He moved into 10th on the single-season reception list after catching four passes vs. Utah and needs just two more catches to be the first player since Cayleb Jones (2014) to catch 70 passes in a season.
- Kyle Ostendorp is second in the Pac-12 and fifth in the nation averaging 48.2 yards per punt.
2 — Nazar Bombata is one of nine players in the country with two blocked punts this season and is the first Wildcat since Michael Jolivette (2002) to block two punts in one season.
6.1 — Arizona is second in the Pac-12 as they average 6.1 tackles for loss per game this season.
57 — Lucas Havrisik tied his own school record with a 57-yard field goal vs. Utah, the third-longest field goal in the nation this season.
68 — Stanley Berryhill III has 68 catches this season and is on pace to become the sixth player in school history with 80 catches in one season. He is two catches away from becoming the first player since Cayleb Jones to have 70 in one season.
100 — For the first time since 1996, Arizona has held their opponent to under 100 passing yards three times in one season.
WRAPPING UP SATURDAY: Arizona allowed just 174 rushing yards to Utah, the second-fewest the Utes have run for all season as they entered the game averaging over 200 per game on the ground … Will Plummer's 43-yard touchdown scamper in the first quarter was the longest touchdown run by a Wildcat of any position since QB Khalil Tate's 84-yard rushing touchdown versus Texas Tech during the 2019 season. The run also eclipsed the quarterback's career long rush, which was 26 yards earlier this season versus UCLA … The Wildcats' 14-point first quarter was its highest opening quarter of the season and most since scoring 21 points in the first quarter of its win over NAU on Sept. 7, 2019 … Lucas Havrisik tied his own school record with a 57-yard field goal in the second quarter … Freshman wideout Dorian Singer set a season high in receiving yards with 84, eclipsing his previous high of 65 yards at USC … Arizona's blocked punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter was the Wildcats' first blocked punt for a touchdown since Orlando Vargas scored off a blocked punt at Arizona State in 2009 … Jerry Roberts finished Saturday's game with a career-high 10 tackles … Anthony Pandy finished second on the team with eight tackles and now has an even 200 tackles for his career … The Wildcats did not turn the ball over a single time against the Utes, marking the first time Arizona did not commit a turnover since the last time they played Utah in 2019 … Stanley Berryhill III moved into 10th all-time on the Arizona single-season reception list … Arizona committed just five penalties for 33 yards on Saturday afternoon, their second-best marks of the year.
VERSUS WASHINGTON STATE: Arizona is 27-17 all-time vs. Washington State … Arizona and Washington State haven't played each other since 2018 and the last matchup in Pullman came in 2017 … The Cougs have won three of the last four contests … Arizona's last win vs. Washington State came in Tucson in 2017 … The last time Arizona won in Pullman was back in 2014 … Only 13 players on the current roster played the last time Arizona faced Washington State.
UNDER 400: Arizona has held their opponents to under 400 yards in six of their 10 games this season. Prior to the start of the 2021 season, Arizona had held their opponent to under 400 yards in six of the previous 31 games. The last time Arizona held their opponent to under 400 yards of offense six times in one season was back in 2010. Arizona, which ranks fifth in the Pac-12 as they allow 365.6 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.
STAN THE MAN: Tucson's own Stanley Berryhill III has 68 receptions this season and is on pace to become the sixth player in school history with at least 80 catches in one season. Berryhill ranks second in the Pac-12 and 14th in the nation in receptions per game (6.8) and is also fifth in the Pac-12 in receiving yards per game. After catching four passes vs. Utah, he moved into 10th in the Arizona single-season reception list and needs two catches to become the first player since Cayleb Jones in 2014 to catch 70 passes in one season. Berryhill, who has a career-high 595 receiving yards this season, has 353 yards after the catch this season.
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 10 different players have at least 30 tackles. No other team in the Pac-12 has 10 or more players with at least 30 tackles.
A SPECIAL SPECIAL TEAMS PERFORMANCE: For the second time this season, Nazar Bombata blocked a punt for Arizona, the first time since 2018 that Arizona had two blocked punts in one season. This time though, Rhedi Short was able to score off the blocked punt making it the first time since 2009 that Arizoina scored off a blocked punt. Orlando Vargas blocked the punt and scored against ASU back in 2009. For Bombata, he is the first player since Michael Jolivette (2002) to block multiple punts in one season and he is one of nine players in the country to block two punts this year. On the kicking side of things, Lucas Havrisik showed why he has one of the most powerful legs in the country as he boomed a 57-yard field goal to tie his own school record and knocked all seven of his kickoffs into the end zone. Havrisik has made five 50+ yard field goals in his career and is the only Wildcat in the last 25 years to make more than three 50-yarders in their career.
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 193.6 yards through the air per game, the second-fewest in the Pac-12 and the 21st-fewest in the nation. The Wildcats have held their opponent to under 100 passing yards three this season, making it the first time since 1996 they have done so.
LIVING IN THE BACKFIELD: On the season, Arizona is second in the Pac-12 with 6.1 tackles for loss and while having the third-most sacks in the Pac-12 with 19. Kyon Barrs leads Arizona in both sacks (5) and TFLs (8) while 19 Wildcats have at least half a TFL and nine players have at least half a sack.
KICKIN' KYLE: Sophomore punter Kyle Ostendorp has been terrific during the 2021 campaign. On the season, Ostendorp ranks second in the Pac-12 and fifth in the nation with 48.2 yards per punt. He has the most 50+ yard punts in the Pac-12 with 25 and has downed the second-most punts inside the 20 with 16. 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. He was an absolute game changer vs. Cal and was named Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week for it as he punted the ball seven times for an average of 50.1 yards. He downed four inside the 20, including one at the 1-yard line. He routinely kept Cal with their backs against the walls as their average field position was their own 21-yard line.
BETTER KEY ON KYON: Kyon Barrs had the game of his life vs. Cal and was named Pac-12 Defensive Lineman for his efforts. He finished the game with career-highs in sacks (2.5) and tackles for a loss (3.0). Barrs is tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with five sacks this season and leads the team with eight TFLs.
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 70 and is ninth in the Pac-12 with an average of 7.0 per game. Pandy did it all against USC 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. The fifth-year senior recorded his 200th-career tackle vs. Utah last week.
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.
ENDING THE STREAK: With their 10-3 win over Cal two games ago, Arizona broke their 20-game losing streak dating back to the 2019 season. The defense was suffocating all day long, allowing the fewest points to a Pac-12 school since 2000 and the fewest yards to a Pac-12 team (122) since 2006. Michael Wiley scored the game-winning touchdown with 2:17 to play to make it a 10-3 game and the defense did their job forcing the Golden Bears to turn it over on downs.
DEFENSIVE PERFORMANCE FOR THE AGES: Don Brown and the Arizona defense turned in a fantastic performance vs. Cal as the Golden Bears scored just three points and mustered just 122 yards of offense. The last time Arizona allowed three or fewer points was back in 2013 in the season opener vs. NAU and the last time they allowed fewer than 122 yards was back in 2008 in the season opener vs. Idaho. Not only that, the defense forced six three-and-outs as Cal only had three drives of five plays or more, so it's no surprise that Cal was forced to punt on their first eight drives of the game. On top of all that, for the first time since 2013, the Arizona defense didn't allow their opponent into the end zone.
LIMITING THE OPPONENT: In this day and age, allowing just 122 yards is an incredible feat no matter the circumstances. Against Cal, the Wildcats let up just 94 yards through the air and 28 yards on the ground. That makes it three times this season that Arizona has allowed fewer than 100 passing yards and it is the fewest amount of rushing yards by an opponent since UTEP had 17 back in 2017.
BARRS, OSTENDORP NAMED PAC-12 PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Kyon Barrs was named Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week and Kyle Ostendorp was named Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week last week after their tremendous performances that helped Arizona earn their first win of the season against Cal. Barrs is Arizona's first Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the week and Ostendorp is the first Wildcat to be named Special Teams Player of the Week since Lucas Havrisik won in 2019. Barrs finished the game with a career-highs in both sacks (2.5) and tackles for a loss (3.0). His 2.5 sacks were the most of any Pac-12 player this past week and he helped anchor the defense that allowed 28 rushing yards, the fewest UTEP had 17 rushing yards back in 2017. Barrs is tied for third in the Pac-12 with five sacks this season and leads the team with seven TFLs. Ostendorp, who has been not only one of the best punters in the Pac-12, but the nation, averaged 50.1 yards per punt on seven kicks vs. Cal. He downed four punts inside the 20-yard line, including three inside the 10 and one at the 1-yard line. He played a crucial role in field position as Cal's average field position was their own 21-yard line. Ostendorp is fifth in the nation in punting at 48.2 yards per punt, he has the most punts of 50 yards or more in the Pac-12 (24) and has the second-most punts downed inside the 20 in the Pac-12 (16).
WILDCATS IN THE NFL: As of week 10, the Wildcats are once again well represented in the National Football League with 10 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
|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|
|Will Parks||DB||San Francisco 49ers|