Wildcats Host Buffaloes at Arizona Stadium
TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Wildcats (2-2, 0-1) are back home this Saturday night for a Pac-12 matchup against the Colorado Buffaloes (0-4, 0-1) at Arizona Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. MST with a television broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
Arizona looks to get back in the win column after dropping last weekend's road contest at California despite a historic passing performance from quarterback Jayden de Laura.
The Wildcats and Buffaloes last played in Tucson with fans in attendance in 2018, a 42-34 shootout victory for Arizona.
A complete preview of the Wildcats week five test can be found below.
ARIZONA NOTES & NUMBERS
- The Arizona Wildcats return home to host the Colorado Buffaloes for their Pac-12 home opener on Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.
- Kickoff for Saturday is set for 6:30 p.m. MST on the Pac-12 Networks with J.B. Long (PxP) and Max Browne (Analyst) on the call.
- Arizona trails in the all-time series against Colorado, 8-16, and has lost each of their last two matchups against the Buffaloes. The Wildcats last home victory over Colorado came in 2018, a 42-34 decision. The Buffaloes hold a 9-3 all-time edge in the series in Tucson.
- Quarterback Jayden de Laura threw for a career-high 401 yards in last weekends loss at California, marking the 19th 400-yard passing performance in school history. The Wildcats are 9-10 all-time when a quarterback throws for 400+ yards.
- In games San Diego State, North Dakota State, and California the Wildcats scored 38, 31, and 31 points, respectively. This is the first time that Arizona has scored 30+ points multiple times in a season since 2019 when they did it five times and went 2-3 in those contests.
- Arizona's offense averaged just 17.2 points per game during the 2021 season, a mark that has increased to 29.3 points per game through the first four games this year.
- The Wildcats finished Saturday's game in Berkeley with two 100-yard receivers (Cowing 133, Singers 103) for the first time since 2014.
- Dating back to Arizona's week five matchup against UCLA last season, running back Michael Wiley has scored at least one touchdown (5 rushing, 4 receiving) in eight of the last 10 games.
36 — WR Jacob Cowing has recorded 36 consecutive games with at least one reception, tied for the second-longest active streak among all FBS players.
536 — The Wildcats 536 yards of total offense at California are the most under Head Coach Jedd Fisch and the team's first 500-yard performance since Oregon State in 2019 (526 yards).
401 — QB Jayden de Laura threw for a career-high 401 yards against Cal, marking the 19th 400-yard passing performance in school history.
199 — TE Tanner McLachlan has caught 15 passes for 199 yards this season, giving him the most yards by an Arizona tight end since Bryce Wolma had 241 in the 2017 campaign.
6-0 — Quarterback Jayden de Laura is 6-0 in his college career when throwing for 3+ touchdowns.
VERSUS COLORADO: This is the 25th all-time meeting between Arizona and Colorado dating back to Nov. 26, 1931. The Wildcats dropped the first 12 games of the series against the Buffaloes before securing their first victory on Sept. 27, 1986 (24-21). Since that win, Arizona has gone 8-4 against Colorado but have not won a game in the last two matchups. Arizona is 7-3 in its last 10 matchups against Colorado and has lost two in a row. Arizona is 8-16 all-time against Colorado including a 3-9 mark at home and a 5-7 record on the road. The longest win streak for Arizona against Colorado is four games dating from 2012-2015. In 2021, Colorado held Arizona in check, running away with a 34-0 win in Boulder. The last time these two teams matched up in Tucson, Colorado came away with an 11-point win, 24-13. Prior to the last two losses, Arizona won three straight against Colorado from Oct. 2017 to Oct. 2019.
ABOUT LAST WEEK: Cal running back Jaydn Ott ran for 274 yards and three touchdowns and California opened Pac-12 play with a 49-31 victory over Arizona on Saturday. Ott scored on a 73-yard run on the second play from scrimmage, an improbable 18-yarder in the third quarter after he had appeared to be stopped for a short gain, and then another 72-yarder to ice it late in the fourth. Ott had the third most rushing yards in school history, trailing only Jahvid Best's 311 against Washington in 2008 and Jerry Drew's 283 against Oregon State in 1954. Jack Plummer added three TD passes for the Golden Bears (3-1, 1-0), who won their sixth straight home game. It's their longest winning streak at Memorial Stadium since a nine-gamer in 2008-09. Cal also ended a six-game skid against Arizona (2-2, 0-1) by beating the Wildcats for the first time since 2009. Jayden de Laura threw for 401 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats (2-2, 0-1), who had no answers defensively and lost their 12th straight conference road game. A year after Arizona beat COVID-depleted Cal 10-3 at home for its only win in 2021, the teams exceeded that point total after both teams scored touchdowns on the opening drive. It was a back-and-forth, high-scoring affair in the first half with Ott scoring on a 73-yard run on the second play from scrimmage to set the tone. The Wildcats scored on four of their first five drives of the game, getting two short TD runs by Jonah Coleman and Michael Wiley and a 24-yard TD pass from Jayden de Laura to Tetairoa McMillan. Plummer threw a 16-yard TD pass to J. Michael Sturdivant in the second quarter and gave Cal the lead early in the third when he found Keleki Latu from 3 yards out on fourth-and-1. Ott added his second TD midway through the third quarter. He ran into a group of defenders at the 13 yet managed to keep his feet and snuck out of the scrum to run it into the end zone to make it 35-24. Ott added his second breakaway run late in the fourth quarter. Cal rushed for 354 yards on the ground averaging 9.3 yards per rush which is the most yards per rush that Arizona has allowed since 1980.
DYNAMIC OFFENSE: The Arizona Wildcats finished the game at Cal with two receivers recording over 100 yards receiving (Cowing 133 yards, Singer 103) for the first time since playing California in 2014 (Cayleb Jones 186 yards, Austin Hill 127). The Wildcats 536 yards of total offense at Cal are the most under Head Coach Jedd Fisch and the Wildcats first 500-yard performance since Oregon State in 2019 (526 yards). Jacob Cowing has 2,973 receiving yards in his career. He is 27 yards shy of 3,000-career yards. Cowing is the only Wildcat to record one-plus touchdown from scrimmage in his first four-plus games with a Pac-12 School since 1996. He is one of eight players to perform this feat within the Pac-12, with three of them currently active streaks.
CHASING HISTORY: Junior wide receiver Jacob Cowing has made six touchdown catches in his first four games with Arizona. He is three TD grabs away from moving into the program's top 10 leaderboard in single-season touchdown receptions. Cowing is currently tied for 18th in program history.
TURNOVER SWORD: Arizona's defense matched its 2021 turnover total with a fumble forced by defensive lineman Hunter Echols which was recovered by linebacker Jerry Roberts against North Dakota State. The Wildcats have forced six turnovers through four games, which matches the turnovers forced during the entirety of the 2021 season. The Arizona defense has forced a turnover in three-of-four games this season with four fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
LIMITING PENALTIES: Arizona committed only one penalty for 15 yards against North Dakota State. The last time the Wildcats were flagged only once in a game was Oct. 5, 2019, against Colorado. In the game against NDSU, Arizona did not turn over the ball along with only one penalty. The last time the Wildcats had a turnover-free, one-penalty game was a 48-14 win over Washington on Oct. 4, 2008, at Arizona Stadium, a span of 167 games.
DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS: Linebacker Jerry Roberts reached double-digit tackles (10) against Mississippi State to achieve the feat in a second consecutive game. Roberts previously had one double digit tackle game in his career at Arizona (Utah 2021). Roberts is fourth in the Pac-12 with 8.8 tackles per game and is fourth in overall tackles (35.0). Senior defensive lineman Hunter Echols forced a fumble for the first time in his career and has set a new career high with 22 total tackles this season (10 solo, 12 assists). Senior Jalen Harris is well on his way to surpassing his career-high 44 tackles from 2021. Harris has 25 tackles (11 solo, 13 assists) through four games, averaging 6.25 tackles per game.
HE'S GOING STREAKING: Junior wide receiver Jacob Cowing extended his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 36 at Cal, which is the second-longest such streak in the nation (41, Chris Autman-Bell, WR, Minnesota). Through four games, Cowing has pulled in six touchdown catches which is tied for second nationally and he is tied for 19th nationally with 378 receiving yards (94.5 yards per game, 22nd). He made seven receptions for 133 yards at Cal, marking the second-most receiving yards in a single game this season. He has surpassed last year's top scoring threat through the air, running back Michael Wiley, who tallied four receiving TDs in 11 games played. He is three touchdown catches shy of breaking into the Arizona all-time top-10 and five off the single-season record of 11 touchdown catches held by six players. Cowing caught a touchdown with 4:53 remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Wildcats in front of North Dakota State 31-28, marking his third straight game with a reception (5 rec., 55 yards) and the first Wildcat player with touchdown catches in three straight games since Michael Wiley caught a touchdown in each of the final three games of the 2021 season. Cowing had a breakout game during his debut with Arizona. He made eight catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns to help the Wildcats to a season-opening 38-20 win at San Diego State. The junior from Maricopa, Cowing was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, Biletnikoff Award Watch List, East-West Shrine Bowl 1000, preseason Second-Team All-Pac-12, and the Reese's Senior Bowl Watch List. Cowing played three seasons at UTEP prior to transferring to Arizona. He led the Miners in receiving yards all three years, including a 2021 campaign in which he finished with 69 receptions for 1,354 yards and seven touchdowns. Cowing earned First Team All-Conference USA honors in 2021 and Second Team recognition in 2020. He finished the 2021 season ranked ninth nationally among all FBS players in receiving yards (1,354).
LOOP THERE IT IS: Kicker Tyler Loop made his only attempt at Cal to improve to 16-for-17 on field goal attempts and 27-for-27 on extra-points for his career. Loop is 15-for-15 on extra-point attempts and 4-of-5 on field goals so far this season. He made one of two attempts against North Dakota State, improving to 15-of-15 on his career prior to missing a 43-yard field goal attempt with 12:56 left the fourth quarter. Loop was one of four Pac-12 kickers to begin their collegiate career perfect in kicking at least 15 field goals including Arizona State's Thomas Weber, 17 straight from Sept. 1 to Nov. 3, 2007, Utah's Matt Gray, who made 14 straight from Aug. 31 to Sept. 22, 2017, and Nathan Villegas (Oregon), who made 14 straight to begin his collegiate career from Sept. 5 to Nov. 7, 1998.
WILDCATS IN THE NFL: The Wildcats are once again well represented in the National Football League this year with 10 former letterwinners active across the league. One of Arizona's most prestigious alumnus, tight end Rob Gronkowski, retired following the 2021 season after winning the fourth Super Bowl of his career. Gronk was a five-time Pro Bowl selection, a four-time First Team All-Pro selection, and was selected to the NFL's 2010s All-Decade Team and NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. Over 11 seasons with New England and Tampa Bay, Gronkowski recorded 9,286 yards (5th all time) and 92 touchdowns (3rd all time). Quarterback Nick Foles is in his 11th NFL season after rewriting the Wildcats record books during his time in Tucson. For a complete list of former Wildcats in the NFL, see the comprehensive chart below.
Current Wildcats on NFL Rosters
|Stanley Berryhill III||WR||Arizona Cardinals|
|Jace Whittaker||CB||Arizona Cardinals|
|Dane Cruikshank||S||Chicago Bears|
|Roy Lopez||NT||Houston Texans|
|Nick Foles||QB||Indianapolis Colts|
|Nick Folk||K||New England Patriots|
|J.J. Taylor||RB||New England Patriots|
|Gary Brightwell||RB||New York Giants|
|Will Parks||S||New York Jets|
|Demetruis Flannigan-Fowles||LB||San Francisco 49ers|