Arizona football game notes: Scott struggles against ASU
After suffering a concussion against UCLA a few weeks ago, senior quarterback Matt Scott just hasn’t been the same.
Scott had one of his worst games of the season against ASU, accounting for four turnovers.
Scott threw for 230 yards and three touchdowns on 19-of-39 passing, but his three interceptions and one fumble led to 28 ASU points in No. 24 Arizona’s (7-5, 4-5) 41-34 loss to the Sun Devils.
“His decisions were okay, for the most part. There’s a few that he’d like to have back,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said. “We just weren’t sharp in it. But Matt’s a stud. I mean there were some passes that we didn’t execute today that we normally would, but you have to give them credit too, they did a good job covering us and getting pressure at times.”
Scott ran the ball well, gaining 71 yards on 11 carries, but his fumble with 8:39 left in the fourth began a string of three ASU touchdowns in a row. Arizona was leading 27-20 at the time.
The ball bounced back to the ASU 44-yard line when Scott lost the ball after attempting to jump over a tackler on the Sun Devils’-18 yard line.
“Matt Scott is a great quarterback,” junior running back Daniel Jenkins said. “I would tell him not to hang his head at all. You win some, you lose some, but at the end of the day, he’s a hell of a quarterback.”
With 3:17 left and the Wildcats down by just seven, Scott threw a pick that ASU’s Robert Nelson returned 66 yards to the 2-yard line.
“Anytime there’s a turnover either way it’s a huge momentum swing,” Rodriguez said. “And a couple big plays [created] momentum swings.”
Sophomore slot receiver Austin Hill blamed the receivers.
“Things really weren’t clicking,” Hill said. “It’s our fault as a receiving corps. We were making things kinda wild for Matt.”
UA blew a 27-17 fourth quarter lead.
“Turnovers are huge,” ASU senior linebacker Brandon Magee said. “When we get a turnover, the offense has to capitalize and that is exactly what they did. All I can say is I am so proud of all the interceptions and fumbles we caused.”
The three interceptions tied a season high, replicating Scott’s nightmarish night at Oregon, a 49-0 loss.
“He’s got a lot of class and Matt Scott is a stud,” Rodriguez said. “I told him in the
locker room that I love him, he’s had a great senior year and I’m proud of the way he’s played every time he’s got out there.”
Bowl game mystery
The Wildcats are going bowling, it’s just a mystery where.
The Pac-12 has seven bowl slots and eight eligible teams. Arizona might even drop out of the conference’s tie-ins despite their seven wins.
With four teams in the top 17 in the Nov. 18 BCS rankings, No. 5 Oregon, No. 8 Stanford, No. 15 Oregon State and No. 17 UCLA, there is a strong chance the Pac-12 can get two teams in BCS bowls though, which would move every eligible team up a bowl slot.
If USC loses to No. 1 Notre Dame on Saturday, the Trojans, Arizona, ASU and Washington will be tied at 7-5.
Senior guard Trace Biskin said it was strange not knowing what Arizona’s next game will be.
“Hopefully we’ll have a better idea Monday,” Biskin said. “If not, maybe the following week, but I’m pretty sure this week we’re going to get into the weight room and kind of get our conditioning back and get ready to go.”
Arizona’s bowl possibilities are the Hyundai Sun in El Paso, Texas, against the ACC, the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas against the Mountain West, the Kraft Fight Hunger in San Francisco against Navy or the Gildan New Mexico Bowl versus the Mountain West.
“I want to win the next game for the seniors, because we wouldn’t really have done anything without them,” Hill said.
Carey breaks another record
Sophomore running back Ka’Deem Carey broke Arizona’s single season rushing record.
Going into the Territorial Cup, Carey need 18 yards to break the record and he gained 183 yards on 25 carries, despite being hampered by injury.
“He was banged up before the game started,” Rodriguez said. “He was banged up
last week, he got banged up again and wasn’t able to go as much. But I thought [Jenkins] did a nice job when he went in there and [Carey’s] a heck of a football player.”
Carey had 130 yards at halftime but was limited by a shoulder injury in the third quarter. Jenkins ran for 81 yards in relief.
Carey passed Trung Canidate, who ran for 1,602 yards in 1999. Carey broke Canidate’s single game rushing mark of 288, set against ASU in 1998, with his 366 against Colorado.
Bonano’s streak ends
Arizona missed its third extra point in a row against ASU at home after the Wildcats’ first touchdown.
In 2010, Alex Zendejas missed his last two points after touchdowns as UA lost 30-29 in overtime.
Senior John Bonano missed the PAT after kicking a UA record 73 in a row.
Bonano erased the error by running for a two point conversion on a fake place kick, after the Wildcats’ second touchdown though.