Five Stats: The numbers that defined Arizona's win over Oregon State
The Arizona Wildcats were able to go on the road and pick up a conference win against Oregon State by a final of 35-14 in a game that saw the Wildcats seemingly find their gear as they put together their most complete performance of the season. Here are the five key statistics that defined the win in Corvallis.
284 Rushing Yards
J.J. Taylor absolutely dominated the Beavers on Saturday afternoon, running all over, through and around the hopeless Oregon State defense, setting a career high.
The Doak Walker Award watchlist member showed why he was included on the preseason list of elite running backs, seemingly finding every cut back lane, hole opening and running lane that was made available to him by the much improved Wildcat offensive line that will be celebrating in their own right after a dominating performance of their own.
Taylor looks to be hitting his stride just when the Wildcats need him. While Khalil Tate was unable to go run past the line of scrimmage most of the day, and with Arizona lacking consistency in the passing game, look for Taylor to be featured much more heavily in upcoming game plans.
Even though Arizona dominated the Beavers in the first half, moving the ball with ease, Arizona still wasn't able to take advantage as it walked into the visitor locker room at Reser Stadium with only 14 points to show for the best half of football the Wildcats have played this year.
Even with 199 rushing yards in the first half, Arizona let Oregon State hang in a game that they had no business being any part of as they were overran in almost every single offensive and defensive categories.
The Arizona defense has been the weakest link in this Wildcat team through the first three weeks of the season. And when you are the weakest unit on a team that is 1-2, corrections and adjustments have to be made, and credit to Marcel Yates and his coaching staff for their first half effort in Corvallis.
Holding OSU to seven points, while forcing multiple three-and-outs, it gave Tate and the electric Wildcat offense more time to do damage on the tired and undermanned Beavers defense.
Minus-9 Rushing Yards
Coming in to this season, everyone, from their mother to Sports Illustrated, thought that the Wildcats were going to have success primarily down to the legs of Khalil Tate. That, to put it lightly, has not been the case, as Tate totaled a whopping minus-9 yards on a day where Arizona totaled over 350 yards on the ground.
In the first four games of the season Tate has battled between his offensive coordinators tight leash and the ankle/leg issue that occurred early in the Houston game clearly slowed Tate down. But the Wildcat staff has adjusted, and found productivity through the other options which should be positive going into matchups against USC, Oregon and ASU.
4 Tackles For Losses
Colin Schooler was absolutely everywhere for the Wildcats against the Beavers, but spent most of his time in the backfield, terrorizing Oregon State all afternoon. He showed the Pac-12 Network viewers why he was dubbed the Freshman Defensive Player of the Year in the Pac-12 last year.
The now-sophomore put many of the concerns and questions about the Wildcat defense that bubbled to the surface over the first few weeks to rest for a couple hours as, Schooler led his unit in their best performance of the season.
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