Arizona bounces back with impressive win over NAU

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Amy Bailey | The Daily Wildcat Arizona junior Brian Casteel (5) tackles NAU player during the second quarter of the Arizona-Northern Arizona University game at Arizona Stadium on Saturday September 7, 2019 in Tucson Ariz. At halftime the Wildcats lead 51-13.

Arizona beat NAU 65-41 behind 3 touchdowns from freshman Grant Gunnell and 2 from Khalil Tate.

After falling to Hawai’i two weeks ago, the Arizona offense came out firing on all cylinders. Tate was a perfect 8-8 for 98 yards and a touchdown. Arizona started its third drive of the game inside its own ten-yard line, but that wasn’t a problem for Gary Brightwell, who took off for a 94-yard run all the way to the end zone. Early in the second quarter, Tate would also find the end zone with a 1-yard run for his first rushing touchdown this season.

Arizona wouldn’t take its foot off the gas all game. The ’cats were up 35-10 already in the second quarter when Gunnell came in as quarterback. On his first drive, he led Arizona straight down the field and found Drew Dixon for Gunnell's first career touchdown pass and Dixon’s first career touchdown. Gunnell would finish the game with 151 yards passing and three touchdowns. After the game, Tate talked about Gunnell.

“He did well to keep that composure and it was perfect for him to get his feet out there, because we might need him down the road.” Tate said.

Arizona offense would finish the game with 720 total yards. The defense, on the other hand, had another tough game. After a first half where they only allowed 13 points, the second half was the complete opposite. They gave up 442 yards total to NAU, and 271 of that was in the second half alone to go with NAU's 28 points. The Wildcats were also penalized often, with 11 penalties for 127 yards.

After the game, Head Coach Kevin Sumlin said, “There were too many penalties and we’re not going to tolerate it. That was the message after the game.” Sumlin said, “I’m going to address that or those guys won’t play anymore.”

Arizona will have a big test next week as Texas Tech comes to town with its sophomore quarterback Alan Bowman, who threw for 2,638 yards and 17 touchdowns last season. Next week’s game will also be a white out for the second time in Arizona Football history, with the last being Austin Hill's Hail Mary in 2014 to win 49-45 against California.

The game next week against TTU will kick off at 7:30 pm on ESPN from Arizona Stadium. 



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