Arizona fell to Utah 42-10 on Friday night, falling to 3-4 on the year and 2-2 in Pac-12 play. Here are four of the most intriguing stats from Fridays Salt Lake City beatdown:
In a season full of nightmare halves, the first half against Utah might take the cake for the relatively young Wildcat season so far. As Arizona gave up 28 points in the first half in the most excruciating ways possible, with Utah seemingly picking up every single 3rd-and-long they faced as they broke through the Arizona defenses arm tackles with ease while also finding gaping holes in the secondary to pick apart.
Utah running back Zack Moss looked like the second coming of Earl Campbell in the first half, lowering his entire body into blows and being the first to initiate contact consistently against a young and smaller Wildcat unit. Establishing the tone early for an offense that flat-out bullied the Wildcats for the first 30 minutes, and the scoreboard certaintly showed it, as Arizona was out of this game before they seemingly got off the bus from the airport.
2.3 yards per rush
Arizona has led the Pac-12 in rushing the past two seasons, and that streak is looking like it might get broken due to the lack of running game Arizona has been able to produce over the last two weeks.
The unit that seemed to find their footing against Oregon State a month ago, has hit the skids the last two weeks as the Wildcats followed up their 3.6 yards a carry effort against Cal at home with a 2.3 yards a carry performance against Utah. A scary trend for Arizona that needs to be corrected if this team and staff want any shot at a bowl game.
3 yards passing
Khalil Tate started the game for the Wildcats on a short week where his mobility was limited against Cal. Many thought it would be a factor, and it certainly was, as Tate was brought down from behind as his ankle was pinned inbetween the turf and the defender, aggrevating the already sore ankle that Tate has been hobbling on seemingly all season.
The tweak in the ankle resulted in Tate being removed from the game, which led true freshman Jamrye Joiner and sophomore Rhett Rodriguez to fill in. Arizona struggled to get anything going consistently on offense as the Wildcats efforts to try and climb back into the game were dealt a significant blow. Tate finished the game throwing only four passes, completing one of them for just three yards. Arizona is a team built around one player right now, and it showed on Friday night.
1 Touchdown Pass
The man who eventually did take over as the quarterback through most of the game, Rhett Rodriguez, son of former head coach Rich Rodriguez stepped in and threw his first career touchdown pass on friday night.
In an undoubtly challenging year for his family, It was great to see “Rhett-Rod” step up and run the spread offense, the same one his dad helped pioneer and revolutionize, and to do so and get a touchdown to add to the scoresheet is one that tugs at the heartstrings a little bit.Rodriguez could have transfered, nobody would have blamed him, but he stuck through it and to see him get some shine was great. Even though it came in not-so-great circumstances, it was far and away the highlight of the night filled with negatives.
Follow David Skinner on Twitter