Standout plays from Oregon State's rout of Arizona football
Arizona football dropped its Homecoming shootout against the Oregon State Beavers by a final score of 38-56 on Saturday afternoon. Between the combined total of 94 points, there were some standout plays that went down at Arizona Stadium with a crowd of about 37,000 people.
Grant Gunnell's first-drive touchdown to Gary Brightwell:
After being subbed in for senior Khalil Tate, true freshman Grant Gunnell connected with Gary Brightwell for a 38-yard touchdown on his first drive in the game. This play epitomizes the apparent "controversy" at the quarterback position. Tate struggled to score on his first two drives, but Gunnell was able to come in and tack some points on the board, no questions asked.
Experience usually plays a big factor when coaches have to decide who to start at a certain position. This is no usual case, it's an exception that needs to be realized sooner than later. With only three games remaining in the regular season, Head Coach Kevin Sumlin best start freshman Gunnell if his team wants a shot at being Bowl game eligible.
Gunnell threw for 269 yards on 19-for-29 with two touchdowns compared to 109 yards on 7-for-12 and zero touchdowns for the senior Tate. Gunnell has been outperforming Tate on the field during these past couple weeks on the road, as well.
"I thought he operated well. Made some mistakes in his reads, but also made some plays with his legs, and more importantly didn't have any turnovers," said Sumlin on Gunnell's performance.
A poor performance from Arizona's defense:
It is no secret to any Arizona fan that the Wildcats' defense has played abysmally in the past month. In the previous four games, the Wildcats have given up a grand total of 189 points, averaging almost 50 points given up per game. After former defensive coordinator Marcel Yates was fired last week, Arizona football obviously knew that something had to be done about the future of the defense.
This weekend could have been a tribute to the late Dick Tomey and his former stellar defense, but the tables turned and Oregon State's offense ran all over Arizona. Even while sporting the throwback Desert Swarm jerseys, Arizona managed to let Oregon State put up 56 points, including eight touchdowns.
"When things go well, it's easy for everybody. But when things happen the way they have the last couple weeks, it's easy to point fingers, but we can't let that happen. We got one choice and that's to improve and learn from this," Sumlin said.
Arizona receiving keeps the Wildcats in contention:
Even with the defense giving up 56 points in the span of four quarters, Arizona's offense, specifically their receivers, combined for a total of 378 yards, one of the few areas where the Wildcats outperformed the Beavers. Arizona had 12 receivers combine for its 378 yards, including J.J. Taylor for 89 yards, Tayvian Cunningham for 52 yards and Jamarye Joiner for 51 yards. Six of Arizona's 12 receivers caught for more than 35 yards in the game against the Beavers.
"He's a leader by example, and you can definitely look to him to what the effort should look like going forward," Sumlin said on Taylor.
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