The Arizona football team fell in Eugene on Saturday against the Oregon Ducks 41-19. While the score may look bad on paper, the Wildcats held their own trailing by only one possession heading into the fourth quarter. Here are a few key stats from the game.
There was a lot of excitement when it was announced that Jordan McCloud would make his first start for Arizona right before the game. There was a lot of good from McCloud, but there was also a lot of bad, including five interceptions. One of them came at the end of the game when it was already out of hand, but the other four turnovers were brutal for Arizona including two of them that came in the redzone. One was returned for a touchdown, while the Ducks scored a total of 17 points off of them. If you take away the two interceptions in the redzone and give Arizona even three points on each of those drives, we would be talking about a completely different ball game.
They aren't plays you can take away for McCloud necessarily, but it does appear he possesses the most upside for Jedd Fisch, Brennan Carroll and the Wildcats offense moving forward.
202 rushing yards:
The Arizona rushing attack had their way all game against Oregon, led by Drake Anderson who took 21 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown. McCloud also showed his dual threat ability undercenter, taking nine carries for 64 yards including some nicely designed quarterback runs. Michael Wiley added in 15 carries for 63 yards.
This was a completely different performance from the Wildcats' offensive line and overall offense after totaling 81, 51 and 106 yards on the ground in each of the first three games on the season. The added dynamic that McCloud offers for this offense is something to look forward to for Arizona.
37:58 time of possession and 7-for-15 on third down:
These two statistics go together as the Wildcats were able to put together a number of long drives with a great success rate on third downs all game. Following an interception thrown by McCloud on the first offensive play of the game for Arizona, he then turned around to lead Arizona on three straight drives of at least 10 plays. They resulted in 10 points with the other drive being one of McCloud's redzone interceptions. They continued this type of success in the second half with two straight drives of at least 12 plays, scoring one touchdown with another redzone interception thrown by McCloud coming in this span as well.
It doesn't matter in the end, but the numbers in the box score do not reflect the final score at all. There are clear positives to take away from this game moving forward on both sides of the ball.
The Wildcats will be off next week before hosting UCLA on Saturday, October 9.
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