The Arizona football team took on San Diego State University this past Saturday in San Diego, California, for the first game of the season. This year's meeting between the two had a much different outcome than their matchup last season. Here are the stats that changed the game.
Four touchdown passes for de Laura
The transfer portal has proven to be crucial for the Wildcats’ roster, especially with the addition of Pac-12 freshman of the year, Jayden de Laura. In the opener, de Laura went 22-35 for 299 yards and four touchdown passes. De Laura worked the clock well and controlled the offense like a veteran. His completion percentage was 63% with just one interception that ended up being a meaningless mistake. De Laura showed his strong connection with Jacob Cowing early as they connected for three touchdowns and a big chunk of the 461 total yards. De Laura also connected with five-star freshman, Tetairoa McMillan, for a 6-yard touchdown pass.
Defense looked strong with many stops
Johnny Nansen’s defense had a crucial interception from Jaxen Turner, a fumble recovery, and forced the Aztecs to punt five times. The defense also had four tackles for a loss along with a sack from 6th year, Jalen Harris. Nansen’s defense held the Aztecs to only twenty points and 52 passing yards as the Aztecs were forced to shuffle through three quarterbacks.
Transfers make an impact
Another transfer, Jacob Cowing, had a great introduction to Pac-12 football with eight catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns. Cowing had 13 touchdowns in three seasons with the University of Texas at El Paso with seven in 2021. Cowing is already almost halfway to his highest single total touchdown count and has tied his touchdown count from both of his first two seasons as a Miner at UTEP. Cowing’s connection with de Laura brings the Wildcats high hopes for the rest of the season.
Another notable transfer that made an impact was a senior transfer from Florida State University, DJ Williams who ran for 88 yards and a touchdown in his Wildcat debut. We will get another look at the transfers in our home opener against Mississippi State University Saturday, Sept. 10, at Arizona Stadium.
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