TUCSON, AZ – Despite their big win over San Diego State, Mississippi State (2-0) was too much for Arizona Football (1-1) as the Wildcats lost 39-17.
It was an electric game to start for Arizona Football as the Wildcats welcomed Mississippi State to Tucson for the first time in program history.
And after receiving the ball to start, it took the Wildcats just six plays to drive 75 yards to score, capping things off with a 34-yard touchdown run from Michael Wiley to make it 7-0, Cats.
On the drive, Jayden de Laura and the Wildcats were confident and efficient, imposing their dominance at will.
Unfortunately, the 57 minutes and 57 seconds remaining in the game would be too much time to give the Bulldogs a chance to come back in this one.
Responding with ease, Will Rogers and the Bulldogs drove 70 yards on eight plays to score a touchdown. Luckily, Massimo Biscardi missed the field goal to keep the Cats in the lead 7-6.
Back-to-back failed drives by the Cats would allow Mississippi State to take, and extend their lead to 15-7 after another touchdown drive from Rogers and Co. (failed extra point), and a field goal from Ben Raybon from 39 yards out.
Despite a few valiant attempts afterward, both squads would exchange field goals, to end the half.
Trailing 18-10 to Mississippi State at halftime, Arizona Football would still be in this one but would need a better offensive effort if they were to have a chance.
Needing a big start from their defense to open the second half, unfortunately, the Cats wouldn’t get it as Mississippi State would open the second half with a 75-yard touchdown to make it 25-10.
A few series later, the Wildcats would benefit from a fumble by the Bulldogs, responding with a touchdown of their own. And despite his struggles for much of the game, de Laura would find a rhythm on this drive, ending on a two-yard screen pass to Jacob Cowing to make it 25-17.
Unfortunately, that is the closest this one would get in the second half, as the Bulldogs wore down the Cats, scoring 14 unanswered points to end the game.
With the 39-17 loss, Arizona falls to 1-1 on the year and will return to action next weekend when they take on FCS powerhouse, North Dakota State in Tucson.