TUCSON, AZ – Facing a huge challenge against No. 12 Oregon (5-1, 3-0), Arizona Football (3-3, 1-2), could not score the upset in a sobering, 49-22 loss.
It was a cool 73º at kick-off as the clouds streamed across the darkened Arizona sky. Arizona Stadium buzzed with the energy of 50,000 anxious football fans, virtually all in attendance hoping to see Arizona Football upset No. 12 Oregon.
Unfortunately, that optimism quickly dissipated after Oregon jumped out to a commanding, 21-3 lead before Arizona could seemingly blink.
Outpacing the Wildcat offense 580 yards to 356 in this one, the 12th-ranked Ducks boat raced the Cats on Family Weekend in their 49-22 win. Oregon quarterback Bo Nix would throw for 265 yards on 20-25 passing, while also rushing for 70 yards and three touchdowns.
However, things didn’t necessarily start that way. Winning the opening kick-off, Arizona would look comfortable and poised, driving 64 yards in the first series before fumbling on the Ducks’ 11-yard line.
Luckily, Arizona held Oregon to a three-and-out and a few plays later, the Cats struck first, connecting on a 38-yard Tyler Loop field goal to make it 3-0.
Unfortunately, that lead would not last long as Oregon would not score on just one, but on seven-straight touchdown drives before being forced to put again. Granted, the Wildcats would put up a bit of a fight in this one despite being severely overmatched.
Trailing 21-3 just before the half, Arizona running back DJ Williams would find the end zone on a 55-yard touchdown scamper making it 21-10 with 03:43 to play in the half.
Unfortunately, Oregon would respond with an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that lasted just 3:09 to make it 28-10. Luckily, the 34 seconds left before the half were just enough for Arizona to drive down and kick a 36-yarder from Loop to make it 28-13 at the half.
However, a big offensive second half by the Ducks would overpower Arizona Football as the Wildcats were unable to hang on.
Getting the ball back to start the second half, Oregon’s offense wouldn’t slow down, opening the half on an eight-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that made it 35-13 in favor of the Ducks after Nix found the end zone on a 2-yard rush.
An Arizona interception would lead to Oregon finding the end zone yet again, as a little over a minute later, Oregon running back Bucky Irving would scamper in from 23 yards out to make it 42-13 Ducks.
Just a few minutes later, Oregon scored again as Nix took one to the house on a 25-yard run to make it 49-13.
Even with the game out of hand, Arizona did not quit, scoring on a 30-yard field goal from Loop to make it 49-16.
A quick three-and-out by Oregon would allow Arizona to find the end zone again. This time it was Jayden de Laura that connected with Tetairoa McMillan on an 11-yard touchdown pass to cut Oregon’s lead to 49-22. The Wildcats would fail on the two-point conversion.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats couldn’t muster any more offense in this one as Oregon put the clamps on in the end, securing the eventual, 49-22 win.
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 3-3 (1-2) on the season and will return to action next weekend when they travel to Seattle to take on a Washington (4-2, 1-2) team that has lost two straight.