TUCSON, AZ – Hoping to keep their bowl hopes alive, Arizona Football (4-7, 2-6) fell flat against Wazzu (7-4, 4-4), losing 31-20.
With bowl eligibility on the line and quarterback Jayden de Laura facing his old team, everything was set up to be a storybook-type of game. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
Gaining just 441 yards of offense, scoring 20 points, and turning the ball over four times, Arizona Football was walloped by the visiting Cougars.
Uncharacteristic of their previous game, the Wildcats fell behind early, and couldn’t recover as the offense was never able to jump-start against one of the better defenses in the country.
Arizona began the game by kicking the ball off to the Cougars, where Wazzu started with an 11-play, 75-yard drive to make it 7-0 early.
But a quick three-and-out by the Wildcats allowed Wazzu to expand their lead.
Luckily, the Wildcats were able to force a turnover as on Washington State’s ensuing drive, the Cougars fumbled deep into Arizona territory.
Unfortunately, Arizona was unable to capitalize as a punt back to Wazzu allowing the Cougars to score another touchdown to make it 14-0 with 9:06 to play in the 2nd quarter.
Trailing by two scores, finally, Arizona was able to score, driving 54 yards on seven plays that ended in a Tyler Loop field goal to make it, 14-3.
But once again, Wazzu responded with a 63-yard drive that ended in another touchdown as the Cougars expanded their lead to 21-3.
Needing to show some kind of life to end the half, luckily, Arizona was able to put together another decent drive, converting on another Loop field goal to make it 21-6.
Trailing big at halftime, Arizona Football needed to make plays in the second half if they were to keep bowl eligibility.
Starting a bit slow to begin the second half, Washing State would be the ones to strike first, scoring a field goal with 4:45 to play in the third quarter to make it 24-6 after Dean Janikowski’s chip shot 23 yards out.
Just a few short plays later, Arizona would bury themselves further as de Laura threw an errant pass that was picked off by Derrick Langford, Jr. to make it 31-6.
Luckily, two touchdown drives by the Wildcats would make this one more competitive, but ultimately, it was too little too late as the mistakes and costly turnovers doomed Arizona.
Wildcats would lose 31-20 to Wazzu and dreams of a bowl game dashed for the fifth-straight season.
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 4-7 (2-6) on the season and will return to action next week against those guys up North. Hopefully, Arizona can close out the season on a high note.