Arizona lost to Oklahoma State on Thursday and there were numerous notable items to come from the game. Read on for a closer look at Arizona's loss.
went into Stillwater Thursday night and was punched in the mouth early by Oklahoma State
. The Wildcats could never fully recover from falling behind by three scores in the first half and ultimately fell to OSU 37-14. UA attempted to come back, but continuously shot itself in the foot at the worst possible times.
The Wildcats were without one of their best players in wide receiver Juron Criner
, but still had their chances to close the gap in the first half. Turnovers and early defensive lapses cost Arizona in the long run. The shortcomings prevented the Wildcats from getting close to the Cowboys as they dropped their sixth consecutive contest to FBS opponents.
Nick Foles took a while to get going, but was able to move the offense by the second quarter. He was able to beat OSU through the air, but an ineffective running game coupled with a costly second quarter fumble by wide receiver Austin Hill prevented UA from scoring points on two consecutive possessions in the second quarter.
Foles continued to move the offense, but couldn't produce enough points. He finished the contest going 36 for 50 with 398 yards and one touchdown.
UA's defense allowed Brandon Weeden, Joseph Randle and Justin Blackmon to get too comfortable early in the game and essentially have their way with the Arizona defense in the first half. Randle knifed the Wildcats defense on the first drive that he capped off with a one-yard touchdown run. The very next possession, Weeden hit Blackmon for a three-yard touchdown pass. Randle added another one on the ground in the second quarter to give the Cowboys a 21-point advantage that proved to be too sizable for the Wildcats.
UA's running game was virtually nonexistent for the entire contest. Running back Keola Antolin was hardly a factor with 13 carries for 22 yards. Despite the lack of production from the Wildcats' starting running back, Ka'Deem Carey didn't see the field until the fourth quarter as UA stuck by Antolin for the majority of the contest.
On the other side of the ball, Arizona simply couldn't stop the run. UA surrendered 197 yards on the ground and three touchdown carries. The inability to stop the ball on the ground early really set the Wildcats' defense back for the entire game as Randle had the group on its heels.
One bright spot for Arizona was wide receiver Austin Hill. Through the first three quarters, Hill was the only receiver making much of an impact and despite committing a big turnover in the first half, the redshirt freshman had an impressive outing. Hill finished the game with 8 receptions for 128 yards.
Dan Buckner was also a factor at receiver, concluding the night with 10 receptions, 142 yards and a touchdown. A lot of Buckner's production was when Arizona was playing from behind, but he also showed signs of being an extremely effective weapon in UA's offense.
A sequence in the third quarter really hindered the Wildcats attempt at a comeback. Down 21-7, the Wildcats defense forced the Cowboys to punt early in the third, but instead of booting the ball, punter Quinn Sharp took off with it and proceeded to run 23 yards for a first down. Oklahoma State continued to drive, but a few plays later, Weeden was intercepted by Wildcats' defensive back Mark Watley inside the 10 yard line.
On the ensuing possession, Arizona called timeout on second down. Immediately after the time out, the offense was flagged for illegal substitution and false start before the ball was even snapped and UA was eventually forced to punt. Arizona committed an illegal procedure penalty on fourth down, which gave OSU excellent field position. The Cowboys scored a touchdown a little over two minutes later to give Oklahoma State a 20-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.