The Wildcats had 11 penalties and three turnovers to four penalties and no turnovers for Utah, as the Utes defeated the Wildcats 34-21 at Arizona Stadium.
"We had the same feeling we always do," Tra'Mayne Bondurant said. "It's football, we go out and play it. We had a little more prep this week. Nothing changed and we fought our hardest. We're going to try to get wins in the rest of the games. The seniors deserve it. We'll be moving onto next year still fighting."
Arizona started on its own 35-yard line with a nine-yard run by Keola Antolin two plays into the drive. Taimi Tutogi then gained the first down with a one-yard run and Austin Hill then grabbed a reception for 12 yards. Three plays later, Nick Foles found Juron Criner for 25 yards to Utah's 18 and the drive then stalled. The Wildcats lined up for a 37-yard field goal, but decided to fake it with a pitch to Bonano that failed right when it was snapped, as the Wildcats failed to get any points on the board.
Arizona then forced Utah into a three and out and Arizona got the ball back, moving only a little bit before having to punt. However, the punt was blocked and Utah took over on Arizona's 21. Utah started with an incomplete pass and then Griff Robles took the snap and ran for six yards. On the next play, a double reverse to Devonte Christopher failed to gain any yards and Utah settled for a 32-yard field goal by Coleman Peterson to make it 3-0 with over six minutes left in the first quarter.
Arizona tried to answer starting on its own 19 with a nine-yard pass to Dan Buckner. Two plays later, Foles found David Douglas for 26 yards. Two plays after that, Daniel Jenkins ran for nine yards and Tutogi followed with nine of his own. However, the drive then stalled and Foles was sacked on third down, forcing the Wildcats to punt again.
Utah took over on its own ten-yard line with a seven-yard run by Shawn Asiata followed by a five-yard run by John White and then another run for seven yards that ended the first quarter. White received a direct snap for five yards to start the second quarter and then Hays found Christopher for 65 yards and the touchdown, as the extra point made it 10-0.
Arizona then took the ball hoping to answer, but Foles made a bad decision and threw an interception, giving Utah the ball on Arizona's 30-yard line. White started the drive with a three-yard run and Robles matched it. Asiata then caught a six-yard pass and White ran it in from 18 yards out on the next play, as the extra point made it 17-0 with 11:41 left in the first half.
The teams then exchanged possession before Utah took over on Arizona's 47 and started the drive with a pass interference call on Trevin Wade. White then ran for five, Robles for one, and White for two as Arizona forced a fourth and short. The Utes decided to go for the 44-yard field goal instead of the fourth down conversion and missed, giving the Wildcats the ball on their own 27.
Needing an answer, Antolin had a nine-yard run and followed with a run for four yards. Jenkins then gained 11 on the ground and David Douglas drew a pass interference penalty to get to the Utah 34-yard line. Two plays later, Hill caught a nine-yard pass and Tutogi ran for two yards to get the first down two plays later. On the next play, Foles found Douglas for a 23-yard touchdown, as the extra point made it 17-7 with 3:45 left in the first half.
The Wildcats then forced a three and out and took over on their own six-yard line with over two minutes left. The drive started with a 19-yard pass to Douglas, followed by an 11-yard run by Antolin and another 11 yards in the air to Douglas to get to Arizona's own 47-yard line. The drive then stalled, however, and Arizona was forced to punt.
"They were doing a good job and were covering our routes well," Foles said. "They played fast, the defense as a whole played well. We had moments, but we needed to have more."
Utah started on its own 45-yard line with a four-yard run by Hays followed by a ten-yard pass to Reggie Dunn. Kenneth Scott followed with a 21-yard reception and White gained two yards on the ground to allow Peterson to try a 35-yard field goal, which was good and gave Utah the 20-7 lead at the half.
Utah started the second half on its own eight-yard line with Arizona's Justin Washington getting a personal foul. Hays then ran for nine yards and a few plays later, Wade was called for another pass interference penalty to get Utah to Arizona's 47. Three plays later, Dunn got behind Lyle Brown and found himself wide open for the 44-yard touchdown with the extra point making it 27-7 in favor of Utah.
The struggles for Arizona continued on its next drive, as it was once again forced into a three and out and Foles played one of the worst games of his career. Utah took the ball back on its 40-yard line and started with a four-yard run by White. Christopher then gained eight through the air, Langi three more on the ground, and then Dunn ten in the air to get to Arizona's 32. After an incomplete pass, Robles ran for four yards and on third and six, White fumbled, giving the UA a break, as the 46-yard field goal attempt missed.
The Wildcats took over on their own 29 with an 11-yard pass to Douglas followed by two runs for a combined 18 yards by Ka'Deem Carey. On the next play, Foles had a great play fake to allow his receivers to get open, as David Douglas scored from 42 yards out with the extra point making it 27-14 with five minutes left in the third.
Utah got the ball back, but Arizona's defense made a stand, highlighted by a sack by Marquis Flowers to force a punt to end the third quarter.
Arizona got the ball on its own ten-yard line and started with a 13-yard pass to David Roberts. A few plays later, Douglas caught a seven-yard and then six-yard pass. Unfortunately for Arizona, Antolin fumbled and gave the ball right back to Utah. The Utes were not able to do anything with it and the UA took the ball back on its own 20 with just under 11 minutes left in regulation.
Two plays into the drive, Carey ran for seven yards. Richard Morrison then gained nine yards in the air and Terrence Miller then gained 32 yards in the air. Two plays later, Roberts caught a seven-yard pass and Utah was called for a personal foul, bringing Arizona to the 12. A few plays later, Arizona got a pass interference call to bring it to the two, but Foles threw an interception in the end zone that basically ended the game.
"It was obviously a huge blow," Douglas said. "We had a great drive up until then that went to waste. All you can do when a ball is intercepted is chase down the ball and hope you get another chance."
For Douglas and the rest of the Wildcats, the chance to make a bowl this season left with the loss.
"In my four years here I have never once been home for Christmas," Douglas said. "Obviously it's not a good feeling, but I've had an amazing career and all we can do now is finish strong. We've never been a team that has quit and we're not going to start."