Arizona defeated Oklahoma State on Saturday night. Read on for a much closer look at why the Wildcats were able to win, including statistics, quotes, and more.
Oklahoma State scored early and often Saturday night. It received the ball to start the game and, after just under two minutes of possession, marched down the field and took a 7-0 lead.
It was the first time that an opposing team has scored on its first drive this season as Arizona forced Toledo to punt on the first series last weekend.
"We got down a little bit early," Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez said. "It was good to get that first touchdown, it was big. I never saw the guys hanging their heads saying, ‘Oh gosh'."
Rich Rodriguez stuck with his ideals early in the game as the offense went for a first down facing 4th and 16 on the Oklahoma State 36-yard line. The previous play, Matt Scott had been sacked, forcing the long situation.
After the game, Rodriguez admitted that at times, he is tempted to test his luck on fourth downs, "I get nervous sometimes when it's fourth-and-one, fourth-and-two, but when it's fourth-and-long, I have all the faith in the world in John (Bonano)."
Richard Morrison seemed destined to make up for a poor showing last weekend when he showed up to Arizona Stadium on Saturday. Morrison finished the game with 6 catches for 58-yards and a touchdown grab.
Last week, Morrison dropped a touchdown pass and ball inside the opposing 10-yard line.
Oklahoma State struggled to play nice in Saturday's game. The Cowboys racked up 15 penalties for a grand total of 167 yards. It was the most penalty yards in a single game in the history of Oklahoma State football.
"It's undisciplined," Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy said after the game. "It's on the coaches and then it trickles down to the players."
"I'm giving Arizona credit, but we gave them 167 yards in penalties and four turnovers. It was bad football."
John Bonano was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts on the night. His longest was a 46-yarder and pulled Arizona within one point early in the second quarter. Equally important, Bonano was also a perfect 6-for-6 on PATs.
"I wasn't nervous at all about John (Bonano)," Rodriguez said. "I have all the confidence in the world in him. He kicked the ball really well; he's kicked the ball well the last four weeks."
Matt Scott continued his dominance on Saturday with 375 yards of total offense. 320 of those yards came through the air, along with two passing touchdowns. The other 55 yards came on the ground, where Scott also picked up a rushing touchdown, his first since his freshman year in Tucson.
"He's a great competitor," Rodriguez said. "I told him in the locker room we left two or three touchdowns out there, but he made big plays for us. He had some big runs and is as good of a competitor as I've been around."
Arizona led at halftime for the first time this season. The Wildcats almost topped their season point total in the first half, putting up 23 points before the midway point of the game. Last week, the Wildcats trailed 14-10.
"I was happy we had the lead," Rodriguez said. "We had a good lead and the momentum at home. I felt pretty good going into halftime."
Arizona's defense seemed to get better as the season moved along. It held Oklahoma State to 104 rushing yards and just 221 yards of total offense in the first half. The Wildcats also forced a fumble and walk-on Jared Tevis snagged the first interception of the season.
Things changed in the second half when Oklahoma State put up 415 yards of total offense, including 319 in the air. The defense looked a little winded, but credit must be given to true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt, who ended the game with 436 yards passing and four touchdowns. That breaks a Big-12 single game record for passing yards by a freshman.
Arizona's offense had one stat that was key to the game. The Wildcats had no turnovers. Having a -3 turnover margin coming into Saturday's game, Arizona forced 4 Oklahoma State turnovers and didn't have any of its own.
"Last year, we had two or three turnovers," Arizona quarterback Matt Scott said. "We knew they were going to try and strip the ball from us. We focused on taking care of the ball all week and we did that tonight."
On defense, the Wildcats forced four turnovers, including two Jared Tevis interceptions on tipped passes and a Jonathan McKnight interception returned for a touchdown. The defensive stops were key to Arizona's upset victory.
"We tried to force turnovers on defense," Tevis said after the game. "I was in the right place at the right time. It was a great feeling being able to put our offense back out on the field."