A closer look at Arizona's 18-16 loss to BYU

Arizona opened the season with an 18-16 loss to BYU in the Cactus Kickoff Classic. Read on to find out more about what happened in the game.

Arizona fell to BYU in the season opener 18-16. Here is a closer look at what happened:

* Arizona started the game with Anu Solomon at quarterback, but the junior struggled throughout the first half with making reads. He completed 11-17 passes for 119 yards, but consistently led receivers right into coverage and refused to keep the ball on the zone read option. Solomon picked things up at times in the second half, finishing 20-30 for 213 yards. The big crux for the signal caller was his decision making and the two interceptions that he threw in the game. 

* While the Wildcats listed Nick Wilson and Orlando Bradford as a duo in the depth chart, Wilson was the one who got the lion's share of the carries in the game. The junior carried the ball 17 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns including a 49-yarder to put Arizona ahead late. Bradford carried the ball just one time for a single yard.

* On the receiving front, Nate Phillips led the way for the Wildcats with seven catches for 69 yards. Trey Griffey was an early target for Solomon, but the senior finished with just four catches for 65 yards. Shawn Poindexter caught his first career pass for Arizona late in the game for 19 yards and former quarterback turned tight end Josh Kern was able to get in on the action with a six-yard catch of his own as well.

One bright spot for the Wildcats was the defense. Coming into the game, many on the Arizona side would gladly have taken a game in which BYU scored just 18 points. Despite giving up 415 yards, the Wildcats' defense did what it needed to a majority of the night, getting stops and forcing BYU to kick the football.

Senior linebacker Paul Magloire led all players with ten tackles in the game, including two for loss, but the Wildcats' best player on the field may have been safety Tellas Jones, who finished with five tackles before leaving the game with a knee injury in the first half.

* The Wildcats' defense was more aggressive under the new regime, putting plenty of pressure on the BYU quarterback. Arizona got three sacks, one each from Anthony MariscalDavonte' Neal, and Jarvis McCall. The Wildcats also tallied seven tackles for loss in the game with two from Magloire and two from DeAndre Miller.

In addition to a new defensive coordinator, Arizona is breaking in a new place kicker as well. Josh Pollack got his first field goal opportunity of his career with a 52-yarder at the end of the first half. He pushed it just wide, but was able to redeem himself in second half when he kicked a 46-yarder through the uprights.  

BYU was able to score late in the game to take the lead for good with just four seconds remaining. The Cougars relied on freshman kicker Jake Oldroyd for the 33-yard attempt and he made it look easy. Earlier in the game, sophomore Rhett Almond made a 24-yard field goal, but was benched after missing an extra point.  

* Arizona fell to BYU in the season opener and dropped to 0-1 for the first time since 2007. The Wildcats opened that season with a 20-7 loss at BYU. Arizona went on to a 5-7 season that year. 


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