News & Notes: Arizona defeats NAU

Arizona opened up the first half in convincing fashion against the Lumberjacks, but struggled in the second half. Here are some notes from the UA victory.

PLAY OF THE GAME

Anthony Johnson's 25 yard touchdown reception was inspirational as it proved that he had bounced back from his dropped pass against Utah. The TD marked his first career score.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Mike Bell. Bell rushed for 144 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown on the day. He had over half of Arizona's 226 rushing yards, and Bell's effort led Arizona to victory.

AGGRESSIVE PLAY CALLING

Arizona opened up the game in aggressive fashion with a long pass downfield. Richard Kovalcheck completed a 42 yard pass to "Money" Mike Thomas. After a failed run by Gilbert Harris, and a roughing the passer penalty, Arizona appeared to have a renewed vigor due to aggressive play calling by offensive coordinator Mike Canales. A pass play to Syndric Steptoe brought Arizona to the four yard line and Mike Bell ran it in for the early score.

FIRST CAREER START

Johnathan Turner made his first career at defensive end for the Cats. All things told Turner had one assisted tackle on the night.

KROGSTAD EARNS MILESTONE

Dane Krogstad earned his first career sack in the first quarter of the game smothering Jason Murrietta. It was also the UA's first sack of the season.

Later in the game Michael Shelton registered his first two career sacks on successive plays.

FIELD GOAL WOES

Arizona's place kicker Nick Folk connected on his first field goal attempt as Arizona's second drive stalled in the red zone, however his second attempt was blocked after Arizona once again stalled up in the red zone. It was the first blocked field goal attempt by Arizona since the California matchup last season.

NAU'S QB'S EARLY STRUGGLES

NAU QB Jason Murrietta struggled mightily in the first quarter with a total of -5 yards passing to finish the first quarter. The UA's defense rushed the QB well with a total of five sacks on the night.

In the first half of the game, Murrietta completed a mere three of his 13 attempts for 5 yards.

COMPARISON TO LAST YEAR'S GAME

Last season Arizona defeated the Lumberjacks 21-3. This year it was a different story as the Cats more than matched that scored leading 24-3 at the half. In the end Arizona came away with a 31-12 victory.

FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME

NAU's second half touchdown from Murrietta to Kory Mahr on their first drive of the half was their first touchdown against the Cats since 1945.

MAKING A GAME OUT OF IT

NAU absolutely dominated the third quarter outscoring the Cats by nine points bringing the score to 24-12 at the end of three. In addition, NAU outperformed the UA tallying 114 yards compared to Arizona's six.

Strong UA Numbers

Arizona tallied 298 yards of total offense in the first half, which was the most for a Wildcat team since they put up 368 total yards against NAU in 2002.

Arizona's 24 first half points were the most first half points since scoring 35 against UTEP in 2003.

Arizona's safety was their first since the 2003 matchup with Washington.


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