Game Log: Cats over NAU

It wasn't the most exciting game, nor did it give us a great idea of what kind of team this Wildcat football team will be, but the Cats did get the win over NAU. Here is a log of the game from my perspective in the press box.

4:05 before the game
The Cats have come out in the blue jerseys and white pants. This will now end the speculation of what combo of uniform the Cats go with. My guess is that they go with the reds next week.

14:50 in the first quarter
The Cats go deep on the first play of the game. Richard Kovalcheck looks deep to "Money Mike" and the speedy freshman hauls in the long pass for a gain of 42 yards. John Schuster, one of my co-hosts on the pregame show actually said he would test "Money Mike's" 10.3 speed against the NAU secondary on the game's first play. Got any Lottery numbers Schu?

13:48 in the first quarter
Cats catch a break. NAU holds them short on third down but a roughing the passer all gives them new life. You shouldn't need a break against NAU should you?

13:08 in the first quarter
The Cats score. Mike Bell gets to the corner, avoids the only defender in the area, and scores easily. Less than two minutes in and the Cats lead 7-0.

11:08 in the first quarter
After no sacks a week ago, the Cats sack NAU twice in a row. The second was by true freshman Adrian McCovy and there was pressure from a second true freshman, defensive end Michael Shelton. Shelton is still real green, but he is quickly becoming a nice pass rusher.

9:51 in the first quarter
NAU may not be stopping anyone, but they sure are hitting. They have leveled some serious blows to ball carriers, especially near the sidelines.

8:09 in the first quarter
NAU just went for it on fourth and three inside their own 20. While Arizona was taking too long to set up the Lumberjacks snapped it to one of the up men and he handed off for a 16-yard gain.

6:29 in the first quarter
Poor Kris Theus, on two straight plays he has been juked out of his jock. First by Mike Bell, then by ‘Money Mike' on a quick receiver screen.

5:19 in the first quarter
For the second straight possession the Cats drive deep into NAU territory but have to settle for a field goal. The first was good, the second was blocked. Cats only lead 10-0 in a game that should be at least 17-0.

4:00 in the first quarter
The crowd has lost a ton of energy after the blocked field goal. (Note: they never got it back.)

1:11 in the first quarter
Cats driving again, however, Gilbert Harris just cost himself several yards rushing when he tried to go around an NAU defensive back instead of through him. Harris has to remember that he is 30 pounds heavier than any NAU DB.

15:00 in the second quarter
The Cats lead 10-0, but should be crushing this team. They have been inside the NAU 30 on all four drives, but have only one TD. Kovalcheck missed an open Brad Wood on what should have been an easy score. They also had a field goal blocked and Kovalcheck threw an interception on the last drive.

14:39 in the second quarter
Our first Chris Henry sighting. "The Predator" picks up about two on an inside handoff.

10:29 in the second quarter
Anthony Johnson hauls in a 24-yard td catch. The sophomore makes a great move off the line and the DB did not have a chance. For Johnson it is his first career score.

9:22 in the second quarter
Steptoe rattles off a big run, thanks in part to a block from Mike Jefferson. It looked close in real time and after the replay I think the Cats may have gotten away with one. I am glad that Mike has finally done something this year.

8:19 in the second quarter
The Cats will punt for the first time. Baugher gets all of it, booting it 64 yards. He dropped it at the three but the ball rolls into the endzone.

7:21 in the second quarter
NAU runs the sprint option. Obviously they watched the Utah game. They gained 25 yards on the play, just over a third of their total offense.

5:51 in the second quarter
NAU gets on the board. Robbie DeHaze's 45-yard field goal would have been good from 47, but not much more.

2:04 in the second quarter
Mike Jefferson just made a tough catch. Kovalcheck's pass was a bit low, but Jefferson reached down and grabbed it right before it hit the ground. Sadly, it is his first catch of the year. (Note: he wouldn't catch another one all game).

1:07 in the second quarter
Kovalcheck to Wood for a nine-yard score. However, Wood is whistled for "spiking" the football. Yeah, I am perplexed as well. Apparently his "spike" is unsportsmanlike conduct and worth a 15-yard penalty.

9:32 in the third quarter
NAU just took the opening kickoff and drove for a score. The Cats could be running away with this one, but instead the Cats lead by just two touchdowns. Not only did they march down the field to make things more interesting, but they took a lot of time off the clock.

7:19 in the third quarter
Brad Wood just hauled in his fourth catch of the game. I am not sure but is this a record for Arizona tight ends? Okay I know it is not, but Richard Kovalcheck may be the first UA passer since Tom Tunicliffe to consistently look for the TE.

5:11 in the third quarter
Uh, suddenly we have a ball game. The snap on a punt sails over Danny Baugher's head and the Wildcat punter is forced to kick the ball out of bounds for a safety. Suddenly this one is a game. The Cats only lead 24-12 and they have to give up the ball.

14:00 in the fourth quarter
Schu points out that the Cats had just six yards in the quarter. I repeat: SIX yards. Not good.

13:10 in the fourth quarter
Half the press box was up at the TV's watching the end of the LSU/ASU game. ASU looked like the better team, but thanks to some poor special teams play the Tigers pulled it out.

10:04 in the fourth quarter
On third and inches the Cats sneak the quarterback up the middle. Kovalcheck pushed forward for the first down, but was never tackled. He was stuck in the pile a moment then sprinted off for a over 18 yards.

9:54 in the fourth quarter
Chris Henry had been playing well but just fumbles at the NAU 14. The Lumberjacks have the ball still down 12.

2:26 in the fourth quarter
After letting NAU drive down the field the Wildcats have sacked Murietta three straight times, including two in a row by true freshman Michael Shelton.

The postgame show was almost as lifeless as the game. We had as many calls about the piped in music at the stadium as we did the game. The fans seem a little down, and with good reason, but if the Cats make two more plays down in the redzone the team wins 45-12 and everyone is more excited for the Purdue game. Not a great outing, but the game was 24-3 at the end of the first half. Kovalcheck and Wood misfired on a play that saw Wood wide open in the endzone and the Henry fumble took at least three points off the board. I still don't have a great feel for this team.

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