The Arizona Wildcats fell victim to another top-10 team on Saturday as the Oregon Ducks defeated Arizona 56-31.
And unlike the 2009 contest between Oregon and Arizona, there was no late-game dramatics. The Ducks took the lead early, scoring two touchdowns before the first half of the first quarter was over. The Wildcats added a field goal at the end of the first quarter (that means placekicker Alex Zendejas was one-for-one on field goal attempts during his first game back as starter). Oregon added three more touchdowns in the third quarter.
Late in the first half, the Wildcats tried to mount a comeback. After scoring a touchdown, Arizona recovered an on-side kick with just more than a minute left in the half. But the Wildcats couldn't take advantage of catching the Ducks off guard. The half ended 35-9 in favor or Oregon.
The offense seemed to find some life in the third quarter. Quarterback Nick Foles threw for 398 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. The Wildcats scored two touchdowns and completing a two-point conversion in the third. But as the quarter winded down, the Ducks found their quick-scoring offense again and added another touchdown with 3:19 remaining in the third. Oregon would score touchdown two more times in the game, for a total of six rushing scores and two passing scores via quarterback Darron Thomas.
Sound familiar? That's because it has happened in each of Arizona's games not against NAU. The opponent builds a lead, Arizona concocts some of sort of rally, and then the comeback fizzles out and the opponent continues to its merry way to a victory.
If it seems like the Ducks was scoring every two minutes, that's because they were.
Here's how long each of Oregon's touchdown drives were in the first half:
First touchdown: 2:42
Second touchdown: 2:19
Third touchdown: 2:06
Fourth touchdown: 2:02
Fifth touchdown: 1:37
All of Oregon's scores were touchdowns and all of its scoring drives lasted less than two minutes and 45 seconds. The rapid scoring continued in the second half for the Ducks as well. Oregon's longest scoring drive was 4:44 — An eternity, for Chip Kelly, I'm sure.
If it seems like the defense was on the ground all night, that's because it was.
Oregon ran over the Wildcats and finished with 415 rushing yards. LaMichael James has 288 of those yards and set the single-game rushing record for the Ducks. Oregon rushed 47 times - that's an average of 8.8 yards per rush.
If seems like this feeling is familiar, that's because it's the third week in a row the Wildcats have lost to a top-10 team.
The Wildcats lost to then-No. 9 Oklahoma State, No. 6 Stanford and No. 10 Oregon. Arizona has lost eight of its last nine contests, with the only win during that stretch coming against NAU. The Wildcats' last FBS win was on Oct. 30, 2010, at UCLA. That is just a few short weeks from being a year ago.
Wildcat stat leaders:
Passing: Nick Foles: 34-for-57, 398 yards, 3 touchdowns, 0 interceptions
Rushing: Keola Antolin: 13 carries for 55 yards, 1 touchdown, long rush of 16 yards
Receiving: David Douglas: 7 catches for 120 yards, long reception of 44 yards
Juron Criner: 9 catches for 96 yards, long reception of 31 yards.
David Roberts: 2 receiving touchdowns
Richard Morrison: 1 receiving touchdown
Keola Antolin: 1 rushing touchdown