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What Jedd Fisch said after Arizona’s Senior Day win over Utah

arizona-wildcats-football-jedd-fisch-utah-utes-postgame-senior-day-michael-wiley-pac12-2023 Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Arizona wrapped up its home schedule with another win over a ranked opponent, improving to 5-1. That’s the Wildcats most wins at Arizona Stadium since 2014, and the second sellout of the fall put their season attendance at 93.1 percent capacity, best since 2010.

“We really did a great job taking care of the desert, taking care of our stadium,” Jedd Fisch said after the 42-18 victory over No. 16 Utah. “Great win for the program, great win for our team. Great way for our seniors, great win for Tucson. Appreciate Tucson coming out in full force, selling out the stadium. Might as well put the season tickets on sale for next year on Monday and let’s see if we could get six hours and see if we can have a one heck of a home field advantage again.”

Our recap can be found here. Below is what Fisch said after the Wildcats’ fourth win against an Associated Press Top 25 team, most since 1989:

On winning on Senior Day: “All in all, just proud of our seniors. Our seniors and the guys that are here have been with us for three years. They’ve dealt with some adversity in the early part of their career. They’ve dealt with adversity as we’re trying to build this program to where we want it to be. And now hopefully they’re feeling some fruits of their labor. But we obviously know the season is far from over. We’ve got 11 games down, and obviously we’ve got an enormous game coming up on Saturday.”

On playing in the rain: “I don’t think the rain affected us at all, really.”

On the gameplan after going ahead 28-0 early in second quarter: “And we got the ball back. Up 28-0 we intercepted them ... and we wound up going 3 and out, that was disappointing. You just play football.”

On remaining confident during the 5-game win streak: “We’ve talked about that with our team, that you get to a point where you have to look in the mirror and know you’re good. When you’re on a good team you do expect, that is what you should expect to do. You shouldn’t be scared to win, you shouldn’t play scared. You shouldn’t have fear crossing your mind when you’re out there, and I don’t think our guys do. I think our guys came out right off the get go and just attacked, attacked this game from the very start.”

On Jayden de Laura throwing a TD pass in the final minute: “(Utah) drove down, they wanted to keep trying to score, and that’s the job of the offense is to try to score. That’s what they want to do and I don’t blame them. And I think that was great that they tried to do that, and they did it, and then they got to 2-point play ... and then they went for an onside kick with 43 seconds left, down 17 points. I wanted Jayden to go out with a touchdown pass this season. I think that he deserves that. And I thought it was awesome that on what could be a senior day for him. Doesn’t have to be, but could be a senior day as a senior, and as a captain, I thought it was pretty awesome that he could go out there and throw a touchdown.”

On carrying momentum over to next week: “I think our team will be very excited to play against ASU, there won’t be a question about that. We understand the importance of the game. We want to keep the Territorial Cup here in Tucson, and our guys recognize that understand that. We will put all our focus starting tomorrow at 9 am into that game.”

On the improved play of the safeties: “I think our safeties are just continuing to get better. I think Coach Cecil and coach Akina have done a tremendous job continuing to develop that room, both schematically and fundamentally. And you could see it, they’re just playing with ... let’s use the word confidence again, right? But when you’re a safety, you either play fearful that the ball is gonna be over your head, or you play with confidence that you’re able to go up there and make tackles and get involved in plays and yet also know your job (is) not allowing somebody to throw it over you. I think that our guys have done a great job. Dalton (Johnson) is a fantastic tackler, so when he’s around the ball, he gets him down. Gunner (Maldonado) has done a great job of managing being a field safety, which is being responsible to make sure nothing goes over his head.”

On what beating Utah for the first time since 2015 means: “I think it signifies that we’ve had a great year and that we’re not going to back down to anybody. And we feel really good about trying to continue to improve, get more physical, get tougher. I have the utmost respect for Coach Whittingham. I think he is by far proven to be one of the best coaches that ever coach college football, and his teams are constantly competing for championships. His teams are physical, his teams are aggressive. And it was a big win for our team, but it was one game, and now we have to move on to the next one.”

On Michael Wiley coming back from an injury to score two TDs: “Mike Wiley is a superstar. We’ll be watching him on Sundays, there’s no question in my mind about that. He has incredible hands ... so when you get him the ball in space, he does an unbelievable job. He’s got very deceptively fast speed. People don’t recognize how fast he is. And to get Mike back, and I’m not sure he’s 100 percent, but I would say that he’s continuing to get there, Mike Wiley is everything we want our program to be about.”

On if he’s surprised at how good Arizona has been this season: “I’m really not. I thought were really good, I’ve just thought this way. I thought it all training camp. I told Dave (Heeke) that when he would come out to practice, I told the President that when he would come out during training camp. We just felt were good. And you could just kind of get a sense that when you think you’re a good team, feel like you’re a good team, you can see it, and our guys, they play confidently. They believe in one another. They believe in what the mission is. The mission is to go out there and play great next week, but I really feel like we built it the way we wanted to build it. We talked about that first year, I really felt like it was year Zero. I felt like we had to really just figure out who we were going to be, what did we want the program to look like? How are we going to lay the foundation? And then last year, we took a huge jump, and I don’t want to ever not give credit to last year’s success. I know we only won five games, but when you can go from 120th on offense to 6th, people want to come here. We became exciting. People wanted to watch us, people wanted to be a part of it. Defensive players want to transfer in, and young players want to keep coming, and because of that bridge allowed us to get to where we are today.”