The Arizona Wildcats broke multiple records against NAU on Saturday night. They put up 77 points and 792 total yards. The defense only gave up 13 points too. It was complete domination, and so it's going to be quite hard to choose three players of the game. But I'll do it. Here we go.
Offense: Jerrard Randall
Let's be honest, I could have put Anu Solomon, Nick Wilson, or David Richards here, but what Randall did, to me, was the most impressive. Randall's first appearance of the game came at receiver, but he did not have a reception. He said after the game that he was "tired of running routes for nothing" and that he was constantly reminding Anu to throw the ball to him. It didn't happen, but Randall made his impact when Anu was taken out in the third quarter. He had three carries for 149 yards. THREE CARRIES FOR ONE HUNDRED FORTY NINE YARDS. He had two long touchdown runs -- one for 72 yards and one for 73 yards. The former came on his first play at QB.
The dude just makes plays and Arizona needs -- and is trying -- to find ways to get him on the field.
Rich Rodriguez said after the game that the plan is to keep Randall at wide receiver as the season goes on. The receiver position is pretty crowded already, so I don't think he'll ever make a huge impact there, though. Maybe he'd be better suited as a backup running back?
Defense: DaVonte' Neal
The defense struggled early on. NAU had 161 total yards in the first quarter, and were able to drive the field with relative ease. The Lumberjacks then scored on their opening drive in the second quarter to make cut their deficit to 14-13. Arizona made it 21-13, and then in NAU's following drive, DaVonte' Neal got his first career interception. Before the pick, Arizona was having major trouble stopping NAU, but Neal's play seemed to be the turning point. Rich Rod echoed that sentiment in his post game press conference. It turns out, the Wildcats didn't give up a single point the rest of the night. That's right, Arizona scored 56 unanswered points after DaVonte's interception.
Aside from the game-changing pick, Neal had four tackles including one tackle for loss. I sure would not have thought that Neal would be Arizona's best cornerback this season, but right now it appears that he is.
Special Teams: Jared Baker
There were no Arizona field goals, and Drew Riggleman only punted once -- though it went for 66 yards. Still, Jared Baker easily had the best special teams play of the game when he returned a pooch punt for 33 yards that allowed Arizona to start their first drive of the game near midfield. The Wildcats scored six plays later to go up 7-3.