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Arizona football roundtable: On the Wildcats' historic night and UCLA

Man that NAU game has some bananas numbers

Chris Coduto/Getty Images

So the Arizona Wildcats got through the nonconference schedule 3-0, just like everyone thought. But that game against NAU on Saturday is going to go down as the best offensive performance in the history of Arizona football.

Now we get to UCLA and Pac-12 games from here on out. Let's take a look back, and also take a quick look ahead to this week:

1. Pick one stat from Saturday and explain why it's the craziest of all the stats:

Gabe Encinas: I'm going to go with the pace of Arizona's scoring drives. Arizona had the ball 14 times, and scored 11 times, all of which were touchdowns. Arizona stalled out on three drives, and only one was a three-and-out. But the most impressive stat when looking at the drives is looking at the time it took score, with all 11 scoring drives going under 3:03.

David Potts: All four quarterbacks on the squad picking up touchdowns. In order for that to happen, you really need a perfect storm of circumstances. You need a gigantic lead early so that Anu Solomon can sit. You need Jerrard Randall to score and the offense to continue to roll so efficiently that Brandon Dawkins gets into the game. Then you need Dawkins to score and even more offense so that you can put Zach Werlinger into the game. And then you need him to score, too! It's just unbelievable and it speaks to how great Arizona's offensive performance was on Saturday.

Ryan Kelapire: Jerrard Randall had three carries for 149 yards. And two of those three carries were 70+ yard touchdown runs. That gives him a yard per carry average of 49.7 for the game. He basically had two times as many rushing yards as NAU had as a team, and Randall did it with 40 (!) fewer carries. If that isn't the craziest stat, then I don't know what is.

Jason Bartel: Ryan actually took mine, but looking back on it, the fact that all four quarterbacks had a rushing TD is ridiculous. First off, that means Anu had a rushing TD, which doesn't happen very often in the first place. I love that Zach Werlinger will go down as the guy that gave Arizona its most points and yards in program history. That is THE best thing that I have ever heard.

2. What odds would you have given a Zach Werlinger TD run followed by a Josh Pollack extra point?

GE: I would have never guessed that Zach Werlinger would see the field in his career, with Randall and Dawkins well ahead of him. And then considering the incoming quarterback commits over the next two years, I'd assume Werlinger would just be wearing a headset his entire career. So him being in the game was mind blowing. It's going to be Josh Pollack taking over the kicking duties next year for Casey Skowron, so I'm glad the little guy got in the action.

DP: All of the odds. Infinity odds. That Zach Werlinger even saw game time is amazing in itself (because the depth chart only went three deep at QB, he wasn't even listed), and the fact that the extra point was kicked by a back-up kicker only compounds the insanity.

RK: I never thought it would happen. We were joking during the game that maybe Werlinger would get some playing time against NAU. I thought that was possible, but I certainly didn't think he'd score a TD on top of that.

JB: Like Ryan said, we were joking about it when halftime rolled around, and 35 second quarter points had just happened. I just thought RichRod would want to see as much Brandon Dawkins as possible since Jerrard's going to be playing more anyway. But infinity odds sounds about right for this to have happened in 2015.

3. Through three games, what has been the best surprise and what has been the worst surprise?

GE: The best surprise has been Anu's performance as more of a game manager now. He's throwing shorter slant routes both inside and out, while mixing in the occasional pass across the middle or down the sideline. 10 touchdowns, no interceptions, while completing about 70% of his passes, he seems to be much more comfortable, for now.

The worst surprise has been the injuries on the defensive side. Just when you think the linebacker situation is at the worst, it just keeps getting worse. There's a rumor that Scooby could potentially be back for UCLA, but we'll see what Rich Rodriguez has to say later in the week.

DP: The best surprise to me has been the play of DaVonte' Neal. He has been the team's best cornerback through three games and has brought some sense of stability to a position dealing with injuries (Jarvis McCall), inexperience (Sammy Morrison), and inconsistency (Cam Denson). Plenty of other things have gone Arizona's way so far this season - Nick Wilson is still running the ball extremely well and Anu has been great - but none are as surprising as Neal's play.

The worst surprise to me has been the injuries Arizona has had to deal with, particularly at linebacker. Obviously the Scooby Wright injury is the most important (and the worst for Arizona), but it is nearly impossible to develop a plan to deal with the number of injuries Arizona has sustained at linebacker. While injuries can always be an issue - I still worry about whether the offensive line will be able to hold up if someone goes down - the fact that so many injuries occurred to one specific position group has been a very disappointing surprise.

RK: The best surprise has been DaVonte' Neal. I wasn't sure how quickly he'd be able to make a significant impact after the position change, but he's already become Arizona's best cornerback. The worst surprise has been the Scooby Wright III injury. Without Scooby, Arizona's defense takes a major step down. Especially when his backup, Haden Gregory, also suffered an injury. I don't know if Scooby will be back against UCLA or Stanford or not, but without him, I don't like Arizona's chances to get stops consistently.

JB: I honestly haven't been surprised by DaVonte' Neal. Guy's an athlete, and so competitive. He just couldn't break through with Samajie Grant and Nate Phillips being more physical versions of himself, and with better hands. I think to me, the best surprise has been the defense's performance as a whole in the last two weeks without Scooby Wright. Nevada's potent run game was completely shut down, and then NAU averaged 1.7 yards per carry. That's pretty damn good.

I guess it was obvious, but the worst surprise was Scooby's injury. To go with that, I was surprised to learn that there was a guy named Tre Tyler on this team.

4. What aspect of Arizona's game are you most concerned about when facing UCLA?

GE: The defense. I think Anu Solomon has a strong command of the offense and he'll be avoiding those lulls he would get into, going three-and-out many a times last season. So for UCLA, it'll be up to the defense to be able to cause some havoc, throw Josh Rosen off a bit and come up with some turnovers to get the offense back on the field. If Arizona can stop UCLA just a few times, that could be the difference.

DP: I'm most concerned that Arizona won't be able to get to Josh Rosen. We don't know if Scooby will be playing yet, and I'll feel a lot better about this game if he does. But Arizona's line and linebackers haven't been able to consistently get after the quarterback in the first few games of the season. That's a problem, particularly when going against a UCLA unit that has only given up one sack all year. Arizona needs to make UCLA's true freshman quarterback uncomfortable in order to win this game, and I worry that they won't be able to do it.

RK: The run defense. As I mentioned earlier, the injury to Scooby Wright III has left the linebacking corps in shambles. UCLA, with Paul Perkins and Myles Jack, have a potent ground game and Arizona has struggled to stop the run at times this year. If Scooby is back -- Rich Rod mentioned there's a chance that happens -- then my main concern would be Arizona's ability -- or lack thereof -- to slow down UCLA's passing game. Josh Rosen struggled against BYU, but he's still as dangerous as any QB in the Pac-12. The secondary gave up some big plays against UTSA and NAU, and obviously the Bruins are much more talented than those two teams.

JB: After I just talked up the defense, it is the front six that I am most concerned about heading into this game. I know the offense looked like trash against UCLA last year, but this game will be won by the defensive line and linebackers. It was very encouraging to see Sani Fuimaono and Reggie Gilbert perform well on Saturday though.