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Arizona vs. Utah: Notable stats in the Wildcats’ 36-23 loss

Here are some numbers that stood out in the game

NCAA Football: Arizona at Utah Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats started off strong against the Utah Utes, but were not able to seal the deal, losing to the Utes for the first time during Rich Rodriguez’s tenure.

The offense started off with a bang but played inconsistently the rest of the game. The defense was not able to keep it together in the second half, allowing Utah’s offense to score 24 points in the final 30 minutes.

Here are some numbers you need to know before the ‘Cats host the USC Trojans next week.

127 and 210

rushing yards by Arizona and Utah respectively. Arizona could not get the run game going, which is something that needs to be addressed ASAP. The lack of production in the running game stems from inconsistent offensive line play and the fact Arizona is on its 4th-string running back and a wide receiver. The two running backs in the game, Zach Green and Tyrell Johnson, combined for 45 yards on 13 carries. Meanwhile, Brandon Dawkins and Khalil Tate combined for 82 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

0 and 3

number of takeaways by Arizona and Utah respectively. Utah’s offense (besides the penalties) played pretty efficiently. Arizona, on the other hand, had some mistakes, like when Dawkins overthrew a wide open Shun Brown early in the second quarter. Luckily for the ‘Cats, Utah did nothing with the turnover. Dawkins’ second interception was just bad luck. The third turnover came on a forced throw by Tate after he worked his tail off escaping pressure. Arizona’s defense has to create some turnovers to help not only themselves, but the offense as well.

7.8 and 4.5

average yards gained on first down plays by Arizona and Utah respectively. Arizona outgunned Utah on first downs, giving them much more manageable second and third downs. However, if your offensive line plays inconsistently and your running backs are banged up, it’s pretty tough to fully capitalize on those types of situations.

46.7%

Utah’s third down conversion percentage. Arizona’s defense is starting to get better at getting three-and-outs and stopping opponents on third downs. Even when they are gassed and exhausted, they fight. Obviously they could improve in the second half, but one thing is certain, they are fighting and slowly getting better. The offense and special teams need to hold up their end of the bargain.