The offense moved the ball up and down the field but had a couple of huge mistakes and also had a couple of stalled drives.
The defense had another rough go of it as well. Here’s how I grade out each group in the second-to-last game of the year.
Overall, the quarterback play was so-so.
Anu Solomon started the game and moved the ball down the field pretty consistently. He had a really nice play where he escaped a couple of tacklers and threw a 43-yard bomb down the field to Shun Brown. However, when the Wildcats were threatening, Solomon took a massive 19-yard sack on third down. That is a mistake that can’t be made. To add insult to injury, Solomon suffered an injured left foot on the sack.
Brandon Dawkins came in and led the offense to a touchdown and field goal before the first half ended. However, the offense stalled to start the entire third quarter. Dawkins did manage to lead the team to another touchdown in the fourth quarter, but too little too late.
Khalil Tate did see time at the end of the game as well.
Running Backs: C-
The running backs, for the most part, were a non-factor. Samajie Grant had a 2-yard touchdown run. Matt Morin came in and had a nice 27-yard run as well.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends: A-
Arizona’s receivers and tight ends had a solid game. Most of the incompletions were poorly thrown passes and not drops by receivers. Nate Phillips was solid all night. Trey Griffey was another solid receiver during the first quarter. Shun Brown can just flat-out play. Cam Denson had a really nice run after catch for 37 yards that set up a 2-yard touchdown run for Samajie Grant. Oh, and Trevor Wood continues to do a great job setting up blocks on the edge.
Offensive Line: C+
The offensive line didn’t play too bad. They only gave up three TFL, including one sack. Considering how much blitzing Oregon State did, that isn’t that bad. They could’ve done a better job at run blocking though. However, the running backs didn’t help their cause either.
The defense was out-muscled and out-played the entire game. They need to fix a lot of issues before the Territorial Cup.
Special Teams: B
The special teams actually played pretty well the entire game. The group would be rated higher, but there were two mistakes.
One was the initial pooch kickoff that gave Oregon State excellent field position and set the tone for the whole game. The second came when redshirt senior Tellas Jones just blasted through Victor Bolden on a punt return before the ball even got there. In my opinion, it was the personification of the frustration plaguing the ‘Cats this year.