The Arizona Wildcats closed out the non-conference slate with a 47-28 win over the Hawaii Warriors on Saturday.
The final 19-point margin was actually the closest the game was since it was 20-7 in the first part of the second quarter. The Arizona offense was clicking right away, and the team at least gained some confidence on that side of the ball before Pac-12 play begins.
The defense was a bit of a different story. Yes, they looked alright in the first half, but started giving up a lot of easy yardage in the second half, and appears to have suffered a few major injuries in the process.
But with that aside, let’s stick to some of the numbers that were put up in this one.
points scored in the first half by the Wildcats. In its first two games of the season, Arizona had put up a combined three points before retreating to the locker room. The offense was moving the ball from the very first snap. This was thanks to some simplified-yet-creative playcalling, and a settled down Brandon Dawkins.
Slow starts to games were weighing on the players’ and coaches’ minds this week, so at least that got answered in a resounding way.
yards per rushing attempt for J.J. Taylor. We had heard about the true freshman’s elusiveness in the open field, but we were finally treated to the spectacle on Saturday. Seriously, some of these moves are just ridiculous:
WHOOP— Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) September 18, 2016
*Chris Berman voice* pic.twitter.com/x8MeOgpyjr
This guy is fast isn't he. That's a 61-yard touchdown by the freshman.— Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) September 18, 2016
Arizona up 44-14 with 3:28 left in the 3rd.https://t.co/LQ3iKlVoHu
#SpinCycle pic.twitter.com/SL16tKmE6Z— Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) September 18, 2016
GET. OFF. ME. pic.twitter.com/wG1bE7FM58— Arizona Football (@ArizonaFBall) September 18, 2016
different receivers caught passes, and none of them had more than five receptions. Dawkins was seeing the field well, which is a far cry from the Grambling State game. There were only 16 completions in the game, so getting the ball to nine different guys is pretty impressive.
Arizona penalty yards on 11 different flags. There was some undisciplined football played in this one, and was totally uncharacteristic of recent Wildcat teams:
Cats committed 11 penalties last night after 11 total in first two games. It had been 46 games since UA's last double-digit penalty game.— Blair Willis (@BlairWillisUA) September 18, 2016
on redzone opportunities for both the Wildcats and Warriors. The difference? Hawaii scored a touchdown on all four of those chances. Arizona had two touchdowns and two field goals. Even in a game where the Cats were able to put up 47 points, the ol’ redzone struggles continued.
sacks allowed by the Arizona offensive line. Why does this matter? Christian Boettcher and Cody Creason, two guys who hadn’t played before, started and played the entire game. Jacob Alsadek, Gerhard de Beer and Freddie Tagaloa all appear to be dealing with injuries, so having a very young offensive line not allow a sack all night is pretty impressive.
Washington’s ranking in both the AP and Coaches’ polls this week before the Huskies travel to Tucson. Many people are aware of Rich Rodriguez’s history of upsetting one top-ten team in each of his seasons at Arizona. Stanford is the only other Pac-12 team inside the Top-22 of either poll, so this may be RichRod’s only shot at getting that top-ten upset this year.