Despite having to exit early in the Arizona Wildcats’ regular season finale with a left shoulder sprain, sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate is “fine” and “good to go” for the team’s bowl game, head coach Rich Rodriguez told the media Sunday.
QB Khalil Tate is “fine” and “good to go” for the bowl game, per RichRod. Suffered a “sprain” vs ASU.— Michael Lev (@MichaelJLev) December 3, 2017
Tate and Arizona (7-5) will be facing the Purdue Boilermakers (6-6) in the Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara, Calif. on Dec. 27.
Tate took a big hit late in the first half of Arizona’s loss to ASU, and it would sideline him for all but two series in the second half as the Wildcats blew a 10-point halftime lead in their 42-30 loss.
Tate was 11 for 13 for 132 yards along with 28 rushing yards and a touchdown in that game before permanently being relieved by Brandon Dawkins.
Dawkins could not move the Wildcats’ offense nearly as well, and it is fair to argue the Territorial Cup would have had a different outcome if Tate were healthy.
The severity of Tate’s injury was never revealed, but evidently it is not serious enough to sideline him for Arizona’s bowl game. That is obviously huge news for an Arizona team that is vastly inferior without him.
Tate was sidelined with a shoulder injury early in the season too, but this time it is his non-throwing shoulder.
Purdue has the No. 28 defense in the country, per S&P+ ratings, but did not fare well when facing Lamar Jackson, a quarterback with similar mobility as Tate, in its season-opener.
Jackson was 30 for 46 for 378 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 107 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in Louisville’s 35-28 win.
Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire