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What Kevin Sumlin said at Arizona’s pre-Colorado press conference

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<span data-author="5158751">arizona-wildcats-2018-college-football-season-recap</span> Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

When the Arizona Wildcats were done blowing out the Oregon Ducks late Saturday night it wrapped up one of the wildest days to date this season in Pac-12 football, one where all five games were won by underdogs.

To Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin, though, it was just another day (or night) at the office.

“It’s football,” Sumlin said Monday, when asked about the rash of upsets in the league. “We’ve got enough to worry about. We’re more concerned about us.”

Arizona (4-5, 3-3 Pac-12) was a 7.5-point underdog to Oregon, the largest spread its overcome to win since the October 2014 victory at Oregon in which the Wildcats were 21.5-point road dogs. Yet that pales in comparison to the 26.5 points that the Colorado Buffaloes, the Wildcats’ opponent this Friday night at home, was favored by against Oregon State.

The Buffaloes (5-3, 2-3) lost that game, 41-34 in overtime, after leading 31-3. Sumlin was asked if such an unexpected result involving his team’s next foe has an effect on game planning, but he didn’t bite.

“You guys can get your conjecture,” he said. “We watch tape and what happens, week to week, as you’ve seen in this league, as you’ve seen all over the country … you don’t have to be the best team, you just have to be the best for 3 ½ hours.”

Here’s what else Sumlin said Monday ahead of the Colorado game:

On the defensive performance against Oregon, which was 3 for 16 on third down:

“Our defense got off the field on third down. I thought our tackling was the best it’s been during the year. Really didn’t give up a bunch of big plays.”

On the play of senior S Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, who had three pass breakups:

“The big thing was, he wasn’t tentative. He was aggressive. He had pretty good eye discipline during the game, and he tackled well. When that happens, particularly from the back end, you really eliminate big plays because he got the ball carrier or receiver on the ground.”

On redshirt freshman CB Azizi Hearn’s contributions to the secondary:

“He’s played a lot of football on special teams. That experience, I think, is translating into his confidence. He was in a lot different place when we played Houston than he is now. That’s why we played him, that’s why we put him out there.”

On if the special teams performance against Oregon was the best of the season:

“We grade players individually, and we look at units. We look at all our special teams and rank (as) a combined unit. That’s about field position. A lot of things can happen. Because we blocked the punt, everybody looks at that. But I thought, overall, it was a really solid effort on special teams.”

On the role of wide receivers in the run game:

“Our guys on the perimeter, as I’ve said Saturday night, have been really good. The explosive plays don’t always come off of passes. The explosive runs of 25, 30 yards or more comes off the perimeter. Shawn (Poindexter) is about as unselfish a guy as we have on this team. He takes pride in it.”

On squandering scoring opportunities:

“We’d like to get more touchdowns. After the blocked punt we’re at the 5. You do not get seven, instead you get three. You want to come away with touchdowns instead of three points, really, off of any sudden change or turnover situation. That’s something we’re aware of and we need to improve.”

On the play of redshirt sophomore OL Michael Eletise:

“The big deal, to me, was throughout that second half, Michael Eletise came in and did a really nice job. With everything that was going on for him, that was as consistent a performance as he’s had this year. Integral part of the second half. I thought he did a really, really nice job. He wasn’t playing (earlier in the season) for a reason. We’re going to put our best guys out there. He made some mistakes, but he showed that he belongs.”

On the running back depth, pending the health of sophomore Gary Brightwell:

“We’ll see. We’re checking on everything today, the injuries. We’ll have a plan for that.”

On QB Khalil Tate looking underneath for easier targets:

“He can be better there. Route design and everything else, taking what the defense gives you. We had some underneath things that he can do a better job of. He understands that, we understand that. His (completion) percentage was up this week, really, because of the screen game and some things that were designed to get him into rhythm.”

On senior WR/PR Shun Brown’s overall play:

“He is not only a threat with the ball in his hands, on the screen game, he’s getting down the field, too. As a punt returner he’s a reliable guy. He’s making good decisions back there. And, obviously, he’s had some good returns. He’s a threat as a punt returner. He is doing a lot for this team.”

On the short week because of a Friday game:

“A little bit different than the short week (before going to Utah on Oct. 12) because we’re at home. The schedule will be different. Yesterday was the players’ day off and we’ll get to work today.”

On Colorado:

“I think they’ve done a nice job, offensively and defensively. They’re well coached. It’s really a team effort. The quarterback is playing well. A running back that’s right at 100 yards per game. They lead the league in turnover margin, also. They’re doing a lot of things right. It’s going to be another real challenge, this week, Friday night.”

On Buffaloes WR Laviska Shenault Jr., who leads Pac-12 in receptions (60) and yards (780):

“He’s an exceptional player. One of the most dynamic players in this league. I think he’s bigger than people think. He can create some real problems.”

On the impact Saturday’s win can have on recruiting:

“It doesn’t hurt, I’ll put it that way. We had some official visits. We had some unofficial visitors. It can only help. The energy, the exposure, the vision becomes a little bit easier when a young man is able to come in here and really get a feeling for what this program can be.”