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What Arizona’s defense said after the win vs. Cal

NCAA Football: Pac-12 Media Day Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats beat the California Golden Bears 24-17 on Saturday to improve to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-12.

The Wildcats’ defense turned in a terrific effort, holding the Bears to just three points in the second half. Arizona also created four turnovers, two of which went for scores.

Sophomore safety Scottie Young Jr. had two interceptions including a pick-six. Sophomore linebacker Colin Schooler had an interception and fumble that was recovered by cornerback Azizi Hearn and taken to the house. JB Brown also had a strip-sack that was recovered by Dereck Boles.

Here is what Schooler, Young and Hearn had to say about the D’s big day:

Schooler on his INT and fumble...

“That was all planned. That went from good play to bad play to great play. That was a huge momentum swing and I gotta trust my teammates to pick up the slack sometimes for me.”

Hearn on recovering the fumble and taking it for a TD...

“My coach always tells me to get the ball because being around the ball can only bring good things. I was just doing my job and got rewarded for it.”

Young on what it was like to have a performance like that after all he’s been through (arrest, suspension, etc.)...

“I just go out there and everyday and work for my team. I put the past behind me so it’s about what I can do to help the team win.”

Schooler on Boles’ 4th-and-1 run stop in the fourth quarter at the UA 3...

“That was huge. I believe we were only up by three points at the time. So if they convert that or even score, then we don’t have the lead anymore and who knows what happens the rest of the game. It just shows everybody was doing their job, and it was a good stand.”

Young on how Arizona’s defense was able to be so opportunistic...

“Coach (Marcel) Yates put in a great gameplan this week, but we’ve been working on trying to take the ball away, get takeaways, stripe the ball. Whether it’s punch the ball, picking it off, just having a see-ball-get-ball mentality. That’s what we had tonight and we’ve had that the last few weeks and that’s why you’ve been seeing a lot of turnovers from us lately.

“And also I feel like the more pass rush we get and the more pressure we put on quarterbacks, that’s when the turnovers start to happen. So if we can continue to build off that and get better every week, you’re going to see a lot more.”

Young on how pass rush helps...

“I think pass rushing and pass coverage go hand in hand. So if we’re holding it down in the back end, that gives the d-line more time to get to the quarterback. And when the d-line is getting to the quarterback, that gives us time to make plays on the ball.”

Schooler on if the defense expected Brandon McIlwain to play basically the entire game...

“No, I expected them to rotate (Chase) Garbers and him, but it doesn’t matter who’s playing quarterback, we have the same mentality: just get to the ball and try to take it away.”

Young on how long it took to get back to his old self after being suspended for spring ball, some of fall camp and Week 1 vs. BYU....

“My passion for football allows me to feel like I never left, so me being out there is everything. I just go hard everyday.”