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What Kevin Sumlin said after Arizona’s win at Oregon State

NCAA Football: Arizona at Oregon State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Sumlin and the Arizona Wildcats now find themselves on a winning streak after routing the Oregon State Beavers 35-14 on Saturday in Corvallis, Ore.

Khalil Tate was 9-of-17 passing for the Wildcats with two touchdowns and 152 yards. “But it was Arizona’s rushing attack, helmed by J.J. Taylor’s 284 yards and two scores on 27 carries, that gashed the Beavers’ defense.

In total, the Wildcats amassed 442 rushing yards against Oregon State.

Here’s what Sumlin had to say after his team’s Pac-12 opening victory:

Initial thoughts...

“Statistically, it probably is so far. I think there’s a lot of things to improve on. That was our message. Enjoy it, come to work Monday. Because again, there’s penalties that should not occur. Sideline violations, hitting guys out of bounds...things we have to fix as a coaching staff, and really giving away 21 points or not getting the 21 points in this game being in the red zone. We were better on third downs until one drive.

“We’ve got to learn to finish games. There were a number of things that we have to continue to work at as coaches, players and everybody. But statistically, there’s no doubt this was probably our best game so far.”

On Kylan Wilborn’s late hit out of bounds in the third quarter...

“It’s a highly competitive game. What you want to do is control what you can control. Those types of things can cost you ballgames down the road. It’s something we talk about, something we keep track of and something we address.”

On how well Arizona rushed the ball...

“We had a chance to be (dominant running the ball). I gave them a different look. We stretched the perimeter and made (Oregon State) do some different things. So we wanted to get to the perimeter any way we could, whether it was Khalil or our running backs.

“Our offensive line did a nice job to get plays started. We didn’t have many negative yardage plays, which keeps you on schedule. We talked two weeks ago about explosive plays. People think those are throwing bombs, home runs, double moves, things like that. But the explosive plays in the run game come when you have perimeter blocking like we did today and getting involved in the second level.”

On limiting fumbles...

“We had a turnover, but the ball was out three times. We have to continue to work at the things that could come back and bite us. We have to pay particular attention to those, because in a close game, that could cost you.

Overall thoughts...

“Even though we played extremely hard — I thought the execution and the effort was at a level that we want —we’ve got to continue to be better at the mental part of the game and possess the football.”

Winning the Pac-12 opener...

“It was a good win for us. A conference win on the road. But there’s plenty of things for us to address this week.”

On the improvement defensively...

“PJ (Johnson) being back today was big. He’s a big guy inside there that we’ve been missing the last couple weeks. It’s not an excuse but we’re starting to get some players back that matter with a free safety in the middle of the field, getting PJ back and being able to rotate some more guys in there, that’s been very helpful for our front.”