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Arizona’s Khalil Tate, Jace Whittaker graded highly by PFF in loss to Hawaii

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Arizona Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats lost to the Hawaii Warriors Saturday despite having the two best performers on the field, according to Pro Football Focus.

UA quarterback Khalil Tate was given an 88.2 grade on the night by the evaluation service, easily the highest grade for an offensive player. Coming in at No. 2 was Hawaii wide receiver Cedric Byrd II (81.0), who caught 14 passes for 224 yards and four touchdowns.

Tate completed 22 passes for a career-high 361 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. He also rushed for 108 yards on 13 carries.

Per PFF, which gives grades based on plays not results—i.e., Tate would not be penalized because Drew Dixon dropped a catchable ball that turned into an INT—Tate had a deep passer rating (passes 20+ yards) of 128.2 and forced seven missed tackles as a ball carrier.

Arizona wide receivers Stanley Berryhill III (three catches, 92 yards, 1 TD) and Tayvian Cunningham (four catches, 64 yards) were the third- and fourth-best offensive performers, while UA right guard Cody Creason was No. 5.

On defense, Jace Whittaker received a game-high grade of 91.3. The redshirt senior had five tackles, two interceptions, and a pass breakup, while allowing a passer rating of just 27.5 and 0.72 yards per cover snap.

Fellow cornerback Lorenzo Burns was the fourth-highest graded defensive player in the game (72.0) while linebacker Tony Fields II (67.9) checked in at No. 5. Both intercepted a pass.

A glaring omission is Colin Schooler, who led the team with nine tackles.