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Arizona QB Khalil Tate, RB J.J. Taylor out for UCLA game, per reports

Grant Gunnell is likely to start at QB

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats are rumored to be without starting quarterback Khalil Tate and starting running back J.J. Taylor for Saturday’s Pac-12 opener against the UCLA Bruins.

Tate got nicked up late against Texas Tech a couple weeks ago, but finished the game. Taylor exited in the third quarter after being wrapped up and did not return.

True freshman Grant Gunnell will likely start at quarterback for the Wildcats, his second major action at the collegiate level. The 6-foot-5 gunslinger went 9 for 11 for 151 yards and three touchdowns against Northern Arizona in Week 2.

Gunnell was a three-star recruit coming out of St. Pius X High School in Houston, Texas where he broke state records for career passing yards and passing touchdowns.

While Tate is a dual-threat quarterback, Gunnell is a pro-style quarterback and a more conventional fit in Noel Mazzone’s offense.

As far as Taylor, the Wildcats have a healthy stable of running backs waiting in the wings to replace him, starting with junior Gary Brightwell who is actually the team’s leading rusher with 226 yards on 8.7 yards per carry.

Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin alluded Monday that Taylor’s status was in doubt, saying that he was essentially inactive during the bye week.