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.
The TV dudes in the Arizona Stadium booth are saying that Tate and JJ Taylor are out tonight against UCLA. They probably know more than I do, so I'll go with them on this one.— Christopher Boan (@cgboan) September 29, 2019
Hearing Khalil Tate is out tonight— Jason Barr KGUN (@JasonBarrTV) September 29, 2019
The rumor in the press box at Arizona Stadium is that Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate and running back J.J. Taylor are doubtful to play against #UCLA tonight.— Bruin Report Online (@BruinReport) September 29, 2019
I'm hearing #Arizona QB Khalil Tate is doubtful to play tonight against #UCLA. He pulled his hamstring vs Texas Tech, per source and has been also dealing with an ankle injury. Is expected to test it in pregame. https://t.co/0Ply6lwG8Q— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) September 29, 2019
Khalil Tate is wearing sweats, playing catch in the end zone. Others are wearing game pants and warmup vests.— Michael Lev (@MichaelJLev) September 29, 2019
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.