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What Kevin Sumlin said after Arizona’s loss to Colorado

NCAA Football: Arizona at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats suffered their 11th straight loss on Saturday, falling to the Colorado Buffaloes 24-13 in Tucson.

Our full recap can be found here. Below is Coach Kevin Sumlin’s postgame interview and transcript.

Kevin Sumlin post Colorado

Kevin Sumlin reflects on Arizona Football's loss to Colorado, the program's 11th straight L

Posted by AZ Desert Swarm on Saturday, December 5, 2020

On the offense: “We were able to run it in the middle of the field and bring it off our own (goal line) with long fields. I gotta look at it, but we got some zero coverage and blitzes that we didn’t handle them. They brought a lot of pressure and we didn’t handle it. We didn’t pick it up and obviously we didn’t make plays down there. We got an interception going in and I think the other thing too is we only had I think six points off the turnovers. (It was actually three). Those are wasted opportunities. In a game like that, any game, when you have those opportunities, particularly in the red zone, you got to come away with touchdowns instead of field goals and we didn’t.”

On changes to the gameplan for freshman QB Will Plummer: “We switched up the lineup and the offensive line to try to give us a better chance. And then some of the things that we did in the run game were good. He ran it himself sometimes on some read plays and some quarterback draw situations to kind of help him and give him some short-game, quick throws which he utilized early in the game. So a lot of things. without going into it specifically, were to get the ball out of his hands and be able to run the ball. And we ran effectively in the middle of the field but not effectively in the redzone.”

On the difficulty pass protecting on third down: “Yeah, they brought extra people. We went to the screen a couple times, that worked. They screened us too for a big one, so obviously us being able to run the ball was big with a young quarterback. But at a certain point when you get down and they start bringing pressure, we got to be able to make plays, we gotta pick it up, and we also got to be able to punch it in and we didn’t do that.”

On Gary Brightwell and Michael Wiley each running for over 100 yards: “Part of the game plan was to get those guys going. They’ve shown that they’ve been able to do it, so I thought they both ran hard and they ran well.”

On Plummer’s performance: “Whenever you lose, there’s always things you can do better. And for a guy who, really his first start...there’s 10 other guys on the field too. And with a young guy like that, the game plan was to take some pressure off of him by running the ball. But in those third down situations we were 3 of 14. That’s just not good enough, and that’s not all on the quarterback.”

On linebacker Anthony Pandy’s two interceptions: “He’s gotten better the last two weeks. The week before I said he didn’t practice until Thursday, so obviously the last couple of weeks of practices have helped him. And he’s gotta be that kind of player for us.”

On if the upcoming week changes because the Territorial Cup is on a Friday: “Yeah, no doubt. We’re back in here tomorrow, so the day off will be that Saturday after the game. So, we’re back in here tomorrow. We’ll be on the field tomorrow, review (this game), make adjustments and move on.”

On Colorado’s big plays: “Before the half they had gone to putting an extra offensive linemen and getting in some sets that were loaded, another old lineman in there to create another gap and help them. Obviously we made some adjustments at halftime that gave us a chance, but we still let a couple get out of the gate in the fourth quarter. So those adjustments in the second quarter were good and the third quarter, and then I got to see it, but we let them get out a couple times during the fourth quarter...with some unbalanced sets and things like that they threw at us in the first half and then came back to again in the fourth quarter.”

On if he considered kicking a field goal down 21-13 with 4th and goal at the 5 with just over six minutes left: “Yeah, it would still be a one-score game, so we talked about it. But right there, what does the three do for you? We had as good a chance as anything right there.”

On if the locker room is still together after 11 straight losses: “I think so. I think we’re playing with effort. And we talked at length this week about execution and it was sporadic. Effort has not been an issue. Execution has been and I think everybody in that locker room is down, but we’re certainly together.”

On quarterback Grant Gunnell’s status moving forward: “I don’t know yet to be honest with you.”