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6 notable advanced stats from Arizona’s loss to BYU

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Good Sam Vegas Kickoff Classic - Brigham Young v Arizona Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Arizona Wildcats were dropped by the BYU Cougars 24-16 to open the regular season. Here are some advanced stats to know from the matchup, some of them courtesy of Pro Football Focus.

83 of Stanley Berryhill III’s career-high 102 receiving yards came after the catch

All of Berryhill’s career-high 12 catches came on passes less than 10 yards down the field, but he made the most of it by being a stellar ball carrier.

While Berryhill’s PFF grade was only 69.3 for the game—partly because of a muffed punt and a low blocking grade—he earned a 90.3 receiving grade on short passes, an elite mark.

Gunner Cruz’s average depth of target was 5.3 yards

The Wildcats were conservative with their passing game. Of the 45 passes Cruz threw, only two traveled more than 20 yards—one fell incomplete; the other was intercepted—and seven were thrown within 10 to 19 yards of the line of scrimmage. The rest traveled less than 10 yards, including 13 passes that were thrown along or behind the line of scrimmage.

“I felt as if, early on, we were just trying to get a feel for our team,” explained head coach Jedd Fisch, who calls the plays. “And once I saw how our team was going to perform, we became more aggressive.”

Another reason Arizona couldn’t stretch the field is because it struggled in pass protection, allowing Cruz to get pressured 19 times on 55 dropbacks.

Getting left tackle Jordan Morgan back from injury—perhaps as soon as this week—should help.

Drake Anderson and Michael Wiley combined to play all 88 offensive snaps

Fisch said in fall camp that Arizona would go running back by committee instead of having one main bell cow. They were somewhere in the middle against BYU. Only Anderson and Wiley saw the field.

Both averaged over 4.3 yards per carry and caught six passes. Anderson played 45 snaps—two more than Wiley—but Wiley had 15 carries to Anderson’s eight.

Fisch said that setup is likely to continue moving forward. (Stevie Rocker Jr. is the No. 3 running back, in case you were wondering.)

Arizona only had 6 points in 4 red-zone trips

That’s how the Wildcats lost despite outgaining BYU 426-368.

And as my colleague Brian Pedersen pointed out on Twitter, red zone inefficiency is nothing new. During this 13-game losing streak, Arizona has converted 11 field goals and only 14 touchdowns in 33 redzone trips.

That’s a lot of points left on the field.

Arizona had a 54.5 pass rush grade

New defensive coordinator Don Brown, AKA Dr. Blitz, promises to put more pressure on quarterbacks, but it didn’t happen against BYU. The Wildcats only produced three pressures on 31 dropbacks.

Also: BYU quarterback Jaren Hall completed 12 of 17 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns when blitzed. Among those completions was a deep 67-yard touchdown pass that exploited single coverage.

Vanderbilt transfer linebacker Kenny Hebert was Arizona’s top pass rusher, generating two pressures in 12 pass rush snaps.

Rashie Hodge II only played 9 snaps but had the highest defensive grade on the team (77.5)

Speaking of transfers, Hodge, formerly of New Mexico State, was extremely effective in his nine snaps, coming up with two stops, which PFF defines as “tackles that constitute a failure for the offense. One resulted in a safety.

Hodge appears to be a run-stuffing specialist for now.