Arizona is 1-0 in Pac-12 play for the first time in four years after coming back to win 21-20 at Stanford on Saturday night. It was the Wildcats’ first victory in Palo Alto in 14 years, and first overall against the Cardinal in seven tries.
“We just had to figure out a way to get the win, and that’s all we did,” UA coach Jedd Fisch said during his postgame radio interview on 1290 AM. “Overall just a good job by the whole team.”
Fisch did not have updates for quarterback Jayden de Laura or running back Michael Wiley, both of whom left the game with injuries.
Fisch on his postgame message to the team: “I told our team, we’ve won five of the last seven games we played. And that’s something to be proud of. And the way we’re playing football right now, we’re playing at a good level. And that was a hard game, (to) go on the road. And they’re a tough football team. I mean, I’ve said it before. David Shaw and Jim Harbaugh did a fantastic job with this program and coach (Troy) Taylor’s continuing that. That’s a hard game.”
On the second half: “We only had four possessions in the second half, so it was pretty unique in that regard. We went touchdown, then we had 3-and-out, Jayden got hurt, then touchdown, and the end-of-the-game 4-minute (drive).”
On having Fifita and backup running backs Jonah Coleman and DJ Williams step up: “We talk to these guys about you never know. You never know if it’s the first play you go in or it’s the first play of the fourth quarter. In that case, we were down 17-14 and Noah went in the game and he went 4 for 4 passing and drove us down there and we would up getting the touchdown to take the lead and not give it away. Noah did a great job. Jonah Coleman stepping up did a great job. So all together really good.”
On who got game balls: “I felt like (Taylor) Upshaw and (Isaiah) Ward were just disrupting the passer so many different times. I just saw so many hits on the quarterback. He got flushed and sacks and all those other things. So I gave them a game ball, and then offensively I gave it to the whole running back meeting room. Those guys all stepped up when Mike Wiley went down, whether it was Speedy (Luke) jumping in, whether it was DJ jumping in or Jonah jumping. So the running back room got a game ball as well as Noah.”
On Fifita’s play in relief of de Laura: “It doesn’t surprise me at all about Noah. Noah is unbelievable in terms of his preparation, in terms of his focus, how much he loves the game of football, and there was no flinch.”
On Tanner McLachlan: “Tanner is another one we gave a game ball to. Nice job on the touchdown. Nice job on the big play over the middle again. Tanner does a great job for us. Blocking, catching, run after catch.”
On learning about Taylor’s gameplan from his time at Sacramento State: “He’s a really good offensive coach and he found a way to run his quarterback and make you defend the run and the pass, and make you find all the different ways to (how) he calls the game. He’s a very good play caller, so I know that we had a lot of challenges there on third down, but I feel like first and second down we did a great job with our pass rush and causing a lot of negative plays on their offensive line.”
On facing Washington next week, the first of 7 (currently) ranked opponents: “Pac-12 play is tough. We’re coming back home. We’re 3-1. We got to sell out that place. We need to have an incredible environment on Saturday night. We got to play our best football. We got to play better than we played all year. And that’s gonna be our goal this whole week.”
Fifita on his initial reaction to de Laura getting hurt: “Just to step up. Jayden, that’s my boy, so he’s helped prepare me for this moment. My guys came in and talked to me, the whole O-line.”
On being a lead blocker on his second snap: “I was waiting to get hit so my nerves could kind of go away.”
On being asked to pass on 3rd down on the final drive: “I believe in Coach Fisch, whatever he calls I believe in it. I believe we have the best receiving corps in the Pac-12, if not the nation.”