Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Arizona-Oregon State game blog: Mistake-plagued Cats fall again

Oregon State's Sean Mannion completed 32 of 41 passes for 267 yards against Arizona. Photo by Jim Z. Rider-US PRESSWIRE

A slow start, horrible special teams play and a team unable to make a key play in the clutch when the game is within reach in the second half.

Sound familiar?

It all happened again for Arizona, which lost 37-27 at previously winless Oregon State.

The Wildcats have lost five in a row this season and 10 in a row to FBS teams.

More here: Some quick postgame notes and quotes on Adam Hall’s return, Juron Criner’s status and other nonsense.

* * *

A tale of two fourth-and-goal plays from the 2.

Oregon State converted its attempt for a touchdown and a 37-27 lead.

Arizona drives down and has third-and-goal from the 1 before Keola Antolin is stuffed for a 1-yard loss. On fourth down, Foles has receiver Dan Buckner slanting from the right side, but he drops the pass amid tight coverage with 3:02 left.

And that should be that.

* * *

Huge play here. Oregon State has fourth-and-goal from the 2 with 5:28 to play. Arizona calls timeout to set up its defense …

The Beavers run play-action … QB Sean Mannion steps back away from a charging Mohammed Usman from his defensive end spot … and Mannion fires over the middle to tight end Joe Halahuni just over the goal line for a touchdown.

Now it gets tough for Arizona, down 37-27.

* * *

Arizona can’t get over the hump. Nick Foles can’t connect on third-and-2 from the 13, and Arizona has to punt, which looks like an attempted fake (or probably just a rugby punt option).

Anyway, Kyle Dugandzic takes a few steps to his right, has no room to go anywhere, and manages to squeeze through a line drive attempt for 30 yards.

OSU takes over at the UA 43.

* * *

A three-and-out for the UA defense. Punter Johnny Hekker gets the roll on a rugby punt for 63 yards, down at the Arizona 5.

Nothing comes easy for this UA team.

* * *

We have a ball game. Arizona, with the help of a 23-yard pass to Dan Buckner to the 1-yard line, scores on a 1-yard run around the right end by Ka’Deen Carey. John Bonano — yes, John Bonano, comes in to convert the PAT to cut the lead to 30-27 with 11:56 to play.

It’s at this point in recent games, when Arizona has come back enough to make it interesting that the defense fails to make a stop.

We’ll see.

Weird team, these Cats are.

* * *

End of third quarter. Oregon State leads 30-20.

After a mistake-filled game, can the Wildcats hit a few rescue shots?

* * *

Oregon State squanders an opportunity, having a touchdown pass called back because of holding, missing an open receiver in the end zone and then missing a 42-yard field goal wide left.

Cats hanging around.

* * *

Arizona in the process of a turnaround, with cornerback Shaquille Richardson picking off Sean Mannion and taking it 28 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion fails, but Arizona scores 14 points in eight seconds.

It’s 30-20 OSU with 4:37 to go in the third quarter.

* * *

Scary moment as QB Nick Foles has to leave the game after getting hit in the ribs as he releases a deep pass and completes it for 47 yards to Gino Crump to the OSU 13. Bryson Beirne comes in for one play and hands off to Keola Antolin, who takes it up the middle for a touchdown.

Foles comes in for the two-point conversion, connecting with David Douglas in the back of the end zone to cut the lead to 30-14 with 4:45 to play in the third quarter.

* * *

Oregon State has to settle for a 20-yard goal after the interception. The Beavers go up 30-6 with 7:28 to go in the third quarter.

* * *

Nick Foles goes deep to David Douglas, but underthrows the ball, which allows safety Lance Mitchell to close and pick off the pass. Foles has four INTs in the past two weeks, but this is the first in which it might really be his fault (last week against USC, the receivers got caught off in their routes).

* * *

A lost fumble on the hand-off exchange from Nick Foles to Daniel Jenkins. Jenkins? Is something wrong with Ka’Deem Carey?

What did you expect to start the second half?

* * *

Did I say brutally bad? It just got worst? Arizona’s Jack Baucus, an offensive lineman, can’t come up with a short squib kickoff and Oregon State recovers at the UA 36.

A 13-yard pass play sets up OSU for a 40-yard field goal … which naturally is good.

Oregon State leads 27-6 at half.

Arizona gives up 27 points in the second quarter and commits two turnovers in the final two minutes. Instead of driving for a touchdown and, say, a 17-13 deficit, the Cats give up 10 late points.

* * *

Oregon State adds to its lead with 16 seconds left in the first half, following the Arizona turnover. Sean Mannion finds TE Joe Halahuni for a 3-yard touchdown pass and a 24-6 lead.

Just a brutally bad half for the Cats.

* * *

Momentum still going the other way. OSU defensive lineman Scott Crichton gets his hand on Nick Foles’ arm as he is in his throwing motion. The ball floats forward and is intercepted by linebacker Michael Doctor and returned six yards to the UA 39.

* * *

Special teams killing Arizona. A missed 38-yard field goal to start the game. A missed PAT. A punt blocked for a TD. And now Oregon State pulls off a successful fake punt on fourth-and-3 at the UA 49.

That last play leads to a 37-yard field goal by Trevor Romaine, who puts OSU up 17-6 with 2:26 to play in the half.

Now, Nick Foles gets to be in the two-minute drill. A TD before halftime would feel mighty good.

* * *

It’s been the nature of Arizona’s season that any good news is usually quickly followed by bad news.

So it was that Arizona — once again starting to play when down by double-digits — scores on a 28-yard pass from Nick Foles to Dan Buckner … and then Alex Zendejas misses the extra point.

Yep. You can’t make this stuff up.

Arizona within 14-6 in second quarter.

* * *

Special teams strike again. Kyle Dugandic — who has been very good this season, but whose get-off time always appears slow — has a punt blocked, which is picked up by Oregon State and returned for a touchdown.

Oregon State leads 14-0 with 8:56 to go in the first half.

Arizona has trailed by double-digits in each of the past five games.

* * *

A break for Arizona. WR David Douglas gets a little loose with the football after a catch, and Oregon State punches the ball out. The ball goes out of bounds as UA retains possession.

* * *

Arizona’s defense gives up a methodical 92-yard touchdown drive to Oregon State, which takes a 7-0 lead with 11:38 to go in the second quarter.

OSU quarterback Sean Mannion has completed 12 consecutive passes.

* * *

A couple of injuries: WR Juron Criner suffered a knee injury while making a first-down catch in the first quarter and is questionable to return. CB Shaquille Richardson is out with a knee problem, too. Lyle Brown in at cornerback.

End of first quarter: No score.

About what you would expect from two poor-starting teams.

Oregon State has been outscored 63-17 in the second quarter of games.

(Richardson is back in now.)

* * *

What’s with the Arizona offense early in game? The Cats are scoreless in two possessions today, and scored only three points in the opening period in the past four games.

* * *

Arizona faces fourth-and-1 at the Oregon State 49, and elects to punt. I’m OK with that decision, if only because of confidence in P Kyle Dugandzic, who is much better at pinning opponents than ex-UA starter Keenyn Crier.

Dugandzic comes through, booting a punt dead at the OSU 8.

* * *

Carter Lees, in his first start, gets called for holding on the first play of the second series.

* * *

Hey, the other team had to punt!

* * *

So much for momentum. Arizona’s offense does nothing with the turnover, failing to get a first down, and then Alex Zendejas misses 38-yard field goal wide left.

There can be absolutely no downside to putting in John Bonano as the place-kicker. None.

That would have been Arizona’s first lead since the NAU game.

* * *

That’s what happens when you don’t play an All-American-caliber QB. Sean Mannion’s poorly thrown pass is picked off by Shaquille Richardson on the first series, giving UA the ball at the OSU 28.

* * *

Not wasting any time. Adam Hall starts and makes the tackle on the first play.

* * *

Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Carter Lees will make his first start today at left guard. Starter Chris Putton, who missed last week’s game because of a ankle injury, is dressed out and might be able to play in reserve.

The top reserve guard, Shane Zink, is out because of a foot injury.

* * *

Here is a stat I tweeted earlier this week: Arizona has missed as many PATs (13 of 17) as the entire Big Ten (208 of 212).

Follow me on Twitter at @AGWildcatReport

* * *

Nobody has played against better QBs than Arizona. The Wildcats have faced Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden, Stanford’s Andrew Luck, Oregon’s Darron Thomas and USC’s Matt Barkley.

Oregon State redshirt freshman Sean Mannion is a step down in competition. Will the Cats’ defensive performance improve?

* * *

Oregon State is wearing orange jerseys, which are usually saved for big games. With the Beavers looking for their first win today against a 1-4 Arizona team, this game is big in the sense that each team really needs a victory.

The last time OSU wore orange was Nov. 20, when it beat USC 36-7. That’s the Beavers’ last victory; the team is on a six-game losing streak.

* * *

It’s a start of a “new” season for Arizona, which moves past the trio of top 10 opponents and a game at USC and enters the more winnable stretch of the schedule.

Today’s game at winless Oregon State is a must-win.

With a victory, there is still hope that the Wildcats can put a few things together in the second half of the season — especially with safety Adam Hall back from an ACL injury. He will play today, according to a tweet this morning from sports information director Tom Duddleston. Here is my story on Hall from earlier this week.

With a loss, hellfire will rain down on coach Mike Stoops.

You might have trouble finding the game on TV, as it will be telecast on Fox College Sports Pacific. The game is available for internet streaming at arizonawildcats.com if you buy a monthly subscription for $9.95.

As always, you can follow along here. This will be the spot for our in-game updates and analysis. Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments section.

Here is a pregame story from the Salem Statesman Journal, one of our Gannett partners: With Arizona comes painful memories for James Rodgers

And here is some of our coverage from the week:


Mature Austin Hill having productive freshman season

Notebook: Injury at guard, ‘tough’ Antolin, ex-Cats coming and going

Revisiting the schedule: Cats still looking at 6-6

Arizona vs. Oregon State: It’s weakness vs. weakness

Search site | Terms of service