By the numbers: Khalil Tate’s season before the Duel in the Desert
Despite entering the season with sky-high expectations, Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate had a tumultuous start to the season.
A lingering ankle injury, inconsistent play from the line and overall inaccuracy plagued both Tate and Arizona as a whole in the Wildcats’ 3-5 start to the season.
Since then, however, the Wildcats have won two of their last three, and Tate has shown glimpses of what he did last year.
Here’s a look at Tate’s season by the numbers:
Tate was horribly inaccurate in his first seven games. In those games, he completed 95 of his 178 pass attempts, for a completion percentage of 53.4.
He was much more accurate in 2017, completing around 62 of his passes in 2017.
That’s the amount of games Tate has completed at least 60 percent of his passes.
In those four games, the Wildcats were rather successful, going 3-1. The lone exception came this past week against Washington State when Gardner Minshew did, well, Gardner Minshew things.
Last year, Tate was among college football’s most dynamic players, averaging 9.2 yards per carry while throwing 14 touchdowns. His ability to run the ball hasn’t been the same this year.
Averaging 2.7 yards per attempt, Tate is among the Pac-12’s most inefficient runners this season.
Sure, some of this can be correlated with the aforementioned ankle injury that’s haunted him for the majority of the season. But even so, the dip in production is disheartening for Arizona fans.
All of his struggles accounted for, Tate has finally started performing like the playmaker he was last year over the past few weeks. In this 2-1 stretch, Tate has done his part, throwing for 12 touchdowns.
Tate’s most impressive game was against Colorado, throwing for 350 yards and five touchdowns on just 22 attempts. He posted an incredible passer rating of 276.8 in the 42-34 win.
That was the best passer rating Tate recorded since the Southern Utah game, and not once last year did he accumulate a rating that high. If not for that stellar performance, Arizona (5-6) would already be eliminated from bowl contention.
A year ago, Tate was known for his ability to break out long runs of 70 or 80 yards, but that hasn’t happened once this year. In fact, his longest run of the season came against Washington State in Week 12 when he found daylight and escaped for 33 yards.
Even with the recent inflation of his statistics, Tate has been unable to find many holes. The last time Tate ran for more than four yards per carry was in early October against Cal when he averaged 5.0.
Before exiting last year’s Territorial Cup game with a shoulder injury, Tate was producing at an insanely-high level in the rivalry contest. He completed 11 of his 13 pass attempts for a completion percentage of 84.6 and led the Wildcats to a 24-14 lead at the half.
Without Tate, Arizona’s offense was held in check in the second half and ultimately was unable to keep its lead. He may have some unfinished business to take care of Saturday.