ARIZONA FOOTBALL

Injured Arizona Wildcats QB Jordan McCloud out for rest of year

Oct 11, 2021, 1:10 PM
Jordan McCloud #4 of the Arizona Wildcats runs with the ball against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Sta...
Jordan McCloud #4 of the Arizona Wildcats runs with the ball against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on September 25, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

The Arizona Wildcats are back to where they started the season: with Gunner Cruz as the starting quarterback.

Head coach Jedd Fisch announced Monday that starter Jordan McCloud will be done for the year after suffering ankle and knee injuries Saturday in a 34-16 loss to the UCLA Bruins.

McCloud will require surgery.

“This is not a nine-month or 12-month injury by any means. This is unfortunately just where we are in the season,” Fisch told reporters. “In terms of where he is mindset-wise, you know, what I loved about him is we said, ‘you can’t play like you did against Oregon in terms of turning the football over, but you can play like you did against Oregon in terms of moving the football and using your feet.’ That’s what he did … so he took coaching extremely well. He utilized the bye week to his advantage.

“He was very, very upset” about the injury, Fisch added. “He transferred here to play.”

McCloud ends the year with two starts under his belt. He went 48-of-72  (67%) for 481 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions. All of the picks came on Sept. 25 against the Oregon Ducks.

The quarterback, a transfer from South Florida, also rushed 18 times for 75 yards.

Cruz replaced McCloud against UCLA and completed 4 of 7 passes for 48 yards on Saturday.

Cruz, a transfer from Washington State, started the first two games of the year and lost his job in the second outing, a 38-14 loss to San Diego State on Sept. 11.

Will Plummer replaced Cruz in that game and started in Week 3 against NAU before McCloud in the Oregon game became the third Arizona quarterback to start in the first four outings.

Fisch said his job moving forward is to remind Cruz “why he won the job” coming out of fall camp.

Cruz also performed well in the season-opening loss to BYU. He went 34-of-45 for 336 yards, a touchdown and an interception in the 24-16 loss in Las Vegas.

Cruz completed 10 of 19 passes for 70 yards, a touchdown and a pick before he was replaced in the second game of the year against SDSU.

“He has a really, really good confidence about himself in terms of being able to speak the game,” Fisch said of Cruz. “I trust when Gunner goes out there, he’ll make the right decision and get the ball to the right person.”

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