Arizona football struggles with turnovers in road loss to ranked Utah
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Ja’Quinden Jackson ran for a career-high 97 yards and a touchdown and No. 12 Utah had a season-high 306 yards rushing in a 45-20 win over Arizona on Saturday night.
Cam Rising threw for 151 yards and a touchdown in his return following a one-game absence. Utah (No. 14 CFP, 7-2, 5-1 Pac-12) forced seven fumbles and recovered four.
Jayden de Laura had 159 yards passing and ran for a touchdown to lead Arizona (3-6, 1-5). The Wildcats totaled 387 yards but gained only 138 yards after halftime.
𝑻𝒉𝒂𝒕’𝒔 a touchdown.
JDL ties things up in SLC.
— Arizona Athletics (@AZATHLETICS) November 6, 2022
Utah took control of the game in the second quarter behind an imposing running attack. The Utes racked up 153 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in the first half while averaging 7.0 yards per carry. Three of the scores came in the second quarter.
Arizona got its only touchdown before halftime when Michael Wiley gained 57 yards on a jet sweep to set up De Laura’s 3-yard scoring run two plays later to tie the score 7-7.
Third string QB Nate Johnson scored touchdowns on his first two career carries to help Utah pull away before halftime. His first touchdown, an 8-yard run, put the Utes up 14-7. After Zemaiah Vaughn recovered a muffed punt return at the Arizona 9, Johnson punched it in on his second run one play later to extend the lead to 28-7.
The Utes drove deep into Arizona territory twice in the third quarter, but fumbles ended both drives. Utah finally scored its fifth touchdown early in the fourth on Rising’s first touchdown pass. He connected with Thomas Yassmin on a 12-yard strike to extend the Utes’ lead to 38-10.
Arizona: The Wildcats came into the game with nation’s third-ranked passing offense but struggled to generate much through the air against Utah. Arizona was held to 231 yards passing after averaging 340.1 yards through the air in its previous contests.
Utah: Taking a running back-by-committee approach worked well for the Utes. Nine different players carried the ball for Utah and five averaged at least seven yards per carry.
Utah could move up in the AP Top 25 with another dominant home win over a Pac-12 foe.
Arizona visits UCLA on Saturday.
Utah hosts Stanford on Saturday.