ESPN: Noah Fifita likely to start for Wildcats vs. Oregon State
Oct 28, 2023, 12:14 PM
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ESPN is reporting Arizona QB Noah Fifita will get the start when the Wildcats take on the No. 11 ranked Oregon State Beavers tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Tucson.
After an ankle injury sidelined Arizona QB Jayden de Laura in the third quarter of the Sept. 23 game against Stanford, backup Fifita led the Wildcats to a 21-20 victory.
Sources: Arizona’s Noah Fifita took a majority of the first-team reps this week and is expected to start for the fourth consecutive week. Jayden de Laura is working back into the rotation after hurting his ankle on Sept. 23. Fifita has completed 75.2 percent of his passes.…
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) October 28, 2023
Fifita proceeded to reel off an impressive list of starts against quality opponents.
In only his second career start, the redshirt freshman from Huntington Beach, California, completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 303 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.
He also got the start against No. 7 Washington, completing 69.2 percent of his passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw one interception against the Huskies.
According to ESPN, Fifita is the 10th quarterback in the past 20 seasons to make his first two career starts against AP top 10 opponents.
His five touchdown passes are the most ever thrown by an Arizona quarterback against a ranked opponent.
He also garnered back-to-back Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors.
de Laura played one snap during the Wildcats’ last game at Washington State on Oct. 14 after coach Jedd Fisch asked him if he wanted to take a knee against his former team.
“I think we all saw when Jayden went out there to take a knee, that was quite a hobble out there,” Fisch said. “That wasn’t a pretty jog. We really have to see how this ankle is coming along as we continue to work through what we’re going to do.”
In his weekly press conference Thursday, Fisch said both Fifita and de Laura were able to play and would be dressed for game action, but that the starter would be determined at game time.
“I’m going to keep that until game time,” Fisch said Thursday. “I think they’re both ready to play, though.”