Fifita helps Arizona Wildcats upset No. 11 Oregon State

Oct 28, 2023, 11:59 PM

Quarterback Noah Fifita #11 of the Arizona Wildcats prepares for the game against the Oregon State ...

Quarterback Noah Fifita #11 of the Arizona Wildcats prepares for the game against the Oregon State Beavers at Arizona Stadium on October 28, 2023 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Noah Fifita threw two touchdown passes to Michael Wiley in the fourth quarter and Arizona beat No. 11 Oregon State 27-24 Saturday night for its second straight win over a ranked opponent.

The Wildcats (5-3, 5-2) had a week off following a 44-6 win over then-No. 19 Washington State that matched their largest margin of victory over a ranked team.

Arizona maintained its momentum against Oregon State (6-2, 3-2) behind Fifita.

Fifita threw for 275 yards on 25-of-32 passing and three touchdowns, hitting Wiley on passes of 40 and 3 yards in the final quarter. The Wildcats also held Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei in check most of the night while limiting the Beavers’ run game.

Uiagalelei hit Jimmy Valsin III on a 20-yard touchdown with 1:38 left, but Oregon State couldn’t come up with the onside kick. Uiagalelei finished with 218 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-30 passing.

Fifita has played well since Jayden de Laura injured his ankle in Week 4, throwing for 924 yards and eight touchdowns in a little over three games.

De Laura is healthy again, but Fifita got the start against Oregon State.

The sophomore was solid at the start, opening with a 7-yard touchdown to Tetairoa McMillan in the back of the end zone, then set up Tyler Loop’s 51-yard field goal. Fifita threw an interception near midfield late in the first half, but Oregon State couldn’t capitalize, leaving the game tied at 10-all at halftime.

Fifita moved Arizona into position for another Loop field goal early in the third quarter, this one from 25 yards, and found Wiley on the 3-yard score with 2:22 left.

The Beavers made it look easy on their first drive, picking apart the Wildcats on a 75-yard drive capped by Uiagalelei’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Jack Velling.

The rest of the first half was a struggle against Arizona’s vastly-improved defense.

Oregon State had to settle for a field goal after reaching Arizona’s 12-yard line in the second quarter and tried an ill-advised fake field goal from the 16 on the final play before halftime. The Beavers had scored on all 27 of their trips into the red zone this season before the failed fake.


Oregon State: The Beavers will likely take a big fall in next week’s AP Top 25 after an inconsistent night in the desert.

Arizona: Fifita may have supplanted de Laura as Arizona’s quarterback for good and the Wildcats’ defense had another solid night against a ranked opponent.


Oregon State: Plays at Colorado next Saturday.

Arizona: Hosts UCLA next Saturday.

Arizona Football

Wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan #4 of the Arizona Wildcats runs with the football against the Arizo...

Bailey Leasure

ESPN’s Connelly projects college football win totals for ASU, Arizona

ESPN's Bill Connelly projects win total for Arizona State and Arizona in their first season in the Big 12 conference.

3 days ago

(Graphic via Valero Alamo Bowl)...

Arizona Sports

Former Pac-12 teams in Big 12, elsewhere will retain prior bowl game affiliation

The Pac-12 announced that former conference members in the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC will keep the old bowl game affiliations.

4 days ago

Wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan runs after the catch...

Arizona Sports

Arizona Wildcats to be ‘really smart’ with Tetairoa McMillan’s return from injury

The Arizona Wildcats are making sure they're taking the correct precautions when it comes to Tetairoa McMillan's return from a leg injury.

5 days ago

Brett Yormark, Big 12 commissioner...

Ryan Pasiecznik

Notable Arizona State, Arizona legends named to first-ever Big 12 Alumni Council

Four alumni who made their imprint on the Arizona schools were named to the first Big 12 Alumni Council on Wednesday.

5 days ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Exclusive Interviews: ASU Athletic Director Graham Rossini & head football coach Kenny Dillingham

Jeremy Schnell talked to ASU Athletic Director Graham Rossini about his short time as full-time AD so far and the future of Desert Financial Arena. He also talked to head football coach Kenny Dillingham about Big 12 Media Days and finishing last in the Big 12 preseason media poll.

6 days ago

A general overview of Arizona Stadium before the college football game between the Arizona Wildcats...

Ryan Pasiecznik

Arizona football reveals ‘Cats’ alternate helmets for 2024 season

The Arizona Wildcats football team will don alternative Cats helmets for their inaugural season in the Big 12.

6 days ago

Fifita helps Arizona Wildcats upset No. 11 Oregon State