Nov 4, 2023; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan #4 makes a catch for a first down against UCLA Bruins linebacker Kain Medrano #20 during the first half at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona topples 3rd straight ranked team, this time No. 19 UCLA

Noah Fifita passed for three touchdowns and 300 yards as Arizona won its third consecutive game against a ranked team, knocking off No. 19 UCLA 27-10 Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.

The Wildcats (6-3, 4-2 Pac-12), who were coming off victories over then-No. 19 Washington State and then-No. 11 Oregon State, have surged to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2017. Fifita completed 25 of 32 passes and was picked off once against UCLA.

The Bruins (6-3, 3-3) lost quarterback Ethan Garbers to injury after a sack early in the fourth quarter when trailing by two touchdowns. The Bruins failed to rally behind backup quarterback Dante Moore.

Tyler Loop’s 22-yard field goal with 4:40 left helped ice the game by giving Arizona a 27-10 lead. The student section poured onto the field after the game.

Arizona hasn’t posted a three-game winning streak against ranked teams since 1992. And never in the school history has such a streak occurred in back-to-back-to-back games.

The Wildcats held UCLA to 271 total yards. Garbers was 13 of 21 passing for 143 yards and a touchdown. Moore was 4 of 7 for 14 yards.

Arizona expanded its 14-7 halftime lead with Loop’s 37-yard field goal with 8:15 to go in the third quarter. UCLA answered with Blake Glessner’s 29-yard field goal about six minutes later to make it a one-score game again.

Fifita’s third touchdown toss, an 11-yarder to Tetairoa McMillan, gave Arizona breathing room at 24-10 with 14:37 to go in the game.

Arizona went up 14-0 in the first half on a pair of Fifita 9-yard touchdown passes, first to Montana Lemonious-Craig and then to Jacob Cowing, the latter coming with 1:27 left before the break.

UCLA responded with a huge drive, going 75 yards and ending with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Carsen Ryan with three seconds left to make it 14-7.

Earlier in the half, the Bruins squandered two red zone trips, missing a 42-yard field goal attempt and having a 41-yard try blocked by Ephesians Prysock.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Jedd Fisch reacts during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona beats 2nd straight ranked team, this time No. 11 Oregon State

Noah Fifita threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Michael Wiley and Arizona survived a late onside kick as the Wildcats posted their second consecutive victory over a ranked team by beating No. 11 Oregon State 27-24 on Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.

Arizona (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12), coming off a 44-6 win at then-No. 19 Washington State on Oct. 14, defeated a ranked team at home for the first time in five years and a day (No. 19 Oregon on Oct. 27, 2018).

Wiley, a running back who had missed the past three games due to a leg injury, scored on 40- and 3-yard receptions, the latter coming with 2:22 left for a 27-17 lead.

Oregon State (6-2, 3-2) responded with a quick drive, capped by DJ Uiagalelei’s 20-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Valsin III with 1:38 to go.

The ensuing onside kick bounced around before rolling out of bounds.

Fifita completed 25 of 32 passes for 275 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Uiagalelei was 16 of 30 for 218 yards with two scores.

The Beavers made a curious decision on the final play of the first half when the game was tied at 10. Lined up to attempt a 34-yard field goal, Oregon State went with a fake, as the holder flipped the snap to kicker Atticus Sappington, running up the middle. He was stopped after a gain of nine yards at the 7 as time ran out.

The teams mostly slugged away in a ball-control battle for three quarters, but the game heated up late.

Silas Bolden beat the defense around the left side on an 8-yard end around as Oregon State took a 17-13 lead with 14:47 to go.

That was still the score when the Wildcats took over at the Oregon State 40 with 9:31 to go after a 20-yard punt return by Jacob Cowing. One play later, Wiley grabbed a swing pass and tight-roped the left sideline for a touchdown to put Arizona up 20-17.

The Wildcats’ defense then held Oregon State to the first three-and-out of the night by either team. A methodical, 10-play, 55-yard drive ended in Wiley’s 3-yard touchdown reception.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2023; Corvallis, Oregon, USA; Oregon State Beavers tight end Jack Velling (88) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the first half against the UCLA Bruins at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

No. 11 Oregon State rides rugged running game into Arizona

No. 11 Oregon State has its eyes on big prizes as it brings one of the Pac-12’s best rushing attacks into a tricky game at Arizona on Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.

The Beavers (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) have won three consecutive games, including handing Utah its only defeat of the season and a victory over then-No. 18 UCLA. By the time late November rolls around, Oregon State could be playing for a spot in the conference title game, closing against Washington and Oregon.

“We want some excitement about what we’re doing, but ultimately, each week, you never know how these games are going to turn out,” said coach Jonathan Smith.

“The only thing we can control is how we prepare. We want to play in meaningful games at the end of the year, and the only way to do that is to take care of business right now.”

Oregon State hasn’t been ranked this high in the AP poll since the week of Oct. 21, 2012, when it was seventh.

Also entering the game fresh from a bye week, Arizona (4-3, 2-2) is at its highest point in coach Jedd Fisch’s third season, routing then-No. 19 Washington State 44-6 on Oct. 19 in Pullman, Wash., which was the Wildcats’ largest margin of victory ever over a ranked opponent on the road.

“They were able to score and then shut down what I think is a very potent offense,” said Smith, whose team’s only loss came at Washington State (38-35) on Sept. 23.

This week’s matchup will be the Wildcats’ fourth consecutive game against a ranked team, having previously dropped one-possession games to then-No. 7 Washington (31-24) and then-No. 9 Southern California (43-41 in three overtimes).

While each of the past three opponents featured high-powered passing attacks, Arizona’s much-improved defense will have to stop the run first against Oregon State. The Beavers roll to 195.1 rushing yards per game, led by Damien Martinez, who is 19th nationally with an average of 96.6 yards per game on the ground.

“Schematically they are extremely different,” Fisch said. “They’re a much more under-center team; they’re not a spread team.

“They have some really good skill players on the perimeter, which is what we’ve been going against every week. They have a very good quarterback, which we’ve been going against every week. But what they do and how they use them and what they do in their running game is very different and unique.”

Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has been efficient in his first season since transferring from Clemson. He has completed 106 of 176 passes (60.2 percent) for 1,573 yards, with 15 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Fisch did not commit to a starting quarterback on Monday, although the expectation is that he will stick with redshirt freshman Noah Fifita, who has started the past three games for Jayden de Laura, who suffered an ankle injury late in the third quarter against Stanford on Sept. 23.

Fifita earned back-to-back Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors in his past two games. He completed 34 of 43 passes for 342 yards against Washington State, when de Laura was available to play. Fifita is completing 75.2 percent of his passes (94 of 125) with eight TDs and two interceptions.

These teams haven’t met since 2019. The Beavers were favored by 3.5 points early in the week.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Jedd Fisch reacts during the second half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Fifita helps Arizona overwhelm No. 19 Washington State

Noah Fifita passed for 342 yards and the Arizona defense forced three turnovers as the Wildcats got a breakthrough victory with a 44-6 upset of No. 19 Washington State on Saturday in Pullman, Wash.

The Cougars (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, but Arizona (4-3, 2-2) was in control after that. Fifita finished 34-of-43 passing with no interceptions while the defense clamped on Cameron Ward, who finished with 192 yards on 22 of 30 passing.

Jonah Coleman rushed for three touchdowns and also had a 69-yard reception to the WSU 1 that set up Arizona’s first touchdown. The Wildcats, who had close calls against then-No. 7 Washington (31-24) and then-No. 9 Southern California (43-41 in triple overtime) during the past two weeks, outgained the Cougars 516-234.

Washington State, which was coming off a loss at UCLA, managed only 35 rushing yards. The Cougars had nine consecutive possessions in which they failed to take a snap on Arizona’s half of the field.

Fifita was making his third consecutive start for an injured Jayden de Laura, who was dressed and available if needed Saturday.

But the mistake-free Fifita led Arizona to a 20-6 halftime lead, and the Wildcats kept pouring it on. Coleman’s 23-yard touchdown run finished the scoring with 6:52 left. He ran for 70 yards on 11 carries and added 98 yards on four catches.

In the first quarter, the Wildcats got a stop on downs at the WSU 34 and their first interception of the season — on an ill-advised downfield throw after a backward pass — as they took a 10-6 lead. Arizona made it 17-6 on the first play of the second quarter when Rayshon Luke burst through the middle of the line for a 40-yard touchdown run.

Arizona added a 40-yard field goal from Tyler Loop to take a 20-6 lead at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Oct 7, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans running back MarShawn Lloyd (0) runs the ball against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 USC survives in triple-overtime thriller vs. Arizona

Caleb Williams, the reigning Heisman winner, scored on a two-point conversion to start the third overtime as No. 9 USC survived a wild night to beat Arizona 43-41 in triple overtime on Saturday night in Los Angeles.

The Trojans (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12) had their hands full from the start, trailing 17-0 early in the second quarter and failing to win the game on the final play of regulation when a high snap led to a blocked 25-yard field goal attempt.

The winning points came on a crazy play, with most of the offensive line shifted way to the left side of the field. Williams took the snap, rolled right and scrambled to the corner, barely extending the ball over the pylon. Arizona (3-3, 1-2) then was stopped on its two-point try as USC’s Mason Cobb tackled DJ Williams on a toss to the left.

Caleb Williams completed just 14 of 25 passes for 219 yards with a touchdown, but he helped will his team to victory, rushing for three touchdowns, including an 18-yarder to start the overtime periods.

Arizona’s Noah Fifita, making his second career start, completed 25 of 35 passes for 302 yards and five touchdowns, including two in the overtime periods to Jacob Cowing. Both teams missed two-point conversions in the second overtime.

USC, which entered with the nation’s top-scoring offense (53.6 points per game), was outgained 505-351 but held a 28-20 lead in the fourth quarter. Arizona tied the score when Fifita connected with Cowing on a 3-yard touchdown pass on fourth down, followed by a two-conversion throw to Tetairoa McMillan with 8:17 left.

The Wildcats had a chance to take the lead with 2:08 left, but Tyler Loop missed a 50-yard field goal.

The Trojans, who trailed in a game for the first time this season, took their first lead at 21-20 with 5:44 to go in the third quarter after MarShawn Lloyd scored on a 9-yard run. Arizona helped the Trojans with a fourth-down pass interference penalty and a third-down roughing-the-passer infraction during the 75-yard drive.

USC padded its lead early in the fourth quarter when Williams, initially stopped on a quarterback sneak from the 1, squirmed through a tackle and reached the ball across the goal line for a 28-20 advantage.

–Field Level Media

Sep 30, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) gets his pass knocked down by USC Trojans linebacker Mason Cobb (13) during the first quarter at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports

No. 9 USC aims for defensive improvement vs. Arizona

No. 9 Southern California features the nation’s highest-scoring offense but continues to have concerns on defense as it heads into a Saturday night Pac-12 game against Arizona in Los Angeles.

The Trojans (5-0, 3-0 Pac-12) are coming off back-to-back weeks in which they let two big underdogs stick around to make things interesting in fourth quarter. USC needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to finally subdue Arizona State 42-28 on Sept. 23 in Tempe, Ariz., and held on last Saturday to win at Colorado 48-41 after holding a 27-point, third-quarter lead.

A leaky defense — ranked 98th nationally in yards allowed (404.4 per game) — is the reason USC has slid from a high of No. 5 in the Associated Press poll despite not losing a game.

Trojans coach Lincoln Riley said his players might have “taken their foot off the gas” against Colorado, adding that he was pleased with how his squad started this week.

“I think our team is learning a lot,” he said. “This Monday practice we just had is one of the best practices we had as a team, period. I know they’re excited to attack the areas we need to attack.”

Arizona (3-2, 1-1) is facing a second consecutive Top 10 opponent after falling 31-24 at home to No. 7 Washington last Saturday. The Wildcats trailed by double digits much of the game but scored a late touchdown before failing to recover an onside kick with about one minute left.

The Wildcats still have uncertainty at quarterback. Jayden de Laura missed last week’s game due to an ankle injury, and Noah Fifita performed well in his first start. Fifita was 27 of 39 for 232 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

De Laura has been turnover-prone: He threw a Pac-12 high 13 interceptions last season, and he has been picked off five times in four games this season. However, coach Jedd Fisch said Monday “it would be a safe statement to make” that de Laura is the starter if healthy. The quarterback’s status will be determined later in the week.

“I’m excited that if Noah is playing this coming week, he gives us a good chance to win,” Fisch said.

Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., a strong 2023 Heisman Trophy contender, completed 30 of 40 passes for 363 yards, albeit without a touchdown, against Arizona. Now the Wildcats face 2022 Heisman winner Caleb Williams, in the midst of another stunning season.

Williams has led USC to an average of 53.6 points per game, completing 105 of 141 passes with 21 touchdowns and one interception. His passing efficiency rating of 217.7 leads the country. Arizona, meanwhile, has not intercepted a pass this season.

Trojans running back MarShawn Lloyd is averaging 86.6 rushing yards per game and 8.3 per carry. A deep group of receivers includes Brenden Rice, who has seven TDs among his 17 receptions; and Dorian Singer, who transferred from Arizona after earning second-team All-Pac-12 honors last season. Singer has 12 catches this season, one of six Trojans with double-digit receptions.

Riley said after Tuesday’s practice that he was “hopeful” to have wide receiver Zachariah Branch and safety Max Williams back for Saturday after they missed last weekend’s game. Branch has a punt return and a kick return for touchdowns this season.

“Both are progressing,” Riley said. “Those are two prominent players for us.”

Singer is one of the three Arizona transfers on the USC roster, the others being cornerback Christian Roland-Wallace (14 tackles, one interception) and defensive lineman Kyon Barrs (four tackles).

USC has a 10-game winning streak in the series, but the matchup is often closer than the oddsmakers expect. Seven of the past 10 games have been decided by no more than one possession, and 13 of the past 16 meetings have ended with a spread of eight points or fewer.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze (1) celebrates with quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) after returning a punt for a touchdown during the first quarter at Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 Washington rolls heavy artillery into Arizona

No. 7 Washington rolls into Tucson with the nation’s best offense and the top-rated passer to face an improved defense when the Huskies visit Arizona on Saturday night.

The Huskies (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) received one vote at No. 1 in this week’s Associated Press poll, have scored at least 41 points in each game and have won every contest by at least 27 points. The closest was last weekend’s 59-32 decision vs. Cal.

Michael Penix Jr. threw for more than 400 yards in three of those games, including 473 at Michigan State. He is averaging 409.0 passing yards, while the Huskies are putting up 593.2 total yards per game.

“We never relax,” Penix said. “We want to make sure we score every time we get the ball. That’s our mentality.”

Arizona (3-1, 1-0) has been building program momentum in coach Jedd Fisch’s third season, and the Wildcats are expecting a Red-Out sellout crowd of about 51,000 for Saturday’s game. Arizona is giving up 314.2 yards per game, and the defense has dropped its average yards per play allowed to 4.97 from last season’s mark of 6.59.

But the Wildcats barely scraped past Stanford in a 21-20 road victory last week and haven’t faced anything close to the kind of firepower that Washington possesses.

“We need to have an incredible environment on Saturday night,” Fisch said. “We have to play our best football. We’ve got to play better than we played all year.”

It’s not clear if Arizona will have starting quarterback Jayden de Laura, who left late in the third quarter against Stanford with a right ankle injury. He was the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year at Washington State in 2021 before starting the past 16 games for the Wildcats.

Redshirt freshman Noah Fifita finished up against Stanford, leading the go-ahead drive and finishing 4-for-4 passing, including completing two throws that helped take the final 3:08 off the clock to preserve the victory. Fisch said the offense would be the same, no matter who is at quarterback.

“They’ve learned the offense the exact same way,” Fisch said of his quarterbacks. “They’ve been at the exact same meetings and they have very similar skill sets in a lot of ways. So nothing changes.”

The Huskies surround Penix with arguably the nation’s best receiving corps, including Rome Odunze (27 catches, 544 yards, four touchdowns), Ja’Lynn Polk (21-427-4) and Jalen McMillan (20-311-3). McMillan missed last week’s game against Cal due to a minor injury, but DeBoer said Monday he is “very optimistic” he would be available at Arizona.

Last year’s game was a shootout in Seattle, with the Huskies winning 49-39. Penix threw for a career-high 516 yards to go along with four touchdowns. For Arizona, de Laura threw for an even 400 yards and four scores.

“We continue to grow,” Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said.

“We know what we want to be. I can tell you the energy in the locker room the last two weeks, first half and second half, it’s been different than before. There’s energy but there is like this determination and this focus to come out of the locker room, hard-charging and to separate ourselves. I think there is a killer instinct that this team is developing.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Stanford, California, USA; Arizona Wildcats safety Dalton Johnson (43) defends as Stanford Cardinal wide receiver Bryce Farrell (3) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Arizona Wildcats during the second quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

No. 2 QB rallies Arizona to victory over Stanford

Backup quarterback Noah Fifita led the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter and helped Arizona kill the final three-plus minutes as the visiting Wildcats outlasted Stanford 21-20 on Saturday.

Arizona (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) lost starting quarterback Jayden de Laura in the final seconds of the third quarter, when he sustained an ankle injury on a scramble while trying to get out of bounds.

Fifita, a redshirt freshman playing his first meaningful snaps of the season, entered on the next possession, leading a nine-play, 67-yard drive. The march was capped by a 2-yard rush from DJ Williams that put the visitors on top 21-17 with 7:42 to go.

Stanford (1-3, 0-2) reached the Arizona 21 on the ensuing possession, but Jacob Manu sacked Ashton Daniels for a loss of 6 yards on second-and-10 and Daniels was penalized for an illegal forward pass on third-and-16. The Cardinal settled for a 46-yard field goal by Joshua Karty to make it 21-20 with 3:08 left.

Arizona took over at its 11 on the final possession, with Fifita completing two passes for 14 yards as the Wildcats ran out the clock.

Fifita was 4 of 4 for 47 yards in the fourth quarter, and he ran twice for 9 yards. De Laura wound up 14 of 26 for 157 yards and a touchdown.

Stanford, which lost to FCS school Sacramento State last week, continued to rotate Daniels and Justin Lamson at quarterback. Daniels was 15 of 27 for 202 yards. Lamson rushed 13 times for 57 yards while completing 4 of 6 for 48 yards through the air.

Arizona, after trailing 10-7 at halftime, took its first lead of the game on its first possession of the second half. The Wildcats drove 66 yards on 11 plays, with de Laura strolling into the end zone on 7-yard keeper around left end to make the score 14-10 with 5:53 left in the third quarter.

Stanford responded on the next drive as Sedrick Irvin scored on a 1-yard run, bouncing outside for the touchdown after getting stuffed on an initial attempt up the middle. The Cardinal twice converted third-and-12 on the possession.

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2023; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan (4) makes a touchdown catch against UTEP Miners linebacker James Neal (5) during the first half at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Zachary BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona racks up 544 yards of offense, cruises past UTEP

Jayden de Laura passed for three touchdowns and Arizona rushed for a total 244 yards as the Wildcats pulled away from UTEP for a 31-10 nonconference victory on Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.

de Laura, who committed six turnovers — including five interceptions — in the first two games of the season, was more efficient against the Miners (1-3) while leading a balanced attack. He completed 23 of 29 passes for 285 yards without an interception.

Michael Wiley led the ground game for Arizona (2-1), rushing 17 times for 83 yards and a score. Jonah Coleman added 71 yards on three carries.

The Wildcats expanded a 14-3 halftime lead with a 38-yard field goal and a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Cowing in the third quarter. Arizona’s final touchdown was set up by a big hit by safety Gunner Maldonado, who knocked the ball loose from Mike Franklin, recovered it and returned it 22 yards to the UTEP 26.

Three plays later, de Laura hit Montana Lemonious-Craig for a 4-yard TD reception with 9:19 left in the game.

Seven of the Miners’ first eight drives ended in a punt, and they didn’t reach the end zone until there was 1:32 left in the game, when backup quarterback Kevin Hurley connected with Javoni Gardere on a 25-yard reception. Starting quarterback Gavin Hardison completed 15 of 31 passes for 228 yards.

Cowing caught a game-high 10 passes for 84 yards. Tetairoa McMillan had six catches for 89 yards, including a highlight-show, one-handed grab over the middle for a 37-yard gain in the second quarter.

After a scoreless first quarter, McMillan turned a screen pass into an 18-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. UTEP kept it close for much of the half, blocking a 45-yard field-goal attempt and then driving 65 yards to convert a 25-yarder to make it 7-3 with 5:13 left before halftime.

The Wildcats answered with a 10-play, 74-yard drive, capped by Wiley’s 3-yard run at the 1:23 mark for a 14-3 edge.

–Field Level Media

Sep 2, 2023; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Arizona Wildcats head coach Jedd Fisch talks the Arizona Wildcats quarterback Jayden de Laura (7) after an interception during the second half at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Zac BonDurant-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona plans to keep ‘slinging it’ vs. UTEP

Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura has been intercepted five times in two games, but coach Jedd Fisch says the Wildcats will stay aggressive when they host UTEP on Saturday night in a nonconference game in Tucson, Ariz.

De Laura threw four picks last week in a 31-24 overtime loss at Mississippi State, and he threw one interception — plus lost a fumble — in the season-opening 38-3 victory over Northern Arizona. He also was intercepted 13 times last season, the most in the Pac-12.

“Nothing is going to change,” Fisch said. “We’re going to keep slinging it. We’re going to keep running our offense.”

Arizona (1-1) is taking some of the bad with a lot of good from de Laura, a junior in his second season of starting at Arizona after being the 2021 Pac-12 Offensive Freshman Player of the Year. He is completing 71.4 percent of his passes (50 of 70) this season for 627 yards and five touchdowns. He also has rushed for a team-high 91 yards and two scores.

A couple of his interceptions last week were on deflected passes.

“I didn’t see any of those throws that he made being careless or reckless,” Fisch said.

An improving Wildcats defense will be taking aim at UTEP (1-2), which is coming off a 38-7 loss at Northwestern. The Miners’ victory came against FCS school Incarnate Word, 28-14, on Sept. 2.

UTEP was tied 7-7 at halftime at Northwestern last week before giving up 31 unanswered points.

“We didn’t respond to the adversity at all. Things kind of went downhill real fast,” said Miners head coach Dana Dimel, an Arizona assistant coach from 2006-08.

UTEP’s Gavin Hardison has completed 44 of 67 passes for 494 yards, with four touchdowns and four interceptions. The Miners have a ground-heavy attack (64 percent running plays), led by Deion Hankins, who has rushed 46 times for 255 yards.

The teams last met in 2017, when Arizona won 63-16 in El Paso, Texas. The former Border Conference and Western Athletic Conference foes have met 52 times, with Arizona leading 39-11-2.

–Field Level Media