UO-ARIZONA GAME TRACK
TUCSON, Ariz. - Backup quarterback Bryson Beirne, from Honolulu, led the Arizona Wildcats in some kind of war chant and dance before the start of the Wildcats-Oregon Ducks game Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.
The 'Cats were trying to get themselves jacked up, considering they lost games to Oklahoma State and Stanford and now face the Ducks - their third top-10 opponent of the early season.
The Ducks have won 14 of the past 16 meetings against Arizona. Oregon has averaged 49 points a game in winning the past three games of the series.
But with QB Nick Foles and receiver Juron Criner, who has five TDs on eight receptions against Oregon, the Wildcats hoped to gun down the preseason Pac-12 favorite on a warm night in Tucson.
Here's the quarter-by-quarter game track:
Quarterback Darron Thomas got horse-collar tackled on the first play of the game, but popped right back up and the Ducks took the penalty and marched up the field, led by Thomas. The junior ran the ball four times and passed twice, and LaMichael James finished things off, running for nine yards and then 12 for the touchdown and the quick 7-0 UO lead.
Freshman cornerback Terrance Mitchell got whistled for pass interference, but the 'Cats went nowhere on their first drive. Foles threw incomplete on third down.
The Ducks converted a third-and-8, as James bobbled and then caught Thomas' pass, and then marched convincingly down for another touchdown. James ran for 16 yards. Thomas passed to De'Anthony Thomas for 19. Kenjon Barner ran for 16 yards.
Barner capped the drive with an 8-yard TD run, making it 14-0.
The Wildcats showed a semblance of their prolific passing game. Foles overthrew a wide-open receiver, and, on third down, he missed an even wider-open David Roberts, who would have scored had the ball been lower.
Then, the UA defense showed up, actually forcing a punt.
Arizona moved downfield. Foles hit Criner on a 19-yard, catch-and-run play on third down. Ka'Deem Carey, a freshman from Tucson, rushed for 15 yards. Later, on fourth-and-1 at the UO 16, Carey pounded for one yard.
But the UO defense stiffened, with Foles and receiver Dan Buckner barely missing a TD hookup on one play. Alex Zendejas got the 'Cats on the board with a 28-yard field goal.
The Ducks widened their lead. Barner ran 15 yards on a pitch. Thomas hit James for a seven-yard dump-off pass for a first down. James scampered 42 yards, although he got caught before the end zone. After a running play, Thomas found David Paulson for a 10-yard TD pass and a 21-3 UO lead.
Arizona gets out a hole with a Foles 40-yard pass to David Roberts, who somehow broke away from linebacker Josh Kaddu and cornerback Cliff Harris. But the 'Cats suffered a couple drops, including Criner on a bomb from Foles that would have been a touchdown.
The Ducks had to punt again, but not before some big hits by Arizona. Trevin Wade got called for roughing the passer on Thomas in the end zone on a third-down incompletion. A defeneder dumped UO receiver Will Murphy on his head, and then Murphy dropped a third-down pass.
Criner dropped another ball. Dewitt Stuckey crushed Foles on a third-down sack.
James ran for 21 yards and Oregon moved even farther downfield with a UA personal foul penalty. Thomas hit Paulson for a TD, but the play was called back with Justin Hoffman's illegal motion. No worries for the Ducks. Thomas hit Josh Huff, and the recently injured Huff finished the 18-yard play. Thomas threw a 6-yard TD pass to Barner and UO led 28-3.
The UO defense got another stop, and James returned the punt 51 yards to the UA 28 as Oregon looked to score again.
On fourth-and-1 at the UA 19, James broke through the line and scored on a 19-yard TD and Oregon led 35-3.
Foles threw a deep ball that was finally caught and then hooked up with Richard Morrison for a 34-yard TD play. Oregon's Taylor Hart blocked the extra-point attempt, making it 35-9. The Wildcats then onsides-kicked, with Buckner recovering at the UO 46 with 1:04 to play.
But the Wildcats faltered again, as Foles got nailed with two coverage sacks as the first half ended.
The Ducks had 300 yards offense in the first half, 214 on the ground. James had 11 carries for 133 yards and two scores. Thomas went 10 of 17 for 86 yards and two TDs. Arizona had 210 yards, 189 through the air (Foles 14 of 29). The 'Cats had 21 rushing yards on 15 carries.
The Wildcats marched downfield and scored on Keola Antolin's 7-yard TD run, drawing UA within 35-16.
Freshman tight end Colt Lyerla dropped a pass on UO's first possession of the second half.
Foles hit Criner for 31 yards to the UO 35. On fourth-and-10, Foles hit David Douglas for 13 yards to the UO 22. Foles hit Douglas again, for 12 yards to the UO 8. Foles hit Roberts for a 7-yard TD pass, and then Douglas for the two-point conversion with 5:43 left in the third quarter. Things got tight: UO 35, Arizona 24.
Thomas hit Lavasier Tuinei for 15 yards and James made a nice cut on a 31-yard run as UO moved into scoring position. Barner ran 10 yards on third-and-11 to the UA 5. And, Thomas scored on a 5-yard TD run, giving Oregon some cushion at 42-24.
The Wildcats moved into UO territory again, as Foles completes a pass left-handed to Antolin with UO's Kiko Alonso and Hart bearing down on him. Foles was hurt on the play but stayed in the game.
Arizona had 376 yards offense (Foles 25 of 45 for 321 yards) through three quarters, with Oregon at 395 (James 16 carries, 191 yards)
Foles hit Gino Crump for 20 yards on fourth down to the UO 10. On fourth-and-6, Foles was sacked by Terrell Turner, Josh Kaddu and Dion Jordan, ending the UA scoring threat with 12:24 left.
James beautifully runs for long gains twice, moving to 18 carries for a career-high 260 yards, second to Onterrio Smith's 285 (2001 vs. WSU) for second on the UO all-time list. Barner scores another touchdown, from a yard out, and it's 49-24.
Arizona put together another nice drive and wound up with fourth-and-goal from the 4. Foles threw a strike to Roberts for the touchdown with 6:29 left. The PAT made it 39-31. That made Foles 33 of 56 for 391 yards, with three touchdowns.
Oregon kept James in the game, and the Ducks drove to the Arizona 2. With 1:45 left, Thomas scooted the final yards for another TD. The kick boosted Oregon's lead to 56-31, which held up as the final score.