No. 11 Oregon State’s Pac-12 title hopes took an enormous hit on Saturday evening in Tucson.
The Beavers had been attempting to maintain tempo with the remainder of the one-loss groups within the convention title race, however Arizona had different concepts. The Wildcats practically upset Washington and USC earlier this season. This time round, they bought it accomplished by knocking off the Beavers 27-24.
It was a backwards and forwards recreation, however Arizona made the performs down the stretch to emerge victorious. Oregon State took a 17-13 lead within the first minute of the fourth quarter, however Arizona managed play the remainder of the best way.
Arizona quarterback Noah Fifita discovered Michael Wiley out of the backfield for a 40-yard go-ahead landing with 8:46 to play. The Wildcats then shortly pressured Oregon State to go three-and-out and put collectively an upset-sealing drive.
Oregon State is thought for its physicality up entrance and the highly effective run recreation that comes with it. Arizona gave the Beavers a style of their very own drugs with a heavy dose of the run recreation to eat up a lot of the remaining clock. On a 10-play, 55-yard landing drive, Arizona ran the ball eight occasions, took 5:20 off the clock and completed it off with a three-yard landing cross from Fifita to Wiley to increase the result in 27-17 with 2:22 to play.
Oregon State would reply with a landing on the 1:38 mark, however the subsequent onside kick was recovered by Arizona. From there, the Wildcats ran out the remainder of the clock to shut out the win.
Arizona working backs mixed for 112 dashing yards within the recreation, and 40 of them got here on that drive. However earlier than the Beavers lastly bought the working recreation going late, Fifita put collectively one other glorious efficiency. Making his fourth begin instead of the injured Jayden de Laura, the redshirt freshman accomplished 25-of-32 passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Within the first half, he discovered Tetairoa McMillan for a seven-yard rating to provide Arizona a 10-7 lead within the second quarter. The Beavers would then tie the rating with a subject purpose and had an opportunity to go forward earlier than halftime after Fifita’s first interception of the season.
That’s when Oregon State’s coaches made a curious choice, calling a pretend subject purpose with simply three seconds left within the half.
The handoff to kicker Atticus Sappington gained 9 yards, however the line of scrimmage was the 16. Sappington didn’t even come near reaching the top zone. He didn’t even get a primary down. And with just a few seconds left within the half when the play was referred to as, time expired within the second quarter and the Beavers got here up empty to ship the sport to halftime at 10-10.
These three factors certain would have come in useful within the second half with the ultimate margin of victory ending up being precisely that quantity.
What’s subsequent for Oregon State, Arizona?
Oregon State fell to 6-2 general and 3-2 in Pac-12 play with the loss. The Beavers will journey to Colorado subsequent week after which host Stanford earlier than closing out the common season towards the highest two groups within the convention — Washington and Oregon.
With these groups on the schedule, Oregon State’s dream of a Pac-12 championship is just not out of the query. However it’s now a a lot steeper climb.
On the opposite facet, Arizona improved to 5-3 general and 3-2 in league play. The Wildcats went winless in 2020 after which had been 1-11 in 2021, Jedd Fisch’s first season. Now they’re only one win away from being bowl eligible for the primary time since 2017.
Subsequent on the schedule is one other large dwelling recreation, this time vs. No. 23 UCLA. From there, the Wildcats will play out the season at Colorado, vs. Utah after which at rival Arizona State.