Arizona ran up a season-high 544 yards of total offense on its way to a 31-10 win over UTEP on Saturday night in Arizona Stadium in front of 44,182 in attendance.
Via UTEP Athletics
The Miners (1-3) totaled 332 yards, including 75 yards on seven plays on their final drive to get into the end zone. Backup QB Kevin Hurley threw a 25-yard TD toss to Jovani Gardere with 1:32 remaining in the game. UTEP only tallied 49 rushing yards on 26 attempts (1.9 avg.) and gained 13 first downs.
The Wildcats (2-1) ran for 244 yards rushing on 32 carries (7.6 avg.) led by Michael Wiley’s 83 with a touchdown. Jonah Colman gained 71 yards on the ground. Former UTEP WR Jacob Cowing hauled in 10 receptions for 84 yards and a score. Jayden de Laura threw for 285 yards on 23-of-29 passing and three touchdowns. Tetairoa McMillian (six rec., 89 yards) and Montana Lemonious-Craig (two rec., 30 yards) were on the other end of those TD tosses.
Gavin Hardison finished 15-of-31 for 228 yards, while Hurley – in relief – went 3-of-4 for 55 yards and a score. Torrance Burgess Jr. tallied a career-high 78 yards on a career-most three receptions, including a career-long reception of 51 yards. Tyrin Smith registered 64 yards on five receptions.
The Wildcats, on their second possession, turned the ball over after Kobe Hylton forced a fumble that was recovered by Tyrice Knight at the UTEP 48. UTEP couldn’t take advantage, being forced to punt. Arizona got on the board first on a 92-yard, seven-play scoring drive that resulted in a McMillan 18-yard scoring pass from de Laura at the 14:53 mark of the second quarter.
The Wildcats looked to take a 10-0 lead on a 45-yard field goal attempt, but it was blocked by Praise Amaewhule. The Miners took over at their own 28 at the 8:53 mark of the second quarter. UTEP made it a 7-3 contest after a seven-play, 65-yard drive. The possession was sparked by Burgess Jr.’s 51-yard catch to the Arizona 13-yard line. Buzz Flabiano capped the drive with his first career field goal from 25 yards out with 5:13 remaining in the first half.
Arizona answered with a 10-play, 74-yard drive that finished with a Wiley three-yard rushing TD to take a 14-3 advantage with 1:23 left in the half.
The Wildcats extended the lead to 17-3 after a 38-yard field by Tyler Loop at the 8:59 mark of the third. U of A drove the ball 54 yards on eight plays with its first possession of the second half.
Cowing put the game away with a two-yard scoring reception with just over two minutes left in the third. The Wildcats used an 82-yard, six-play scoring drive that took 3:13 off the clock to take a 24-3 lead with just over two minutes remaining in the third. De Laura threw his third score with 9:19 left in the contest.
McKel Broussard tallied a career-high 10 tackles, while Hylton – in his return after missing two games – recorded nine tackles along with a QB hurry and forced fumble. Josiah Allen also recorded a career high in tackles with eight, while Knight also got eight tackles. Knight added a sack and pass breakup. Maurice Westmoreland and Bryton Thompson recorded a sack each.
Arizona’s Justin Flowe led the way with 11 tackles, while the U of A defense totaled three sacks, and forced a fumble late in the game.