The No. 15 Arizona Wildcats still have a chance at represent the Pac-12 South in the conference’s championship game.
A win Saturday against the No. 17 Utah Utes would be the first step for the scenario to come to fruition for Rich Rodriguez‘s squad. The Wildcats are off to a good start with a 21-7 lead over Utah.
As these two teams prepared for the contest, the matchup everyone eagerly anticipated was Arizona’s explosive offense against Utah’s stingy defense.
However, Arizona’s defense is dominating through two quarters of play.
Utah managed 154 total yards of offense. Quarterback Travis Wilson is 11-of-18 passing for 78 yards. And the Wildcats’ defense came up with the biggest play of the half when senior defensive lineman Dan Pettinato recovered a fumble and returned it for a 31-yard touchdown.
Senior safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant forced the fumble. It’s the third time he’s done so this season.
What? Tra'Mayne Bondurant involved in a big turnover? I'm shocked … shocked! #ArizonaWildcats
— Anthony Gimino (@AGWildcatReport) November 22, 2014
On offense, Arizona running back Nick Wilson gouged Utah for 100 yards. The Wildcats have kept Utah’s impressive defensive line on its heels by effectively using the zone read. Wilson has been the primary recipient, but quarterback Anu Solomon ran for 22 yards and a touchdown. Solomon also finished the first half 8-of-17 passing for 158 yards.
Utah was finally able to muster some offense during its two-minute drill. Wilson found senior tight end Weslee Tonga open in the corner of the end zone for a 11-yard touchdown with seven seconds on the clock.
Despite the late touchdown, Arizona controlled the first half. The Wildcats’ defense kept Utah’s offense in check. The Utes need to adjust their assignments against Arizona’s zone read if they want to get back into the Pac-12 South conversation.