Arizona Wildcats host Oregon State Beavers for homecoming

Arizona Wildcats host Oregon State Beavers for homecoming
The Arizona Wildcats opened their home schedule with a non-conference game against Northern Arizona in Tucson Saturday night. (Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, Ariz. (UA ATHLETICS) - The Arizona Wildcats (4-4, 2-3) are set to host the Oregon State Beavers (3-4, 2-2) for their homecoming game at Arizona Stadium this Saturday, Nov. 2.

Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. with a television broadcast tabbed for the Pac-12 Networks.

In Arizona’s last game at Stanford, running back J.J. Taylor and quarterback Khalil Tate both rushed for over 100 yards, going for 107 and 103 on the ground, respectively. Taylor’s 107-yard performance was the 10th triple digit outing of his career and pushed him over the 3,000-yard career mark, making him just the eighth player in Wildcat history to eclipse that mark.

The Beavers enjoyed a bye last week after grabbing a 21-17 road victory over California in the week prior.

A complete game preview is below.

Arizona Notes & Numbers

  • The Arizona Wildcats will open November with a Homecoming matchup against Oregon State. Arizona is 59-37-5 all-time on Homecoming and has won two straight. Arizona last played Oregon State on Homecoming in 2004, losing 28-14.
  • Saturday's matchup will mark a daytime Homecoming affair after six Homecoming primetime matchups for the Wildcats.
  • Arizona hosts Oregon State, having won the two most recent matchups against the Beavers in Tucson. Arizona topped Oregon State 49-28 in 2017 and 44-7 in 2015. The Wildcats have won three of the past games in the matchup overall. 
  • Quarterback Khalil Tate rushed for 103 yards and one touchdown on nine carries Saturday at Stanford. Running back J.J. Taylor also surpassed the 100-yard mark, rushing for 107 yards on 16 carries. It marked the first time the two teammates have each rushed for more than 100 yards in the same game since 2017 versus Oregon State.  
  • Arizona has had 18 plays go for 40 or more yards this season, which ranks tied for third in the country behind Memphis and Oklahoma. The Wildcats had two such plays Saturday at Stanford. 
  • Arizona is 12th in the country and second in the conference in total offense at 492.0 yards per game. 
  • True freshman receiver Jalen Johnson caught the first touchdown catch of his career Saturday at Stanford. Arizona now has had 10 different players catch a touchdown this season, which is tied with Oregon for the highest mark in the conference.

3,030: Running back J.J. Taylor went over the 3,000-yard mark for his career Saturday against Stanford and now has 3,030 rushing yards on 525 carries in his career.

9: Arizona has nine players who have more than 100 receiving yards on the season. That figure leads the conference with Oregon, Washington State and Utah all at eight.

57: Khalil Tate scored on a 57-yard rush Saturday at Stanford. It marked the ninth 50-plus yard rush of his career. He has scored on seven of them. Tate also has 12 passing plays in his career for 50 or more yards.

15: The Wildcats have 15 rushing touchdowns in seven games this season. Arizona had 14 rushing scores all of last season.

18.88: Redshirt senior receiver Cedric Peterson is averaging 18.88 yards per catch, which is the second-best average in the Pac-12.

202.0: Arizona is averaging 202.0 rushing yards per game this season. The Wildcats are one of three Power 5 schools in the country who have averaged more than 200 yards rushing each of the past four seasons.

GAME THEMES

Arizona will look to break a three-game losing streak this Saturday when Oregon State pays a visit to Arizona Stadium...Two of the better rushing offenses in the conference will be on display with the Wildcats and Beavers hook up...Arizona is second in the conference with 202.5 rushing yards per game...The Wildcats are tops in the conference, averaging 5.2 yards per carry on 309 attempts this season...The Cats have 15 rushing touchdowns on the year, one more than all of last season...Oregon State is in the top half of the conference in rushing at fifth in 167.3 yards per game and 4.9 yards per carry...It’s been a balanced rushing attack for the Wildcats with five players already amassing 197 or more rushing yards on the season... J.J. Taylor leads the way with 488 yards, while Khalil Tate is at 309 on the season following a 100-yard rushing game last weekend at Stanford... Gary Brightwell, Nathan Tilford and Darrius Smith are all above the 197-yard mark on the season as well...All five players have also scored rushing touchdowns on the season...Oregon State’s rushing attack is paced by Artavis Pierce, who is seventh in the conference at 83.3 rushing yards per game...He has 583 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the season as a senior...Pierce’s offensive line is directed by Jim MIchalczik, who served as the offensive line coach at Arizona for five seasons and will be making his first trip to Arizona Stadium since leading the Wildcats’ offensive line...Defensively, Oregon State is seventh in the conference in total defense, but 11th in rushing defense, allowing 191.6 yards per game, further putting an emphasis on the rushing attacks in this game...Arizona is seventh in rushing defense at 159.5 yards per game allowed...For the third straight year, Colin Schooler and Tony Fields II are both among the leading tacklers in the conference...Schooler ranks seventh in the league at 7.9 tackles per game, while Fields is right behind him at 7.8 tackles per game, which ranks him ninth in the league...The two teammates have combined for 532 tackles since arriving at Arizona in 2017...Both have been productive against Oregon State in their careers, but especially Schooler...In two career games against the Beavers, Schooler has 16 tackles, seven tackles-for-loss and three sacks...Schooler had 10 tackles and four TFLs last year in a win at Oregon State...Fields has 14 tackles in two games with 2 TFLs and one pass defended against Oregon State...The Beavers have won their past two road games this season, notching wins at UCLA and Cal...The Wildcats, meanwhile, are 3-1 at home this season and 7-4 at Arizona Stadium under Kevin Sumlin ...Oregon State’s last road win in this series came in 2012 when the Beavers outlasted the Wildcats 38-35...All-time, Arizona is 12-6 at home against Oregon State.

LAST MEETING

Arizona ran, ran some more and kept running last time the two teams met...The Wildcats rushed for 442 yards on 51 carries and topped Oregon State 35-14 in Corvallis, scoring at least one touchdown in each quarter... J.J. Taylor went to work against the Beavers defense and rushed for 284 yards on 27 carries... Gary Brightwell had one of the finest games of his career as well, rushing for 113 yards on 13 carries, giving Arizona two 100-yard rushers in the win... Khalil Tate had a quiet, but efficient game, throwing for 152 yards and two touchdowns...Taylor opened the scoring in the first quarter with a 40-yard touchdown run...After Oregon State tied it up, Tate found Shun Brown for a 21-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-7 at halftime...The Wildcats made it 21-7 on a pass from Tate to Shawn Poindexter and then made it 28-7 when Brightwell scored from eight yards out...Leading 28-14 in the fourth quarter, Taylor scored on a 62-yard rush to lock down the win and make it 35-14, which held up to be the final... Kevin Sumlin became the first Arizona coach since Larry Smith in 1980 to win his first Pac-12 game as the Wildcats’ coach...The Wildcats’ 442 rushing yards were the most since rushing for 534 yards against Oregon State the year prior, meaning Arizona has rushed for 976 yards combined the last two matchups against Oregon State

HOMECOMING HITS

Saturday marks Arizona’s 102nd Homecoming football game as the festive weekend is the 105th anniversary of the school’s first Homecoming (yes, a few years did not have football in the first half of the 20th Century)…The Wildcats are 59-37-5 all-time playing in their Homecoming game…Last season, UA beat a ranked opponent on Homecoming for the second straight season, topping No. 19 Oregon, 44-15...The victory improved the Cats to 9-5 in Homecoming games since 2005…The last time Oregon State visited Tucson for Homecoming was Oct. 30, 2004, which resulted in a 28-14 win for the Beavers...That marked just the fourth time Oregon State was UA’s Homecoming opponent...Homecoming has traditionally been a nighttime affair for Arizona, but this year’s game will kickoff at 1:30 p.m...Of the previous 43 Homecoming games, 31 have been played at night...A complete listing of Homecoming results can be found on Page 130 of the 2018 Arizona Football Media Guide.

CHARTING THE CATS (CAREER):

  • Running back J.J. Taylor has 3,030 career rushing yards, which ranks eighth all-time at Arizona. Taylor needs nine yards to pass Wilson for seventh...Taylor's 525 career carries are the fewest of any player in the top 10. 
  • Quarterback Khalil Tate has passed for 5,892 yards in his career, which ranks seventh-most in program history. He'll need another 90 yards to move into sixth
  • Tate has rushed for 2,181 yards. He is the 17th player in program history to rush for at least 2,000 yards. With 208 more yards, he would pass Jim Upchurch for 13th all-time at Arizona in rushing yards. 
  • Tate has racked up 8,073 yards of total offense in his career, which currently ranks No. 3 in school history. He is 654 yards behind Willie Tuitama for second all-time in program history. 
  • Tate has passed for 55 touchdowns in his career, which ranks third all-time in program history. Nick Foles and Willie Tuitama share the record with 67 touchdown passes. 
  • Cornerback Jace Whittaker, who utilized his redshirt season last year, has 33 pass breakups, which ranks fourth all-time in program history. He's currently two behind Kelly Malveaux for third all-time. Whittaker had a pair of interceptions in the opener against Hawai'i and then another against NAU. He has seven picks for his career. 
  • Linebacker Colin Schooler enters Saturday’s game with Oregon State with 41 tackles-for-loss in just 33 games. He is tied with Rob Waldrop for ninth all-time at Arizona.