Arizona Wildcats to host seventh-ranked Utah in home finale

Arizona Wildcats to host seventh-ranked Utah in home finale
Arizona Wildcats head football coach Kevin Sumlin.

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona Wildcats (4-6, 2-5) host the No. 7 Utah Utes (9-1, 6-1) at Arizona Stadium this Saturday, Nov. 23.

The Wildcats final home game of the year will kick off at 8 p.m. MST, with a television broadcast slated for FS1.

Arizona returns home for one final game at Arizona Stadium after dropping their contest in Eugene last weekend. Saturday will be Senior Day for a number of Wildcats who have dedicated countless hours to the program.Utah, the No. 7 ranked team in the country, are winners of six straight Pac-12 Conference games.

Their most recent game was a 49-3 drubbing of UCLA last weekend in Salt Lake City.

Game Notes

  • The Arizona Wildcats will host their final home game of the season Saturday night against No. 7 Utah. Arizona will play back-to-back AP Top 10 teams for the first time since 2011 after playing at No. 6 Oregon last week.
  • The Wildcats are 47-123-1 all-time against AP Top 25 teams and 30-54 at home. The program is also 19-58-1 versus AP Top 10 teams, with its most recent win coming in 2015 versus No. 10 Utah.
  • Arizona is 2-2 all-time against Utah when the Utes are ranked. In 2015, Arizona outlasted the 10th-ranked Utes 37-30 in double overtime.
  • The Wildcats are one of four programs nationally with a 6,000-yard career passer (Khalil Tate) and a 3,000-yard career rusher (J.J. Taylor). Arizona is joined by Utah, SMU and Vanderbilt. Tate has 6,051 career passing yards, while Taylor has rushed for 3,182 yards.
  • Taylor has accumulated 4,546 career all-purpose yards, which is the fifth highest total by an active FBS player. It's the third highest by a Power 5 player behind Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor and Minnesota's Rodney Smith.
  • Arizona junior linebacker Colin Schooler is averaging 5.43 solo tackles per game in his career, which leads all active players in the FBS. He has 190 solo tackles in 35 career games. Teammate Tony Fields II is averaging 4.89 solo tackles per game, which ranks fourth among all active FBS players.
  • Arizona will honor its seniors in a pregame ceremony prior to the game Saturday. The Wildcats are 6-2 in their last eight Senior Day games. Saturday will also serve as Military Appreciation Night at Arizona Stadium.

By The Numbers

  • 5: With his 3,182 rushing yards, J.J. Taylor has the fifth most rushing yards in program history. He passed Mike Bell on Saturday against Oregon with his 74 yards. He needs exactly 200 more yards to pass Art Luppino for fourth. His 3,182 yards rank 12th among all active FBS players.
  • 6,051: Khalil Tate enters his Senior Day game with 6,051 career passing yards, which rank fifth-most in program history. Tate passed Alfred Jenkins on Saturday and will likely finish fifth with Any Solomon at 6,922 yards in fourth place.
  • 42.5: Colin Schooler has 42.5 career tackles-for-loss, which is fifth-most by an active FBS player. It’s also the seventh-highest total in program history.
  • 18: The Wildcats have 18 rushing touchdowns in seven games this season. Arizona had 14 rushing scores all of last season.
  • 66.9: Freshman QB Grant Gunnell is completing 66.9 percent of his passes this season. That currently ranks as the fourth-best single-season mark ever by an Arizona quarterback and would be the best mark ever by an Arizona freshman signal-caller.
  • 7: Arizona had a season-high seven tackles-for-loss last game against Oregon. The Wildcats had eight players register at least a half tackle-for-loss.

Game Themes

  • The Arizona Wildcats will close out their 2019 home slate with a matchup against No. 7 Utah at Arizona Stadium for an 8 p.m., kickoff...With that, five of Arizona’s six home games this season started at 7:30 p.m., or later...The Wildcats are 7-3 in their last 10 home night games and 21-10 in night games at Arizona Stadium dating back to the start of the 2014 season...In order to secure win No. 22, Arizona must deal with one of the top defenses in the country...The Utes rank first in the Pac-12 in total defense, rushing defense, passing defense, scoring defense and red zone defense...The Utes have given up just 13 total touchdowns in 10 games this season and have held opponents to just 2,486 yards of total offense...The Utes are the only program in the conference not to allow at least 3,000 yards of total offense this season...Utah has been just as dominant in conference games as well, leading the league in all defensive categories in conference games as well...Bradlee Anae is second in the conference with 10 sacks on the season and also second in tackles-for-loss with 11...While Arizona didn’t score a touchdown last game for the first time this season, Utah has held opponents without a touchdown on four separate occasions, including in three of its four games...However, the Utes have allowed 77 points in four road games this year and just 36 points in six home games...Utah has given up 28 or more points in a game twice this season, with both such instances coming on the road at USC and Washington...Despite a tough outcome on the road last week against Oregon, Arizona has proven to be more than capable on offense this season and should provide a test to the Utah defense...The Wildcats are 17th in the country in total offense, averaging 470.2 yards per game...That total ranks second in the Pac-12...The Wildcats have scored at least 20 points in nine of their last 10 matchups with Utah and in each of their last four home games with the Utes...The Wildcats are 10-10-2 all-time at home against Utah and 19-23-2 all-time in the series...Utah is one of the only Pac-12 opponents quarterback Khalil Tate has never played a full game against...The closest he came was as a true freshman in 2016 when he passed for 105 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 33 yards...Tate did not play against Utah in 2017 and was limited to four passing attempts last year... J.J. Taylor has rushed for 106 yards on 24 carries in two career games against Utah and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry...Linebacker Colin Schooler has 13 career tackles against Utah, to go with two tackles-for-loss and an interception.

Last Meeting

  • Utah raced out to a 28-0 halftime team and never looked back in a 42-10 win over Arizona to secure its third straight win over the Wildcats...The Wildcats played three different quarterbacks with Rhett Rodriguez getting most of the work...Rodriguez passed for 226 yards on 20 of 38 passes... Jamarye Joiner, who is enjoying a breakout season as a receiver this year, also saw time at quarterback for Arizona and was 3 of 4 for 17 yards...The Wildcats were held to just 318 yards of total offense in the game and just 72 rushing yards on 31 carries...Arizona finally got in the end zone in the fourth quarter when Rodriguez found Cedric Peterson for a 42-yard touchdown with 13:23 left in the game...Colin Schooler did notch an interception in the loss and returned it 33 yards...Cornerback Lorenzo Burns had a sack in the game as well...Utah’s Tyler Huntley threw for 201 yards and a touchdown and also added a rushing touchdown and caught a 58-yard touchdown pass in the win...Running back Zach Moss ran for 68 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries...Utah totaled five sacks of Arizona quarterbacks in its win...Utah improved to 4-2 on the season and 2-2 in Pac-12 play, while the Cats dropped to 3-4 and 2-2 in conference.

Charting The Cats

  • Running back J.J. Taylor has 3,182 career rushing yards, which ranks fifth all-time at Arizona. Taylor needs 200 more yards to pass Art Luppino for fourth...Taylor’s 563 career carries are the third-fewest of any player in the top 10. 
  • Quarterback Khalil Tate has passed for 6,051 yards in his career, which ranks fifth-most in program history. Anu Solomon is up next at 6,922 yards.
  • Tate has rushed for 2,203 yards. He is the 17th player in program history to rush for at least 2,000 yards. With 187 more yards, he would pass Jim Upchurch for 13th all-time at Arizona in rushing yards. 
  • Tate has racked up 8,254 yards of total offense in his career, which currently ranks No. 3 in school history. He is 473 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 Utah with 42.5 tackles-for-loss in just 35 games. His total of 42.5 ranks seventh-most in program history and is just .5 away from Marcus Bell, who ranks sixth all time. With one more tackle-for-loss, he would tie Joe Salave’a for fifth all-time at Arizona.