Lumberjacks shock Wildcats as Arizona loses 15th straight game
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Costly turnovers, key ejections, a missed two-point conversion and terrible timing doomed the Wildcats Saturday night in a 21-19 loss to Northern Arizona.
Will Plummer threw two interceptions, including a pick-six, two Arizona defenders were ejected for targeting and the Wildcats missed a chance to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.
Arizona (0-3) has lost 15 straight games dating back to October 2019, the longest active losing steak in FCS.
Things looked really good for Wildcats early as they led 13-0 with less than two minutes to go in the first half.
But Plummer was picked off and it was returned for a touchdown by the Lumberjacks (1-2).
Northern Arizona started the second half with the ball but couldn’t do anything against the UA defense, which looked dominant at times.
The Wildcats forced a punt but then turned the ball over on downs. The Lumberjacks took advantage and marched 65 yards to take their first lead of the game at 14-13.
Plummer was picked off again in the fourth quarter and NAU didn’t waste the opportunity. The Lumberjacks went ahead 21-13 with a time-consuming 10-play, 60-yard drive.
With just over four minutes to go in the game, the Wildcats brought in sophomore quarterback Jordan McCloud to spark the offense.
McCloud answered the call and led the Wildcats on a seven-play, 85-yard drive that ended when he hit Boobie Curry on a 3-yard touchdown pass.
With the score 21-19, Arizona went for the two-point conversion but McCloud faced serious pressure and his pass fell incomplete.
It was the Lumberjacks’ first victory over the Wildcats in 15 tries and only the second in the history of the series. The Wildcats had scored more than 60 points in each of the three matchups.
Arizona opens Pac-12 play next Saturday with a road game at No. 4 Oregon. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. and the game will be on ESPN.
Northern Arizona also opens conference play next Saturday. The Lumberjacks will hit the road to play Northern Colorado in a Big Sky matchup. The game begins at 12 p.m. on ESPN+.
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