What we learned from Arizona’s loss to NAU, the lowest point in program history

The Arizona Wildcats misplaced to the NAU for the primary time since 1932 on Saturday, getting shocked 21-19 in Tucson.

Our recap may be discovered here, Jedd Fisch’s postgame interview may be learn/watched here, and beneath are some extra takeaways.

That is the bottom level in program historical past

As dangerous as issues had gotten at Arizona, nobody—and I imply nobody—thought they’d truly lose to NAU. Not many individuals on this earth have ever seen it occur. Not me. Not even my grandparents who’re 87 years younger.

And let’s not fake this was an excellent NAU staff. The Lumberjacks misplaced to Sam Houston State by 26 factors and South Dakota by 27. And heck, even when this was an excellent NAU staff, Arizona ought to nonetheless beat them 10 occasions out of 10. Regardless of who the coach is. Regardless of who the gamers are.

It’s why Arizona needed to pay NAU $500,000 simply to play this recreation—and the way the Wildcats had been 23-point favorites, though they haven’t gained a recreation since 2019.

Their dropping streak now sits at 15 video games—the longest in main school soccer—and there’s no finish in sight. That was supposed to be the NAU recreation, however Arizona soccer is exhibiting us, within the worst methods doable, that something can occur.

Jedd Fisch has to offer Arizona followers new causes to consider in him

Fisch did so many good issues within the offseason. He welcomed former gamers again. He engaged with followers. He opened practices. He restored the Desert Swarm uniforms (although I disagree with Arizona’s resolution to put on the white ones at residence).

All of that’s meaningless now. Fisch now has to offer Arizona followers new causes to consider in him and his imaginative and prescient for this system. And so they all begin—and finish—with a greater efficiency on the sphere.

Saying issues like “we’re going to go through some bumps and bruises early on” falls on deaf ears whenever you’re speaking a couple of loss to freaking NAU. That’s not a bump or a bruise. That may be a bullet wound.

Solely 33,481 followers confirmed as much as Saturday’s recreation, Arizona’s worst attendance determine because it joined the Pac-10 in 1978. I don’t blame them in the event that they determine to not come again. The final two coaches promised them that they’d flip issues round however in some way they managed to convey this system to new lows. I by no means thought it might worsen than Kevin Sumlin dropping 70-7 to ASU, however right here we’re.

It’s Jordan McCloud time

There’s a purpose Will Plummer didn’t win the beginning job out of fall camp. He was too dangerous with the ball, and we noticed that end in two interceptions towards NAU. One among them was returned for a landing, which proved to be extraordinarily expensive contemplating the UA protection performed greater than nicely sufficient to win. (It held NAU to 233 yards and had seven tackles for loss.)

You would possibly be capable of stay with the turnovers if Plummer was shifting the ball in any other case. However the offense by no means discovered a rhythm with him on the helm. Take out his 49-yard landing cross to Boobie Curry—although clearly give him credit score for making a pleasant throw—and Plummer solely accomplished 18 of 33 passes for 142 yards, a paltry 4.3 yards per try.

Arizona doesn’t run the ball nicely—you already know it’s a tragic state of affairs when the offensive line can’t management the road of scrimmage towards an FCS staff—so it’s crucial to have a passing recreation that may not less than take what the protection provides it. Neither Gunner Cruz nor Plummer confirmed they’ll do this, so why not give McCloud the nod? Of the three QBs, he does have essentially the most recreation expertise. Perhaps he may be the regular hand the offense wants.

McCloud entered within the fourth quarter and went 6 for 7 for 66 yards, throwing a landing cross on UA’s remaining drive. He regarded fairly poised for a man who was making his Wildcat debut.

Clearly the truth that McCloud couldn’t beat out Cruz or Plummer for the beginning job is an effective purpose to be skeptical that he will probably be a difference-maker. However what’s there to lose at this level?

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