Matt Scott and Ka'Deem Careyaccounted for seven combined touchdowns and the Arizona (2-0) defense forced four critical turnovers to lift the Wildcats to a 59-38 upset of No. 18 Oklahoma State (1-1) on Saturday night at Arizona Stadium.
"There are a bunch of excited guys in that locker room," head coach Rich Rodriguez said. "I'm really proud of them and they hung in there. Oklahoma State is an explosive team and I wasn't comfortable until the end. Our guys played hard and made plays when they had to."
Scott was 28-for-41 through the air with 320 yards and two touchdown tosses, while also rushing for 55 yards on 19 totes with a touchdown on the ground. Meanwhile, Carey finished with 154 total yards and a career-high four touchdowns. Carey had 126 yards on 26 carries with three touchdowns on the ground, while adding another 28 yards receiving and another score.
Despite both teams combining for 1,137 yards of total offense and 97 points, it was the Arizona defense that came up big at critical times by forcing four Oklahoma State turnovers, including two in the fourth quarter. Perhaps the biggest momentum changer of the night was a Jonathan McKnight48-yard interception return for a touchdown at the 10:24 mark of the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the Arizona offense finished the night without a turnover.
The Cowboys picked up right where they left off from last weekend’s 84-0 blowout of Savannah State after scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions of the night to grab a very quick 14-0 lead.
Arizona answered the second touchdown with a seven play 75-yard drive, which was capped off by a 15-yard touchdown strike from Scott to Richard Morrison. The Wildcats were aided by two personal foul penalties totaling 30 yards on the same play earlier in the drive.
On the following Oklahoma State drive, Jake Fischer forced and recovered a Joseph Randle fumble on the second play of the drive, giving the Wildcats the ball on the Oklahoma State 29-yard line. UA advanced the ball to the 4-yard line setting up a 22-yard field goal by John Bonano, which was good to make the score 14-10.
Following another stop by the Arizona defense, the offense set up shop at the Oklahoma State 37-yard line thanks to a 16-yard punt return by Morrison. Bonano pulled the Wildcats within one after a 46-yard field goal.
The Arizona defense came up big on the next possession as well after forcing a three and out. The Wildcats drove the ball 66-yards and was capped off by another Bonano field goal, which gave UA its first lead of the game, 16-14. The highlight of the drive was a 33-yard pass from Scott to Austin Hill. The three field goals matched a career-high for Bonano as he also connected on three field goals last season at Washington. Meanwhile, Hill recorded his second straight 100-plus yard receiving game as he hauled in five passes for 124 yards.
The Wildcats extended their lead on Carey’s first touchdown of the game after punching in a run from a yard out at the 3:22 mark in the second quarter. UA went to the half in front 23-14 as Scott was 19-for-27 with 204 yards and a touchdown toss.
Arizona opened the second half with the football and drove 75 yards on 13 plays, capped off by a 13-yard touchdown on a screen pass from Scott to Carey.
Oklahoma State answered on the very next possession as Lunt connected on a touchdown toss to Moore for the third time in the ballgame. After forcing an Arizona punt on the next possession, Oklahoma State got a 10-yard touchdown run from Jeremy Smith to cut the lead to 30-28.
Once again the Wildcats had an answer after Scott scampered in from eight yards to extend the lead back out to nine.
Sharp added a field goal for the Cowboys on the very next possession to make the score 37-31.
On the very next Oklahoma State possession, McKnight intercepted the pass from Lunt and returned it 48-yards for a touchdown on 3rd and long.
Then, at the 4:35 mark of the fourth quarter, Carey broke free for a 25-yard touchdown to give the Wildcats a three touchdown advantage.
After Oklahoma State cut the lead with a 22-yard touchdown toss from Lunt to Moore, Arizona capped off the scoring with Carey’s fourth touchdown of the night – a one yard scamper at the 1:57 mark to make the score 59-38.
Lunt finished 37-for-60 through the air with 436 yards and four touchdowns, but also threw three costly interceptions. All four touchdown tosses were to Moore, who finished with 106 yards receiving on his eight catches. Meanwhile, Randle carried the ball 23 times for 123 yards.
The Wildcats return to Arizona Stadium next Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff against South Carolina State. The game will air on the Pac-12 Networks.
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