The Arizona Wildcats were stunned on their home turf by NAU, suffering a 21-19 loss Saturday night and moving their losing streak to 15 games. These stats tell the story of how the Wildcats reached another new low:
The last time Arizona lost to the Lumberjacks, in 1932, NAU had yet to reach university status. The school was called the Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff.
The Wildcats had won 14 consecutive matchups between 1933-2019, averaging over 60 points per game in the last three meetings.
Arizona seemed to be mostly in control of the game early on, building a 13-0 lead nearing halftime — until Will Plummer threw a pick-six with 1:53 left in the second quarter to give NAU life.
Plummer’s ball was underthrown near the line of scrimmage and went right into the hands of NAU defensive back Brady Shough, who returned it 28 yards for the score.
NAU took its first lead of the game at 4:16 in the third quarter on a 15-yard touchdown run from running back Kevin Daniels.
Daniel finished with 109 yards on the ground. Leading the touchdown drive was true freshman RJ Martinez, the third NAU quarterback of the night to see the field. Martinez later added to NAU’s lead with a 9-yard TD throw to Hendrix Johnson.
The Wildcats were outgained on the ground, managing just 106 rushing yards compared to 130 by NAU.
Michael Wiley, UA’s lead running back, fumbled in the second quarter and didn’t receive another carry the rest of the game. After that, the Cats rotated Drake Anderson and Jalen John and even tried running wide receiver sweeps to try to help the rushing attack. Combined, the team averaged under four yards per carry.
Arizona’s defense did its part for much of the night, forcing three turnovers. It marked the first game of the year the Cats created multiple turnovers.
But UA’s offense failed to cash in, only putting up three points.
Arizona’s interception in the second quarter resulted in a Lukas Havrisik field goal, but the other two times ended in punts.
In a last-gasp effort, Arizona inserted Jordan McCloud in at quarterback late in the fourth quarter. On McCloud’s second drive, and Arizona trailing 21-13 with 4:19 to play, the sophomore led a seven-play, 85-yard TD drive lasting just 2:14 to make it 21-19.
Arizona still needed to convert the 2-point conversion to tie it, however.
Under heavy pressure, McCloud’s potential game-tying pass misfired. The Cats did not recover the onside kick and NAU ran out the clock for the shocking win.