Arizona faced Colorado Saturday night … and an Oprah show broke out.
You get a record – Jayden de Laura!
You get a record – Jacob Cowing!
You get a ton of catches – Cowing and Dorian Singer. Cowing had 12, Singer nine.
And you get a win Jedd Fisch, in what was a must-win game given the Colorado Buffaloes are at the bottom of the Pac-12 Conference. It turned out to be a refreshing episode of fun-to-watch football for most of the night at Arizona Stadium.
Arizona is now 3-2 overall with Oregon looming next week.
Before all that, Arizona looked good in beating hapless Colorado, 43-20, for its first Pac-12 Conference win in its first try this season. For whatever that’s worth.
“Our guys did a great job of playing complimentary football,” said Fisch, who used the term a couple of times. “I thought what was fun about (Saturday’s) game is how we were able to get stops and get scores and get stops and get scores. And when you play together as a team, good things happen. And that was certainly there.”
The offense purred for most of the night. There were one-handed grabs (Tetairoa McMillan and Dorian Singer), leaps over defenders, quarterback catches and a myriad of other crazy plays Fisch came up with.
It was probably the most fun Arizona football fans – those who chose to stay – had in some time at Arizona Stadium, save for a good win two weeks ago against North Dakota State.
This one was never really in doubt, although Fisch will lead you to believe he wasn’t sure until the final 39 seconds.
Still, in beating Colorado it was a victory over a Pac-12 school and that’s always important when trying to get back to relevancy.
“As we’ve said numerous times, we’re all about the build,” said Fisch. “We’re all about just starting this thing the right way. We believe in the way we’re doing it, we believe in our process of continuing to get better every day. I think (Saturday) was an opportunity (to) get better. But I know that we still have a long way to go to where we want to be. But we’ll continue to battle and work hard and practice hard and see how good we can be.”
Saturday night, de Laura looked great, finishing with a passing rating of more than 200, which hadn’t been done in years. He tied a school record with six touchdowns and added 484 yards through the air. His touchdown total tied Tom Tunnicliffe’s record from 40 years ago.
It was another career-high night for de Laura, his 484 yards were the fifth most passing yards by a QB in Arizona history. He has now set career-high marks in passing yards in back-to-back weeks.
“Everything was working,” de Laura said. “All the receivers were catching the ball. I was really happy with the O-line, they were blocking. That was something that really helped us out this week.”
It helped that Singer made some great catches; TMac made a jaw-dropping, one-handed one behind his back and so many others contributed. Seven players caught passes (including de Laura) with Cowing getting 12 and Singer nine. It was the first time in 10 years two receivers had nine or more catches in a game for UA.
On the night, Cowing, a transfer from Texas El Paso, picked up his 3,000th yard receiving. He got a game ball for it, bringing it into the postgame press conference.
“Getting 3,000 yards is something I’ve been talking about ever since I was a little kid with my mom,” he said. She was there to celebrate. “That’s something I’ve always wanted to achieve in my college career so now that I’m here, I get to share that moment with my mom. It was very, very special night. I’ll remember it forever.”
Until then, they’ll celebrate Saturdy for a few more hours then get ready for Oregon. In the meantime, de Laura and his receivers will continue to find that magic.
“Jayden is continuing to get better,” Fisch said. “As I like to always say, Jayden has been here for five games. And he’s been in this offense only since January. He’s not ever played in an offense like this before. So if he can continue to make jumps like he’s been making, then we’re going to have a really good offense. We just know that each week we’re going to continue to work to get better and hold him to a higher standard next week.”