October 28, 2018 / 6:43 AM / 20 days ago

Tate, Taylor help Arizona overpower No. 19 Oregon

EditorsNote: Multiple fixes throughout text

Arizona’s defense limited Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert to 89 yards passing in the first three quarters as the Wildcats routed the 19th-ranked Ducks 44-15 on Saturday night in Tucson, Ariz.

Herbert completed 24 of 48 passes for 186 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Error-prone Oregon (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) also had a punt blocked and lost the ball when an Arizona punt bounced off the leg of a Ducks player trying to block for a return.

The Wildcats (4-5, 3-3) cashed those miscues into 10 points.

Arizona running back J.J. Taylor finished with 212 yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. As a team, Oregon gained only 84 yards rushing on 23 carries.

Arizona’s defense also held Oregon to 3 of 16 on third-down conversions while limiting the Ducks to 270 yards in total offense. Entering the game, Arizona’s defense ranked No. 11 in the Pac-12, allowing 440.6 yards a game.

Arizona was dominant from the start behind the passing of Khalil Tate, who sat out last week’s loss at UCLA with an ankle injury. He directed the Wildcats to a touchdown on the first possession.

Tate’s 22-yard scoring pass to a wide-open Shawn Poindexter with 11:08 to go in the first quarter capped a seven-play, 75-yard drive that took only 2:03.

Tate completed 19 of 33 passes for 189 yards with three touchdowns and an interception.

Oregon’s offense had three consecutive three-and-outs, and then freshman running back Travis Dye fumbled on the fourth possession, with Arizona cornerback Christian Young making the recovery at the Oregon 21.

The turnover resulted in a 34-yard field goal by Josh Pollack to give Arizona a 10-0 lead with 4:52 left in the first quarter.

A blocked punt by Arizona’s Chacho Ulloa gave the Wildcats the ball at the Oregon 6. Pollack’s third field goal, this one from 23 yards, increased Arizona’s lead to 16-0 with 11:30 left in the first half.

Herbert engineered a 75-yard scoring drive in seven plays, including running 20 yards on a third-and-9 play. His 29-yard touchdown pass to Dillon Mitchell and subsequent two-point conversion run cut Arizona’s lead to 16-8 with 9:17 left in the second quarter.

Arizona answered with an 18-play, 88-yard drive that lasted 7:30, capped by Taylor’s 1-yard touchdown run that increased the lead to 23-8 with 1:39 left before halftime.

The Wildcats went 96 yards on seven plays in their first possession of the third quarter to widen the lead to 30-8. Tate capped that drive with an 8-yard scoring strike to Poindexter.

Tate’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Shun Brown with 2:49 left in the third quarter increased the lead to 37-8.

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