TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Wildcats fell short on Saturday night against the Houston Cougars, losing 19-16. They are now 1-1 on the season.
The biggest question entering this football season was who would be under center for the Wildcats. With both Brandon Dawkins and Khalil Tate seeing playing time, but neither able to get the offense over the hump, that question will be louder this week than before.
Dawkins was inconsistent, missing wide open receivers. He went 17-29 for 178 yards, while Tate was 5-8 for 41 yards.
In the closing minutes of the 4th, the Wildcats defense came up with a huge interception that seemed to shift the momentum in their favor. Tate entered the game, which head coach Rich Rodriguez says was because Dawkins was "dinged up" and the team needed a spark, and he subsequently threw an untimely interception. The Wildcats would get the ball back with under 3 minutes left in the game, but would turn it over on downs and the Cougars ran out the game clock to seal the win.
Dawkins will be heavily criticized for his inability to hit his wide open receivers, inevitably leaving a couple of touchdowns off the board for Arizona that could have given them a win over an already emotional Houston team who was playing their first game of the season due to Hurricane Harvey disrupting their ability to play the first game. The Cougars were 1 point favorites heading into the game.
The first half saw Arizona struggle to deal with Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver. He disrupted the Wildcats often in the first half. The 19 year old is considred one of the best players in college football.
The Wildcats will travel to El Paso next weekend to face UTEP on Friday night at 7:15pm.