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Wildcats offense sputters in home opener versus Bulldogs

Scott Gross

After an eye opening 38-20 win over SDSU in the season opener, Arizona is handled at home by Mississippi State

TUSCON, Ariz. ( KYMA, KECY-TV ) - After an impressive 38-20 win at San Diego State on September 3rd, the Arizona Wildcats had visions of a 2-0 start to the season as they welcomed the Mississippi State Bulldogs to Arizona Stadium on September 10th. The Wildcats haven't started a football season 2-0 since 2015.

Saturday also marked the first ever meeting between the Bulldogs and Wildcats although Arizona is no stranger to Bulldogs head coach Mike Leach. Leach compiled a 4-2 record against the Wildcats during his time at Washington State.

On the opening drive of the game the Wildcats scored on a 34 yard run by Michael Wiley capping a 75 yard drive spanning six plays in less than two minutes.

Mississippi State answered with an 8 play 70 yard drive capped by a Jo'quavious Marks 9 yard run. The Bulldogs missed the extra point giving Arizona a 7-6 lead.

After the opening drive the Wildcats offense looked lost. Quarterback Jayden de Laura missed open receivers over the middle and de Laura also dealt with receivers running the wrong routes at times.

Despite the sputtering offense, the Wildcat defense kept in Arizona close heading into halftime trailing 18-10.

In the end, Mississippi State would prove to be too much for Arizona. After rushing for over 160 yards against SDSU, Arizona was held to 40 yards on the ground against the bulldog defense who ranked third in the SEC against the rush a year ago.

The Wildcat defense kept the game close, 25-17 heading into the fourth quarter but the offensive attack of the Bulldogs led by quarterback Will Rogers was too much to handle. Rogers tossed four touchdowns and amassed 313 yards through the air as Mississippi State pulled away late en route to a 39-17 win.

The bright spots for Arizona, QB Jayden de Laura connected with Jacob Cowing, a graduate from Maricopa High school, on a 2 yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. It's the fourth time this season the two have connected for a Wildcat score. Cowing is a transfer from UTEP where he played three seasons for the Miners.

After catching his first collegiate touchdown in week one, freshman wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan led the Wildcats in receiving yards with 69 on four catches.

The Wildcats will look to regroup next week at home as they welcome the Bison from North Dakota State. It's another first time meeting for the Wildcats.

Article Topic Follows: College Sports

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Scott Gross

Scott Gross joins the KYMA team as the Anchor, CBS Sports Director, and Executive Producer.

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