Sep 3, 2015; Tucson, AZ, USA; The Arizona Wildcats celebrate after the fourth quarter against the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners at Arizona Stadium. Arizona won 42-32. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports
It wasn’t a pretty win, but the No. 22 Arizona Wildcats will take it.
The defending PAC-12 South champs struggled to find their groove early in the game, but managed to pull off a 42-32 victory against the UTSA Roadrunners in Tucson Thursday night.
It was a tug-of-war style of play during the first half. Arizona took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter, but the Roadrunners answered back with 20 points of their own going into half time. It was a one point game as the third quarter began.
The Wildcats were nervous. The Roadrunners have been a nuisance over the past couple of years. Tonight’s game could have gone either when the second-half started, but it was the Wildcats that took control.
Arizona went to work in the third to put some distance between themselves and the Roadrunners. The Wildcats went up 35-20 after Quarterback Anu Solomon found Nate Phillips on a 4-yard touchdown pass. Later on, Jamar Allah picked up Aaron Grubb’s fumble for a 22-yard touchdown return.
In the fourth, Solomon connected with Cayleb Jones for a 4-yard score to increase the Wildcat lead to 42-26.
While the score may reflect a win in the books, the Wildcats are feeling the loss of All-American linebacker Scooby Wright, who exited the game with a left knee injury.
Wright left the game in the first quarter and spent the rest of the night on the sidelines icing his knee.
SI.com said that Wright’s status was not updated immediately after the game. Head coach Rich Rodriguez told reporters that he wasn’t sure how long Wright would be out. Rodriguez didn’t think Wright had injured his ACL or MCL. An MRI was scheduled for Thursday night.
Last season, the Wildcat junior led the nation in tackles with 163 and tackles for loss with 29. He finished in third with 14.0 sacks. He unanimously won an All-American award and the Pat Tillman Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year award, among others.
His injury was the last thing any Wildcat wanted to see on the first night of the season. Arizona is keeping their fingers crossed that his injury is nothing too series. His presence on the field means so much to this team, especially this season.
On top of defending their crown, the Wildcats are one of five teams in the nation without a bye week this season. That’s right, 12 games in 12 weeks.
There’s no time to spare. Up next, Arizona travels to Reno, Nevada to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network.