OU football vs. Arizona recap: Wildcats score final 25 points to top Sooners in Alamo Bowl (2024)

The 12th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners face the 14th-ranked Arizona Wildcats on Thursday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Here is what you need to know about the Alamo Bowl:

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Oklahoma vs. Arizona score in Alamo Bowl

Click HERE for a full box score from the Alamo Bowl.

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Live updates: OU vs. Arizona in Alamo Bowl

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FINAL: Arizona 38, Oklahoma 24

The Sooners (10-3) drop the final game as a member of the Big 12 before heading the SEC in 2024.

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Fourth quarter: Arizona takes 38-24 lead after OU's sixth turnover

Arizona's DJ Williams runs up the middle for a 19-yard touchdown. The Wildcats have a 38-24 lead with 2:56 left in the game.

Fourth quarter: Noah Fifita connects with Jacob Cowing, gives Arizona 31-24 lead

Noah Fifita seems to have regained his magic and OU is in danger of dropping its final game as a member of the Big 12 Conference.

Fifita hit Jacob Cowing for a 57-yard touchdown with 5:28 remaining to put Arizona on top 31-24.

Fifita is 24 of 38 for 354 yards and two touchdowns.

On second-and-17, the Sooners’ defense had the chance to make a statement, but Fifita found Tetairoa McMillan for a 15-yard gain, then followed it up with a 16-yard completion to McMillan on third down to settle things back down following an OU sack.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

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Fourth quarter: Arizona 24, Oklahoma 24

OU’s defense bowed up when the Sooners needed it most.

Arizona had first-and-goal at the 11 after OU’s fifth turnover of the game.

But the Wildcats had to settle for a 37-yard field goal.

On third-and-5 from the OU 6, Kendel Dolby came off the edge and brought Arizona quarterback Noah Fifita down for a 14-yard loss.

The sack was the Sooners’ fourth of the game, their second-most of the season. OU had five against Texas on Oct. 7.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

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Fourth quarter: Jackson Arnold throws third interception

Just as Jackson Arnold’s third interception was being wiped out, he threw another.

Arnold was picked off by Martell Irby on the first play of the fourth quarter to put Arizona in the red zone with a chance to regain the lead for the first time since the second quarter.

Just as the interception occurred, officials were changing OU’s previous turnover to a fumble by Jalil Farooq. It was initially charged as an interception.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

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Third quarter: Gunner Maldonado fumble return brings Wildcats back into game

Arizona is back in the game.

It looked like a throw right on the money.

But OU receiver Jalil Farooq couldn’t keep a hold of it, and instead of the Sooners having the ball deep in Arizona territory, the Wildcats were within a field goal in a flash.

The ball was knocked loose from Farooq as he spun inside the 20 and it popped up in the air where it was hauled in by Gunner Maldonado.

Maldonado returned the fumble 87 yards for a touchdown.

The Wildcats were successful on the two-point conversion to cut OU’s lead to 24-21 heading into the fourth.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

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Third quarter: Jackson Arnold, Sooners' offense keeps rolling

Jackson Arnold kept rolling, but OU had to settle for a field goal midway through the third quarter, as Zack Schmit hit a 22-yarder to put the Sooners up 24-13 with 6:59 to play in the third quarter of the Alamo Bowl.

Arnold hit a pair of critical third-down passes on the drive, first to Tawee Walker for six yards on third-and-3 from the OU 39, then hitting Drake Stoops for a 31-yard gain on third-and-10 for the OU 45.

But after the Sooners had first-and-goal at the Arizona 5, the drive stalled out, as Gavin Sawchuk was stopped for near the line of scrimmage and then Arnold was stopped for no gain on a carry to bring out Schmit.

Arnold is 16 of 26 for 250 yards and two touchdowns —more passing yards than his Arizona counterpart, Noah Fifita, who got off to a blistering start in the game. Fifita has 241 yards passing.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

Third quarter: Jackson Arnold connects with Brenen Thompson to put OU up 21-13

OU’s momentum kept rolling right along to start the second half of the Alamo Bowl.

Jackson Arnold hit Brenen Thompson for a 63-yard touchdown to put the Sooners up 21-13 on Arizona just 31 seconds into the third quarter.

The touchdown catch was Thompson’s second of the season and ended with the Texas transfer taking a bow in the back of the end zone.

Arnold is 13 of 20 for 193 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

HALF: Oklahoma 14, Arizona 13

After a disastrous start on both sides of the ball —but especially on offense —OU has more than settled in.

The Sooners took a 14-13 lead into halftime and even lead Arizona in total yards, 267-251.

OU will get the ball to start the second half.

Freshman quarterback Jackson Arnold completed 12 of his final 15 passes of the half to turn things around after throwing two interceptions early.

Arnold is 12 of 19 for 130 yards and a touchdown at the break.

Not only did Arnold find comfort in the passing game, but the Sooners’ running back has come alive as well.

Gavin Sawchuk has eight carries for 92 yards and a touchdown and Arnold has five carries for 37 yards as OU’s offensive line has been solid despite missing two starters.

OU outgained Arizona 231-70 in the second quarter.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

Second quarter: Nic Anderson TD puts Sooners up 14-13

Jackson Arnold has his first touchdown pass as OU’s starter and it was a doozy.

Arnold, with a pair of Arizona defenders closing in around him, found redshirt freshman receiver Nic Anderson for a 10-yard touchdown to give OU its first lead of the game, 14-13, with just less than three minutes remaining before halftime.

Arnold had a fantastic finish to the play, stretching out for the catch and dragging his feet inbounds as he took control of the ball to complete the touchdown.

Arnold threw two touchdowns earlier this season late in blowout wins over Arkansas State and Tulsa.

So far, Arnold is 11 of 17 for 125 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

Anderson’s touchdown catch was his 10th of the season, setting an OU freshman record and tying Drake Stoops for the team lead.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

Second quarter: Wildcats giveth, taketh away

Kendel Dolby didn’t give up.

It wound up being the difference in giving the Sooners the ball back with momentum in the middle of the second quarter.

Dolby was blocked to the ground initially but bounced back up and extended his hands to tip Noah Fifita’s pass, which was picked off with a diving catch by Kani Walker.

The interception was Walker’s first of the season.

But the momentum was shortly lived.

On the first play of the next drive, Jackson Arnold hit Jalil Farooq for a long pass that would’ve given the Sooners the ball deep in Arizona territory, but Farooq fumbled and the Wildcats recovered at their own 8.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

Second quarter: Gavin Sawchuk's 18-yard TD cuts into Sooners' deficit

OU finally got something going offensively.

Gavin Sawchuk followed up his 20-yard reception with an 18-yard touchdown run to put the Sooners on the board and cut their deficit to 13-7 with 9:42 remaining in the second quarter.

With freshman quarterback Jackson Arnold finally able to string together some receptions, and with the running game getting going a bit —including a big 7-yard run by Arnold early on the drive —the Sooners were able to turn up the tempo and get Arizona’s defense on their heels.

Since throwing his second interception of the game, Arnold is 5 of 6 for 50 yards.

He’s 8 for 14 for 80 yards overall.

Sawchuk has five carries for 21 yards. The touchdown was his ninth of the season.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

Second quarter: Noah Fifita, Arizona take 13-0 lead in Alamo Bowl

OU’s defense continues to have problems with Arizona quarterback Noah Fifita.

But for the second time, the Wildcats had to settle for a field goal, taking a 13-0 lead over the Sooners early in the second quarter of the Alamo Bowl.

OU has been able to get in the backfield, but Fifita’s quick release has saved the Wildcats on several occasions early as the Sooners have yet to sack Fifita, who is 11 of 18 for 166 yards and a touchdown.

Arizona is outgaining OU 197-36 so far, with nine first downs compared to just two for the Sooners.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

First quarter: Jackson Arnold throws second interception vs. Arizona

Drake Stoops raised his arm to get Jackson Arnold’s attention.

Stoops was wide open for a moment, but Arizona safety Gunner Maldonado reacted faster than Arnold.

Maldonado picked off Arnold’s pass, ending some minor momentum OU had started to build before a holding penalty put them behind the eight-ball.

Arnold is 3 of 8 for 30 yards and two interceptions so far.

His counterpart, Noah Fifita, is 9 of 13 for 138 yards and a touchdown.

The Sooners haven’t thrown two interceptions since having three in last season’s loss to Baylor.

The Sooners trail Arizona 10-0 after the first quarter, with the Wildcats outgaining OU 181-36.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

First quarter: Jackson Arnold, Sooners in early 10-0 hole

Jackson Arnold finally has his first completion as the Sooners’ starting quarterback.

But not much happened with OU’s second offensive series.

Trailing 10-0, Arnold hit Nic Anderson for a 6-yard gain on third-and-10 on the series, though it wasn’t enough for a first down and OU was forced to punt.

Arnold is 1 for 5 for six yards and an interception through two series.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

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First quarter: Jackson Arnold throws INT; Noah Fifita puts Arizona up 10-0

Jackson Arnold’s first series as OU’s starting quarterback was a rough one.

Arnold got a pass deflected at the line of scrimmage, just missed what would’ve been a first-down pass to Drake Stoops and then was picked off by Genesis Smith on third down.

As Arnold came off the field, linebacker Danny Stutsman went over to offer a word of encouragement while center Troy Everett put his arm around Arnold’s shoulder as they reached the sidelines.

On the next play, Arizona quarterback Noah Fifita hit Jacob Cowing for a 35-yard touchdown pass to put Arizona up 10-0 less than five minutes into the game.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

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First quarter: Arizona takes early 3-0 lead

OU’s defense was bend-but-don’t break to open the Alamo Bowl.

The Sooners gave up two long completions to Tetairoa McMillan, including a 40-yarder on the game’s second play, but ultimately help Arizona to a 39-yard field goal that put the Wildcats up 3-0 to start the game.

OU used a different defensive look, going 3-3-5 to start, with Danny Stutsman starting at middle linebacker with Kip Lewis and Dasan McCullough on either side of him.

Freshman Peyton Bowen, whose playing time had lessened in the second half of the season as he battled injury, played on the series as well.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

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Pregame: Jackson Arnold era begins for OU football in Alamo Bowl

SAN ANTONIO —The Jackson Arnold era is closing in, as the 12th-ranked Sooners are set to face No. 14 Arizona in the Alamo Bowl on Thursday night.

Arnold will make his first collegiate start in the game, after Dillon Gabriel transferred to Oregon earlier this month.

It appears Troy Everett will make the start at center after Andrew Raym opted out to enter the NFL Draft, and Caleb Shaffer will start at guard after freshman starter Cayden Green surprisingly entered the transfer portal earlier the month. Jacob Sexton will start at right tackle, though Sexton had taken over for Tyler Guyton —who also declared for the draft —late in the season.

While Gabriel and Green have already moved on, a couple of other players who are in the portal are still playing for the Sooners.

Running back Tawee Walker and wide receiver LV Bunkley-Shelton are among the players dressed out for the game.

—Ryan Aber, Staff writer

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What to know about 2023 Oklahoma Sooners football

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2023 Oklahoma football schedule

What's thebest-case and worst-case scenario for each game in 2023? Ryan Aber breaks it all down.

  • Sept. 2: Oklahoma 73, Arkansas State 0
  • Sept. 9:Oklahoma 28, SMU 11
  • Sept. 16:Oklahoma 66, Tulsa 17
  • Sept. 23:Oklahoma 20, Cincinnati 6
  • Sept. 30:Oklahoma 50, Iowa State 20
  • Oct. 7: Oklahoma 34, Texas 30
  • Oct. 21: Oklahoma 31, UCF 29
  • Oct. 28: Kansas 38, Oklahoma 33
  • Nov. 4: Oklahoma State 27, Oklahoma 24
  • Nov. 11:Oklahoma 59, West Virginia 20
  • Nov. 18:Oklahoma 31, BYU 24
  • Nov. 24:Oklahoma 69, TCU 45
  • Dec. 28: Oklahoma vs. Arizona, 8 p.m., ESPN (Alamo Bowl)

More:

2023 Arizona football schedule

  • Sept. 2: Arizona 38,Northern Arizona 3
  • Sept. 9: Mississippi State 31,Arizona 24 (OT)
  • Sept. 16: Arizona 31,UTEP 10
  • Sept. 23: Arizona 21,Stanford 20
  • Sept. 30: Washington 24,Arizona 17
  • Oct. 7: USC 43,Arizona 41 (OT)
  • Oct. 14: Arizona 44,Washington State 6
  • Oct. 28: Arizona 27,Oregon State 24
  • Nov. 4: Arizona 27,UCLA 10
  • Nov. 11: Arizona 34,Colorado 31
  • Nov. 18: Arizona 42,Utah 18
  • Nov. 25: Arizona 59,Arizona State 23
OU football vs. Arizona recap: Wildcats score final 25 points to top Sooners in Alamo Bowl (2024)
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