Arizona rolled past Utah. A ranked-on-ranked matchup in Tucson quickly turned into a laugher as the 17th-ranked Wildcats jumped all over the battered and bruised Utes and rolled to a 42-18 victory.

Quarterback Noah Fifita completed 22 of his 30 pass attempts for 253 yards and a touchdown. Jonah Coleman ran for 90 yards and a score on 14 carries, following up a strong performance last week with an equally punishing game against a usually stout Utah front. The Wildcats won the turnover battle and dominated field position.

No. 22 Utah put up yards, but never really threatened. Arizona, now 8-3 on the season after five consecutive victories, took another step in a rebuild that has gone brilliantly.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Arizona jumps all over Utah early

Coach Jedd Fisch spent the lead-up to Saturday’s game gushing about Utah’s program, about all the positives Kyle Whittingham has built in Salt Lake City, about all the strengths. Fisch wants the Wildcats to get to the Utes’ level of sustained success. He thinks they can.

When the first quarter started, Utah didn’t look like the team Fisch had been praising. The Utes looked lethargic. Illness has been an issue. Injuries once again played a role — with Utah playing without Jonah Elliss, Cole Bishop, and Karene Reid.

Whittingham has frequently said “no one cares, keep working” when asked about Utah’s injury misfortune this season. Arizona certainly didn’t care, and it didn’t take things easy on the Utes.

The Wildcats scored touchdowns on their first three drives while Utah showed little resistance. After the first play of the second quarter, Arizona had 227 yards of offense on 20 plays — 11.4 a play. Utah, at that point, had 23 yards of total offense.

Six runs for 6 yards.

Four passes for 17 yards.

The Utes were 0-for-3 on third downs and moved the chains only one time.

Arizona’s first drive ended with a 21-yard touchdown pass from Tetairoa McMillan to Michael Wiley. Utah’s first drive ended with Arizona’s Anthony Ward stuffing Jack Bouwmeester’s punt and returning it for a touchdown.

Seven minutes and 12 plays in, Arizona led 14-0. Utah was dead in the water from then on. Arizona stretched its first-half lead to 28-0. With all the injuries and all the offensive issues that have plagued Utah this year, that was too large a hole too fast.

Two killer interceptions

Utah quarterback Bryson Barnes was picked off twice, first by Jacob Manu and then again by Treydan Stukes.

The first turnover came on Utah’s fourth drive — the first possession all game that showed any life. Thirteen plays moved the ball 60 yards and pushed Utah deep into the red area. Barnes telegraphed a pass and Manu jumped in front of it to end the drive without any damage.

The second came in the fourth quarter, on a third-and-12. Arizona had slowed down a bit and Utah had managed to cut the lead to 18 points. A score early on could have put the pressure on the Wildcats. Instead, Barnes fired another poor pass right to Stukes.

Barnes finished the day with 53 pass attempts. (Utah ran 90 plays to Arizona’s 57.) He completed 31 of those passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns. Utah was able to move the football in the second and fourth quarters (152 yards, 185 yards) but it rarely finished.

Four drives crossed the 50 and ended without points. Arizona’s defense tightened up whenever Utah started to seriously threaten and forced Barnes into mistakes.

A late decision from Fisch that is sure to linger

Arizona took over with possession of the football at the Utah 46-yard-line. It had a 35-18 lead and Utah was out of timeouts. There were 41 seconds left on the clock when Jayden de Laura snapped the ball on first-and-15.

Rather than take a knee, Arizona ran a play.

Rather than run, Arizona threw a pass.

De Laura hit McMillan — who finished with eight catches, 116 yards and a score — for a 51-yard touchdown pass.

The decision from Fisch left Utah fans feeling disrespected.

Utah decided to attempt an onside kick despite trailing by 17, and the Utes prolonged the game in the fourth quarter trying to claw back in. Maybe Arizona felt it was just keeping with the same mood. Maybe Fisch wanted to give de Laura, who lost his starting job mid-year to Noah Fifita, a chance to let it fly and build some positive juice.

Whittingham probably won’t publicly complain about the decision. His defense has to play to the final whistle and stop the other guys. He was also on the other side of this when Utah scored late in a 55-3 win over Arizona State several weeks ago (though Utah was actively running out the clock in that fourth quarter).

But it was certainly weird to see Fisch, who sang Utah’s praises all week, end the game by running up the score.

These two teams will meet in Salt Lake City next season, in case anyone was wondering.