Kyle Whittingham, Morgan Scalley react to last-minute Arizona touchdown pass
Kyle Whittingham took no exception to Arizona’s last-minute touchdown pass to Tetairoa McMillan. Or, at least, he pretended not to.
The Wildcats called a deep shot to Tetairoa McMillan with 41 seconds remaining in a 35-18 game. Utah had no timeouts. Arizona could have kneeled on the ball and run out the clock. Instead, it threw a 51-yard touchdown pass from Jayden de Laura to McMillan to go up 42-18.
“Shoot, that’s their prerogative. We’ve got to defend it. It’s our job to stop it,” Whittingham said after the game. “It’s plain and simple.”
Video circulated on social media after the game that showed Arizona coach Jedd Fisch trying to get Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley’s attention after the game. Scalley didn’t acknowledge Fisch. Some fans thought that was intentional because of the late score.
Scalley cleared things up.
“I have nothing but respect for him and his staff,” Scalley tweeted. “Our job is to play great defense, and we failed to do that today. On me!”
Alex, you are a good man, but I honestly never saw Coach Fisch, nor would I have ignored him had I seen him. He has done a great job coaching this year, and I have nothing but respect for him and his staff. Our job is to play great defense, and we failed to do that today. On me! https://t.co/VKVIVe6st4
— Morgan Scalley (@RSNBUtes) November 19, 2023
Fisch said after the game he wanted to get a touchdown for de Laura, who opened Arizona’s season as the starting quarterback before Noah Fifita’s emergence. An injury in Arizona’s fourth game knocked de Laura out. Fifita took the job and ran with it, make it hard for Fisch to go away from him.
On Senior Day, there’s a possibility the throw to McMillan is de Laura’s final pass at Arizona.
No harm, no foul. At least, that’s the public messaging from all coaches involved.