BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The Colorado coach had a simple request after the game.
“Could someone please tackle No. 14 for Arizona?” Mike MacIntyre said.
Too late. He’s already gone.
Backup Khalil Tate rushed for 327 yards, an FBS record by a quarterback, and accounted for five touchdowns to help Arizona hold off Colorado 45-42 on Saturday night.
Tate entered the game after Brandon Dawkins took a late hit out of bounds on the opening drive. Dawkins stood on the sideline for the rest of the game with his helmet in his hand as Tate flawlessly orchestrated the offense.
The speedy Tate had TD runs of 58, 28, 47 and 75 yards. He also threw for 142 yards, including a 13-yard TD pass to Shun Brown, as the Wildcats (3-2, 1-1 Pac-12) won at Folsom Field for a third straight time on a night when both offenses combined for 1,118 total yards.
Tate was hardly touched all night — if at all. Asked if he was tackled, he grinned and responded: “A couple of times.”
He’s been previously hampered by a sprained shoulder. Once in the game — and back to 100 percent — Tate quickly made up for lost time by breaking the record by a QB on his final run of the evening — a 31-yard scamper that also sealed the win. The mark was held by Northern Illinois’ Jordan Lynch, who gained 321 yards rushing on Nov. 26, 2013.
What’s more, it was the second-most ever in Arizona history. The Wildcats’ record for yards rushing in a game is held by Ka’Deem Carey, who gained 366 in 2012 against Colorado. Tate averaged 23.4 yards on 14 carries.
“We didn’t even know his number, to be quite honest,” Colorado defensive back Ryan Moeller said.
The Buffaloes certainly do now.
“He should be national player of the week,” MacIntyre said. “He’s a phenomenal player.”
Phillip Lindsay sparked the offense for Colorado (3-3, 0-3) with a career-high 281 yards rushing and three touchdowns on a school-record 41 carries.
Colorado was its own worst enemy in dropping a third straight conference game. The Buffaloes committed 12 penalties for 110 yards, including two late hits.
Despite all that, Colorado trailed 45-42 after Lindsay’s 11-yard TD run with 5:04 remaining. But Tate picked up a big third-down conversion with his arm — an 8-yard strike to Bryce Wolma — and then clinched the game with his long third-down run with just over a minute remaining.
Tate was modest after his performance.
“Offense did a great job blocking,” he said. “Receivers did a great job getting open.”
Dawkins was momentarily dinged after taking a late hit out of bounds that was announced on linebacker Drew Lewis. He was looked at by the trainer as Tate jogged into the game. It was difficult to even entertain the notion of bringing Dawkins back in, though, given the way Tate was playing.
“After his fourth time out there,” MacIntyre said of Tate, “I said, ‘I don’t know if we’re ever going to get this kid down.’
“He was just dynamic.”
Despite the loss, it was a memorable night for Lindsay, who became the school’s career leader in all-purpose yards with a run in the third quarter. He now has 4,989 yards to surpass Rodney Stewart’s mark of 4,828 set from 2008-11.
“It’s awesome for what Phillip’s done for our program,” MacIntyre said.
Arizona: Tate or Dawkins? Dawkins or Tate? Doesn’t seem much of a dilemma as to who will start next week, given the play of Tate. “I don’t mind you asking that,” Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. “Khalil played pretty well today.”
Colorado: The Buffaloes have a steep climb ahead for any fleeting shot at defending their Pac-12 South crown.
THIS & That
Colorado dominated the time of possession, 35:54 to 24:06 … Colorado QB Steven Montez threw three TD passes. … Kicker James Stefanou’s 50-yard attempt to end the first half curved wide left. The miss snapped a streak of nine straight field goals for the 30-year-old freshman from Australia.
Colorado had a 19-play, 85-yard drive that took 9 minutes, 34 seconds. It was fittingly capped off by Lindsay’s 1-yard TD plunge. Lindsay had 14 carries for 80 yards on the drive, including picking up two short fourth-down conversions.
Arizona: Plays UCLA, which has won five straight in the series. The Bruins are 24-15-2 all-time against the Wildcats.
Colorado: Travels to Oregon State. The Beavers lead the series 5-4.
By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
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