Arizonas rash of mistakes left the door open for Northern Arizona to pull off another desert upset.

Taitai Uiagalelei and Tacario Davis slammed the door on the Lumberjacks.

Jayden de Laura accounted for four touchdowns, Davis returned Uiagaleleis blocked field goal 85 yards for a score and Arizona opened the season a 38-3 win over Northern Arizona on Saturday night.

Youre going in there, a one-score game, and all sudden they block it and run it back for a touchdown, Northern Arizona coach Chris Ball said. That hurts.

Arizona (1-0) lost to the FCS Lumberjacks (0-1) at home two years ago at the start of coach Jedd Fischs desert rebuild. The Wildcats had a hard time getting out of their own way in the first half of the rematch before rolling over Northern Arizona in the second.

Sparked by Davis return, Arizona turned an 11-point halftime lead to 32 by the end of the third quarter. De Laura punctuated the outburst with a 53-yard TD run, nearly losing his balance before racing up the sideline.

De Laura threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns on 18-of-24 passing with a fourth-quarter interception on a miscommunication in the end zone.

I think that showed up a little bit that we need to clear up and we will we certainly will, but I dont think there was any question that they played with an incredible passion and energy tonight at all three phases, Fisch said.

The Lumberjacks last trip to Tucson was a nadir for them, a low point for the Wildcats.

Northern Arizonas 21-19 win in 2021 was its first over a Pac-12 opponent and extended Arizonas losing streak to 15 games, which would later reach 20.

Only a handful of Wildcats players are still on the roster from that game, but it was certainly on their minds.

Arizona got off to a good start, scoring on a 4-yard TD pass from de Laura to Jacob Cowing. Johah Coleman made it 14-0 by breaking a tackle and reaching for the pylon on a 7-yard touchdown catch.

The rest of the half was littered with mistakes.

The Wildcats turned the ball over on downs at NAUs 35-yard line and de Laura lost a fumble inside NAUs 20-yard line.

Defensively, Arizona extended NAUs last drive with a roughing the kicker penalty and later added a personal foul. After a holding call negated a touchdown, Marcus Lye kicked a 49-yard field goal to pull the Lumberjacks within 14-3 still within striking distance despite being outgained 263-100 in total yards.

Defensively, at times, we played really, really well, NAU coach Chris Ball said. I liked our physicality defensively.

Riding the momentum of a close first half, NAU reached Arizonas 14-yard line with the help of a targeting penalty on Arizona defensive back Gunner Maldanado. After a holding call negated a Lumberjacks touchdown, Uiagalelei blocked Lyes field goal attempt and Davis returned it for the longest blocked field goal return in the Pac-12 since 1996.

Momentum, shifted.

Arizonas defense stopped the Lumberjacks on a fourth-and-2 from their own 38 the next series. Four plays later, de Laura found Tetairoa McMillan on a 5-yard touchdown and later scored on the 53-yard run to make it 35-3 well on their way to turning the rematch against NAU into a rout.