The Arizona Wildcats had a brutal early season schedule that left them with frustrating losses to Oregon, Oregon State and Stanford. But the best three-loss team in the nation bounced back with a rout of Washington last week and stunned USC on Saturday, on the backs of a 26-0 run in the second half to send Arizona Stadium into a frenzy. Here’s what they’re saying in Tucson:
The final play of the game, a ‘Hail Mary,’ seemed to float in the blue Arizona sky for an eternity and when the ball finally hit the ground, pandemonium broke out. For those freshmen and sophomores who did not experience the Iowa game in 2010, this is their defining football win, and how sweet it was.
Hill made what was arguably the play of the game when he hauled in Matt Scott’s pass on third-and-22 to not just convert the first down, but gain 60 yards. Four plays later, Ka’Deem Carey scored the go-ahead touchdown. Play after play like that set the table for the rest of the Wildcat offense. Were there assists in football, Hill would have been Steve Nash against USC.
“I think we tired him out,” Rodriguez said of USC’s Marqise Lee. “He got about half a mile.” Well, not quite, but Lee did set a conference record with 345 receiving yards on 16 catches, blasting past the previous record of 293 set in 2004 by Oregon State’s Mike Hass. “He’s phenomenal,” Rodriguez said after the 39-36 victory. “It seemed like he was at a different speed, didn’t he? It looked like we had angles, and he was out-running angles.”