Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats helmet-sticker update: UA earns five of its seven stickers in fourth quarter

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Entering the fourth quarter against Cal on Saturday night, down 31-13, the Arizona Wildcats were in danger of getting off to another poor start in the Pac-12 and suffering a season-low production in helmet stickers.

They Wildcats accumulated two at that time, after recording only four the previous week against Nevada. They had 19 in the first two games against UNLV and Texas-San Antonio.

Arizona’s two accomplishments by the start of the fourth quarter: Tallying three sacks of Cal quarterback Jared Goff and topping the goal of 10 plays or more for 12 yards. Arizona had 11 such plays entering the fourth quarter after having only one in the first quarter. Both the sack and play marks were achieved in the third quarter, so that means in the first half, the Wildcats went stickerless.

The fourth-quarter sticker achievements:

— Winning the game, 49-45 on Anu Solomon’s 47-yard Hail Mary pass to Austin Hill as time expired.

— Winning a Pac-12 game. Arizona was 1-9 in conference openers at home dating to 1992 before Saturday’s victory.

— Scoring at least 24 points in the win. Solomon engineered a fourth-quarter explosion of 36 points, tying the FBS record for most points scored in the fourth quarter for a team trailing entering the period.

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HELMET STICKER RESULTS
HS: Helmet stickers
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— Four drives of eight plays or more. Before the fourth quarter, Arizona had only three, matching last week’s effort against Nevada. Solomon put together two 75-yard touchdown-scoring drives in the fourth quarter. One drive was nine plays, the other eight. They took only 2:47 and 1:51, respectively. Arizona scored five touchdowns in the fourth quarter, requiring only a phenomenal combined 6:38. That’s usually what a good sustained drive takes.

— Recover an onside kick. Tre’Mayne Bondurant achieved that sticker with 3:27 left in the game and Cal clinging to a 45-37 lead.

Three constants through the first four games: Winning, scoring at least 24 points in those victories and achieving at least 10 plays of 12 or more yards. Much of that rides on the quarterback. Solomon, despite his most inconsistent half to this point before intermission Saturday, rebounded strong enough to have one of the best performances by a college quarterback over the weekend.

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Cal’s defenders could not keep up with the athleticism and length of receiver Cayleb Jones, who was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week today for his 13 receptions for 183 yards and three touchdowns.

HELMET STICKER CRITERIA

The Wildcats earn cat claws for the Arizona helmet if they achieve these following marks. This helmet will be updated weekly as the Wildcats attempt to fill the helmet with the cat claws:

FIRST SIX GAMES

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LAST SIX GAMES

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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