Arizona Football

Reliving five greatest games between Colorado Buffaloes and Arizona Wildcats

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5. Colorado 20, Arizona 14, Folsom Field (Boulder, Colo.), Sept. 26, 1953

Arizona’s conditioning after a season-opening loss to Utah was questioned by coach Bob Winslow heading into the game at Colorado. The Tucson Daily Citizen reported about the Buffaloes’ grind-it-out win over Arizona: “The Coloradoans poured on the steam during the final 30 minutes while Arizona petered out.”

The Wildcats kept the game close despite not advancing beyond their 44-yard line in the second half. Arizona only gained 19 net yards in the second half compare to Colorado’s 131.

The highlight of the game for Arizona was a 12-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by tackle Buddy Lewis. Colorado, which won its first 12 games against the UA in the series, improved to 4-0 versus the Wildcats after this victory.

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4. Colorado 28, Arizona 25, Folsom Field (Boulder, Colo.), Oct. 21, 1950

Heavily-favored Colorado maintained the lead throughout and won the field-position battle behind punter Zack Jordan averaging 57.1 yards with his six punts.

Arizona’s Ed Wolgast scored on a touchdown run, breaking the arm of Colorado defender Don Hagin in the process. Hagin attempted a one-hand tackle and suffered a broken right forearm.

Arizona was 1-3 heading into the game and Colorado was 2-2 with a victory at Nebraska the previous week.

“We’re not going into the game with the idea that we are completely outclassed,” Winslow was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. “We know the boys will put up a good fight and we know we’re in for a good one.”

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3. Colorado 14, Arizona 13, Arizona Stadium, Sept. 28, 1985

Colorado quarterback Mark Hatcher plunged for a touchdown from 2 yards out, capping a 40-yard drive set up by an interception, to give the Buffaloes an upset victory over Arizona.

Hatcher’s touchdown late in the third quarter came after safety John Nairn picked off a pass at midfield.

Arizona forced three third-quarter turnovers to recover from a 7-3 deficit and go ahead 13-7 on Max Zendejas’s second field goal of the game. Zendejas made a 46-yard field goal in the first quarter and added a 54-yarder in the third. He missed a game-winning attempt wide right from 61 yards with 3:19 to play.

Arizona threatened again but Colorado senior cornerback Lyle Pickens intercepted an Alfred Jenkins pass with 1:03 remaining to preserve the lead.

2. Arizona 24, Colorado 21, Folsom Field (Boulder, Colo.), Sept. 27, 1986

A year earlier, Arizona entered the game against Colorado 3-0, only to be stunned by the Buffaloes (story above). In 1986, Arizona, 3-0 once again, came to Boulder determined to record the Wildcats’ first victory over Colorado in 13 attempts. The tenth-ranked Wildcats would not be denied, although the Buffs led throughout the game.

Arizona took the lead late in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 67-yard catch-and-run from quarterback Alfred Jenkins to flanker Jeff Fairholm.

“It’s ironic,” said Arizona coach Larry Smith told reporters about the quick-read play call to Fairholm, “that was the exactly the same pass we threw last year that they intercepted to shut us down. It was exactly the same call.”

1. Arizona 56, Colorado 31, Arizona Stadium, Nov. 10, 2012

Sophomore Ka’Deem Carey broke the Pac-12 record for rushing yards with 366 while also tying the school record with five rushing touchdowns to lift Arizona to a Homecoming victory over Colorado.

Carey shattered Rueben Mayes of Washington State’s previous single-game Pac-12 record of 357 yards, set in 1984. In addition, he broke the single-game school record of 288 yards set by Trung Canidate against Arizona State on Nov. 27, 1998. The 366 yards were also the ninth-most rushing yards in an FBS game in the history of the sport.

Meanwhile, junior quarterback B.J. Denker, making his first career start in place of the injured Matt Scott, was 12-of-14 passing for 136 yards with two touchdowns. Denker also carried the ball nine times for 46 yards with a touchdown on the ground. Both of Denker’s touchdown passes were to Dan Buckner, who had three receptions for 38 yards.

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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