Arizona’s season opener against NAU at Arizona Stadium on Sept. 2 is 49 days away. To go along with the countdown to kickoff, this site will publish the Top 50 games in Wildcat football history.
SCORE: Arizona Wildcats 21, Arizona State Sun Devils 17
DATE: Nov. 24, 1990
SITE: Arizona Stadium, 57,112 in attendance
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: For nine years, Arizona turned the tide in its football series with ASU. The Wildcats enjoyed an 8-0-1 run from 1982 to 1990, their answer to ASU’s domination from 1965 to 1981, when the Sun Devils were 15-2 against Arizona.
The teams have been competitive since with ASU holding a 14-12 advantage. The last victory in “The Streak” for Arizona in 1990 was as suspenseful as the other memorable games in the run filled with fourth-quarter heroics for the Wildcats.
In this one, running back Art Greathouse scored on a 1-yard dive with 3:22 remaining to give the Wildcats their 21-17 lead, and Bobby Roland intercepted a pass by Paul Justin at the Arizona 4 with 30 seconds left to preserve the victory.
Arizona linebacker Jimmy Hopkins forced and recovered a fumble by Sun Devil tailback Leonard Russell at the Arizona State 47 with 8:58 left, leading to Greathouse’s go-ahead score. ASU, aided by 10 penalties that cost Arizona 93 yards, maintained good field position throughout, despite its inability to run the ball against the Wildcats. Arizona held the Sun Devils to 27 yards in 31 carries.
Roland’s interception (at the 5:20 mark of the accompanying YouTube video) came after Justin had driven the Sun Devils 40 yards to the Arizona 24 with 42 seconds left. On a first-down play, Eric Guliford got behind Roland in the Arizona end zone, but the safety leaped to snare the ball at the 4.
“We had an attitude that we’re gonna win,” Greathouse told reporters after the game. “They’re wondering ‘How are we gonna lose it?’ ”
After the game, Arizona, which finished the regular season 7-4 overall, accepted an invitation to play Syracuse in the Aloha Bowl. The defeat was part of a forgettable season for ASU, which lost seven of its last nine games to finish 4-7.
Arizona linebacker Kevin Singleton, who because of leukemia was granted an extra year of eligibility, never lost to the Sun Devils in six games.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.