Arizona’s season opener against NAU at Arizona Stadium on Sept. 2 is 44 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 37, No. 10 Utah Utes 30 (2 OT)
DATE: Nov. 14, 2015
SITE: Arizona Stadium
WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Arizona needed a game like this, mired in an injury-filled disappointing season following the glorious year of the Pac-12 Southern Division title.
Utah came to town ranked No. 10 with an 8-1 record. The Utes were in first place in the Pac-12 South. Arizona, meanwhile, was mired in a 5-5 season, only 2-5 in the Pac-12.
Backup quarterback Jerrard Randall completed one pass in the game and that’s all the Wildcats needed.
Randall, playing in place of injured Anu Solomon, threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Nate Phillips — who made a spectacular catch while falling down — on the first play of the second overtime in the Wildcats’ stunning victory.
The win snapped the Wildcats’ three-game losing streak and made them bowl eligible. Arizona beat a Top 10 team for the fourth consecutive year under Rodriguez. It also was the Wildcats’ fourth straight win over Utah.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez told reporters the win “has to be one of the best since I’ve been here.”
Solomon passed for 277 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a season-high 86 yards for Arizona before leaving the game after a helmet-to-helmet hit with 9:25 left in regulation.
Utah’s Devontae Booker carried 34 times for 145 yards but he didn’t have a run longer than 13 yards.
Arizona’s Caleb Jones caught five passes for 126 yards and a touchdown.
Each team kicked a field goal in the first overtime.
Randall scoring strike to Phillips was a thing of beauty. Phillips gathered the pass in with his left hand and pulled it to his chest as he fell to the turf.
“I couldn’t get nothing all night throwing the ball,” Randall told reporters, “but I got that one touchdown. I think it was amazing.”
Utah drove to the 8-yard line in the second overtime but on second down, Travis Wilson was sacked by Sani Fuimaono and Sir Thomas Jackson. On third-and-16 and fourth-and-16, Wilson’s passes fell incomplete and the students rushed the field
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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.