Legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson, who passed away Friday night at the age of 89, called one of Arizona’s greatest wins, the 16-3 upset of No. 1 Washington at Arizona Stadium in 1992.
He led off the broadcast, with film of Tucson’s desert landscape on display, describing the scene this way in his customary bold, yet endearing voice:
“The majestic saguaro cactus, principal resident of the Sonoran desert, surrounding the city of Tucson, Arizona, where during the vivid summer monsoons, you have more lightning strikes than any place in the West. Well, today, from the stadium in the heart of Tucson, on the campus of the University of Arizona, ABC’s college football will bring you some autumnal fireworks, a Pac-10 matchup between the top-ranked Washington Huskies and the University of Arizona Wildcats.”
The win came at the height of the development of the Desert Swarm defense that season. The Wildcats entered that game on a four-game winning streak after losing 8-7 at No. 1 Miami when a last-second field goal attempt by Steve McLaughlin went wide right.
“The Arizona Wildcats are hungry for a big bite out of somebody,” Jackson said during the broadcast.
With Arizona’s win in hand late in the game, and after the victory, Jackson was at his finest.
“You look around town, there’s not a car on the street any where. Those who are driving, you figure they are from out of town.”
“And now, it seems almost sure that the Huskies are doomed.”
“The celebration is on in Tucson, Arizona, … The Arizona Wildcats are on the verge of winning the biggest football game in their school’s history.”
Found these 1991 classics: Keith Jackson called the game between UCLA and Arizona at Pauley Pavilion, won by the Wildcats 105-94 in overtime, and the 103-96 double OT win over Duke in 1991 at McKale Center. @mattmuehlebach https://t.co/rzCWOG5hxe
“Defense, defense, defense … I think you’re going to see an awful lot of people showing up at coaching clinics out here in the West next summer.”
“Your final score: Arizona 16, Washington 3, and today belonged to the defense. And now you know why they play the game. …”
Arizona offensive lineman Warner Smith and receiver Troy Dickey, who recently passed away within four days of each other, played in the game.
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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.