In the 50 days leading up to Arizona’s season-opener against Toledo, on Sept. 1 at Arizona Stadium, TucsonCitizen.com and its affiliate WildAboutAZCats.net will rank the Top 50 games in the history of the football program. The ranking is at No. 43 as the kickoff to the Wildcats’ season — and the start of the Rich Rodriguez era — is only 43 days away.
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 practically even since with ASU holding an 11-10 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.
No. 44 — Arizona overcomes rival Texas Tech with unfathomable late-game rally (TucsonCitizen.com)
No. 45 — Dick Tomey, the Desert Fox, does a number on UCLA by changing offense in midseason
No. 46 — “The Streak” reaches three games, UA achieves best Pac-10 finish (TucsonCitizen.com)
No. 47 — Arizona’s first game at Arizona Stadium in 1929, a 35-0 win over Cal Tech
No. 48 — Underdog Arizona’s 2011 thriller over arch-rival Arizona State (TucsonCitizen.com)
No. 49 — Arizona’s first win over arch-rival Arizona State, then known as Territorial Normal
No. 50 — Arizona’s first win in program’s history: 22-5 over Tucson Indians (TucsonCitizen.com)