The last time Arizona lost a game, more than a month ago, it fell in triple overtime, but would have been beaten in regulation had USC not horribly botched a chip-shot field goal attempt.
The Wildcats had no intention of installing a Trojan.
Tyler Loops 24-yard field goal as time expired, the only time the UA took the lead in a 34-31 win at Colorado on Saturday afternoon. It was the fourth straight win for the 23rd-ranked Wildcats (7-3, 5-2 Pac-12), who secured their first winning record in conference play since 2017 and their first winning record in conference play since 2014.
Arizona put together a near-perfect game-winning drive, gaining 67 yards in 11 plays. The final 4:57 came after Colorado (4-6, 1-6) missed a 44-yard field goal. The Wildcats scored two big runs early in the drive Jonah Colemanwho ran for a career-high 179 yards on just 11 carries to get into field goal range, then bled time with sure runs and short passes.
The last of those was a 5-yard reception on 3rdapprox and 3 from the 6 of Montana Lemonious Craig, the former Colorado receiver who had five catches for 67 yards in his best performance as a Wildcat. After this conversion Noah Fifita needed a few knees to set up the winning goal.
Fifita was 21 of 35 for 214 yards and two touchdowns, the most incompletions of his career, but after going 8 of 18 in the first half, the four-time Pac-12 Freshman of the Year was 13 of 17 for 113 yards and a TD in the second half.
The TD catches were over Tetairoa McMillanwho had nine catches for 107 yards, and Jacob Cowingwhile DJ Williams had his first career game with two touchdowns and ran for 33 yards on nine carries.
Arizona defeated Colorado 421-352, including 234-102 in the second half. The Buffaloes’ quarterback was released Shedeur Sanders three times, but the son of the head coach Deion Sanders still threw for 265 yards and two touchdowns and had several crucial scrambles, including a 16-yard TD run for Colorado’s first score.
The Wildcats won despite being completely on the wrong end of the field position game, starting drives at their own 2 (twice), 8 and 13, while Colorado started four possessions in UA territory. The Buffaloes scored touchdowns on their first three touchdowns, but the final score resulted in a missed field goal.
Arizona trailed 17-24 at halftime and needed six plays to tie the game. The third of these was a 54-yard run by Coleman on a 3rdapprox and short and last was another T-Mac One-handed TD catch from 2 yards out.
The Wildcats forced Colorado to punt from midfield on its first possession of the second half, but the ensuing attack was thwarted by a penalty against the UA for a coach colliding with a referee on the sideline. The Buffaloes then returned a punt into UA territory and converted a 4thTh down just outside the 30 mark and took advantage of a rough call-on Taylor Upshaw before continuing upwards between 31 and 24 Michael Harrison’s 7-yard TD catch.
Williams scored on a 7-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter to tie it again, and Arizona quickly forced punts on Colorado’s next two possessions but couldn’t do anything with the ball in a tied game. That was a theme throughout the game.
The Buffaloes’ fourth drive, which began in UA territory, began at the 49-yard line with just over seven minutes remaining and reached the 24 after two plays, but then went back. They attempted a 44-yard field goal that missed right of goal, setting up Arizona’s walkoff victory.
It was the only one of six drives the UA had while the game was tied on which it scored. When trailing, it scored five goals in six attempts.
At the beginning the teams fought a 3-0 duel, then Colorado took advantage of a lucky recovery and took a 7-0 lead. Xavier Weaver returned a punt to the UA 36, but not before being stripped on the move Bill Norton and the ball bounces right back to him.
Three plays later, Shedeur Sanders scored on a 16-yard scramble.
Arizona reacted quickly and tied the score Williams’ 11-yard run to 3rdapprox and short. The drive included a 31-yard catch by Lemonious-Craig.
Sanders scored Jimmy Horn Jr. He gave the Buffs a 14-7 lead with a 20-yard TD pass in the final minute of the first quarter, capping a drive that included two third-down conversions.
Cowings A 3-yard TD catch tied the game at 14 midway through the second, the score one play after Colorado’s Deeve Harris was called for a late goal against Fifita after a 3rd-and-goal incompletion. This trip started with Coleman break off a 49-yard run.
A 1-yard pass Sy’veon Henderson gave the Buffs back the lead 3:13 before halftime and Arizona got within four points With 92 seconds left, Loop made his career 52-yard field goal before Colorado scored a 39-yard field goal as time expired.
Arizona returns to Tucson for its final home game next weekend when it hosts No. 13 Utah.