Arizona Snaps 20-Game Losing Streak With Win Over Covid Stricken Cal

TUSCON, Ariz. – It has been quite a while since the University of Arizona Wildcats football program won a college football game, 763 long days, to be exact. A lot has changed in the world since October 5th of 2019, when the Wildcats beat Colorado 35-30 in Boulder. As a point of reference, it was Listeria Disease that the CDC was focused on back in 2019 when Arizona secured its last victory. Nobody had even heard of SARS-CoV-2. A fitting perspective as the University of California-Berkeley announced last Thursday that multiple players would not make the trip to Tucson for Saturday’s match-up against Arizona as they were placed on the COVID protocol list.

Arizona got after it early with quarterback Will Plummer marching the Wildcats 71-yards on the game’s first drive in 10-plays. It seemed things might be on the upswing for the Wildcat faithful. However, the party came to a halt as Evan Tattersall picked off Plummer at the eight-yard line and returned it to the 18 for the Bears. Clearly, ending the losing streak was not going to come easy for the 0-8 Wildcats.

After a scoreless first quarter, both teams struggled to jump start the offensive engines. Early in the second, Arizona orchestrated an 11-play, 40-yard drive to the Cal 23. But, like the opening drive, Will Plummer was intercepted yet again, this time by Luke Ashworth. Get out the Zantac.

Plummer made several trips to the locker room for an array of injuries forcing Wildcats Head Coach Jedd Fisch to go with backup QB Jamarye Joiner midway through the second. Joiner threw an incomplete pass, RB Michael Wiley ran for a 3-yard loss, and Joiner was then sacked. Plummer fought through the pain and quickly returned to the game.

Cal QB Ryan Glover immediately responded by connecting with WR Kekoa Crawford on a 30-yard pass.  Glover and RB Damien Moore successfully ran the ball setting up Nick Lopez for a 34-yard field goal to draw the game even.

The sparse and scant crowd started to chant, “U of A! U of A!” with less than 5-minutes to go. Just what Plummer and the Wildcats offensive core needed to hear. Plummer, not to be denied victory, led the Wildcats down the field on 8-plays, 55-yards, and RB Michael Wiley capped off with a 10-yard touchdown. Fans rushed the field as the clock expired with “Jump Around” blaring inside Arizona Stadium.

In the end, it was the Arizona defense that stepped up, holding Cal to just 1 of 19 on third down conversions and allowing only 122 total yards of offense. “Our defense – cannot say enough about them,” commented Coach Fisch post game. He awarded the Arizona defense with one of the game balls.

Losing is never an easy thing, especially when it expands months and even years. Fortunately, for Wildcats Nation, something else changed since that fall-October 2019 day in Boulder – Arizona found a way to win. Goodbye losing streak. Brighter days ahead in the Old Pueblo.

Stat Round-Up For Cal:

Kekoa Crawford caught five passes for 56-yards.

Stat Round-Up For Arizona:

QB Will Plummer was 16 of 28 passing for 129-yards.
Stanley Berryhill III caught 5-passes for 43-yards.
Dorian Singer caught 5 passes for 46-yards.

Arizona, now 1-8, welcomes the Utes of Utah on November 13th before road games at Washington State and Arizona State to close out the season. Cal, now 3-6, host USC at home and heads south to Stanford and UCLA to put the final touches on the 2021 campaign.

Written by Scott Finkelmeyer

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