Arizona's comeback falls short

Arizona fells into a 21-0 hole early in Wednesday's Fiesta Bowl and never bounced back as it lose 38-30. Read on for a complete recap of the Wildcats' loss.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

Arizona found itself in a 21-0 hole and never recovered, as Boise State defeated the Wildcats 38-30 to win the Fiesta Bowl Wednesday at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

Starting on its own 22, Boise State got a 14-yard pass from Grant Hedrick to Thomas Sperbeck. Hedrick then ran for six yards and two plays later, Jay Ajayi scored on a 56-yard run as the extra point put the Broncos up 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.

Arizona started on its own 20 with a four-yard pass from Anu Solomon to Samajie Grant. Davonte’ Neal then caught a seven-yard pass and Nick Wilson ran for four. After a three-yard run Solomon, the drive stalled and the Wildcats punted to Boise’s 12.

Ajayi ran for four yards and followed it up with a 16-yard gain. Jeremy McNichols ran for three yards and Jake Roh picked up the first down with a five-yard pass.

After a three-yard completion to Sperbeck, Hedrick found Chaz Anderson on a 57-yard touchdown and the extra point gave the Broncos a 14-0 lead with 9:17 left in the first quarter.

The Wildcats got the ball on their own 24 and had a two-yard run from Wilson. After an offsides call on Boise, Wilson ran for five and then four yards. However, the Wildcats did not gain any more yards and a punt gave the Broncos the ball on their own 19.

Ajayi gained four on the ground and Sperbeck then caught an 11-yard pass before gaining 36 more.

Arizona forced a loss of seven on the next play, but Hedrick found Anderson for 20 yards and Ajayi scored from 16 yards out on a Statue of Liberty play with the extra point giving the Broncos a 21-0 lead with 5:12 left in the first quarter.

Needing an answer, the Wildcats got the ball on their own 35. Two plays into the drive, Austin Hill caught a 14-yard pass. After a run for no gain, Solomon ran for eight yards.

Wilson gained 18 on the ground before Solomon added 12 more. Wilson proceeded to run for five and Solomon ran for six.

Arizona then got three one-yard gains with the third being a one-yard run from Solomon to score, as the extra point cut the Boise lead to 21-7 with a few minutes left in the first quarter.

The Wildcats forced Boise State into a three and out capped off by a sack from Tra’Mayne Bondurant to end the first quarter.

Solomon threw an interception from his own 21 and Boise State took over on the Arizona 22.

Roh caught a four-yard pass and after a chop block penalty on the Broncos, Sperbeck was able to gain 31 in the air.

Boise State chipped away with a few short runs and Ajayi finally scored from one yard out with the extra point giving the Broncos a 28-7 lead with 11:56 left in the first half.

Arizona took over on its own 17 with a five-yard run from Wilson. Trey Griffey then caught a nine-yard pass and Wilson followed up with a run for seven and three yards.

After an incomplete pass, Cayleb Jones caught a 14-yard reception. Wilson then ran for four yards and Grant caught an 11-yard pass. After a six-yard run from Solomon, Wilson gained 16.

Wilson gained five more and two plays later, scored from a yard out. The extra point then cut the Boise State lead to 28-14 with 8:03 left in the first half.

After a penalty, Boise State started on its own seven. Hedrick ran for eight yards and two plays later, Sperbeck caught a 14-yard pass. However, nothing else got going and a punt gave the Wildcats the ball on their own 20.

Arizona went three and out before Boise took over on its own 19. Sperbeck caught a 15-yard pass on first down and two plays later, Hedrick ran for 14. On second down, Cameron Denson came up with an interception and brought it to the opposing 30.

The Wildcats were not able to get a first down, but a 42-yard field goal by Casey Skowron brought Arizona within 28-17 at the half.

Boise got the ball on its own 24 and Sperbeck caught a 25-yard pass on first down. After he caught a 15-yard pass, Hedrick found Troy Ware for 17 yards.

Dan Goodale then kicked a 36-yard field goal to go up 31-17 at the half.

Arizona went three and out to start the half, but Boise State did as well. The Wildcats started on their own 46 and got run of six, three, and five from Jones-Grigsby.

After a seven-yard completion by Hill, Jones-Grigsby ran for 8 combined yards on three carries. Solomon then ran for six yards and found Jones for 13 two plays later.

Solomon ran for four yards on second down, but was sacked on third. Arizona settled for a 24-yard field goal that cut the Boise State lead to 31-20 with 9:11 left in the third quarter.

The Broncos went three and out and Arizona did not fare much better, as the Broncos took over on their own 11.

Both teams once again exchanged three and outs before the Broncos took over on their own 40.

Arizona was called for two penalties, but then forced three incompletions in a row and forced a punt.

Solomon threw a pick six on second down and the extra point gave Boise State a 38-20 lead with 1:57 left.

The Wildcats got the ball on their own 25 and started with a 12-yard run from Jones-Grigsby. He then ran for five and two yards before Hill caught a five-yard pass.

On the next play, Solomon had plenty of time and hit Grant for a 51-yard touchdown. The extra point then cut the Boise State lead to 38-27 at the end of the third quarter.

Boise State and Arizona exchanged drives before the Broncos got the ball on their own 28. Ajax ran for six, three, and three more yards before Sperback caught a 13-yard pass. Tra’Mayne Bondurant then forced and recovered a fumble to give Arizona the ball on its own 35.

After a sack, Jones-Grigsby picked up a 20-yard completion. Two plays later, Griffey caught a nine-yard pass and got 19 more two plays after that.

The drive did not get much else going and Arizona proceeded to settle for a 32-yard field goal that cut the Boise State lead to 38-30.

Both teams exchanged drives until Arizona got the ball back on its own 20. On second down, Solomon hit Jones for 12 yards.

Two plays later, Jones caught a 17-yard pass and Solomon then ran for 11 yards. Solomon was then sacked, but connected with Jones to Boise State’s eight-yard line with 20 seconds left.

After an incomplete pass to David Richards, Solomon took yet another sack with eight seconds left and the time ticked off the clock.


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