Arizona's comeback fell short in a 38-30 loss to Boise State. Read on to find out how it happened, how Anu Solomon played, who got hurt, and more.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Arizona could not come back from an early 21-0 hole and fell 38-30 to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. Here's a look at how it happened:
Things didn't start great for the Wildcats as they came out a little slow on defense and allowed Boise State to put up 21 points in a hurry. Jay Ajayi broke free for a 56-yard scoring run and Chaz Anderson caught a 57-yard long ball for an early 14-0 lead. Just minutes later, Ajayi scored again on a 16-yard run to put Arizona in a hole.
Anu Solomon played poorly in the bowl game, but still managed to complete 28 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown. However, his negatives outweighed the positives as the freshman threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
Solomon also suffered from poor decision making. Late in the game, Arizona had the ball with three minutes remaining and a chance to tie it up. Solomon was officially sacked three times on the drive, including one that ended the game, but was also tackled at the line of scrimmage, eating up much of the clock.
Nick Wilson was playing well in the first half, but took a hard shot to the head and was forced to miss the remainder of the game. He finished with 19 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Wilson was replaced by Terris Jones-Grigsby. The senior carried the ball 14 times for 39 yards. He was able to get some room to run, but had a long of just eight and did not reach the end zone.
Senior Tra'Mayne Bondurant went out with a bang. He led the team with 11 tackles, including a sack and another tackle for loss. His biggest contribution came late in the game, when he stripped Ajayi of the ball and then recovered the fumble to give the Wildcats another shot at tying the game.
Scooby Wright racked up ten tackles in the game with two coming in the backfield. That made a total of 30 tackles for loss on the season, which gives Wright the single season record. It was previously held by Tom Nelson with 29 in 1968.
Cam Denson came up big in the first half for the Wildcats after coming in to replace an injured Jarvis McCall Jr. He grabbed the second interception of his career and nearly returned it for a touchdown, fighting through several tackles and setting his team up for a score. The true freshman also recorded three tackles in the loss.
Boise State has been known to pull out the bag of tricks in big bowl games. This one was no different as the Broncos ran a wide receiver double pass and the Statue of Liberty play. The pass was ruled incomplete, but the Statue of Liberty turned into a 16-yard rushing touchdown.
Arizona's defense took a few huge blows in the first half. Jared Tevis left the game with an elbow injury, while McCall left the game with an apparent leg injury. Bondurant was also sidelined for a few plays.
Casey Skowron connected on all three of his field goal attempts, from 42, 24, and 32. That ties the record for most field goals made in the Fiesta Bowl, sharing the feat with eight others.