It wasn't pretty and Arizona's chances of winning looked grim at times, but the Wildcats came from behind to defeat Colorado 38-31 Saturday night.
Arizona started on its own 25 with a run by Jared Baker that did not gain any yards. Anu Solomon then found Nate Phillips for 44 yards. Solomon proceeded to throw three incomplete passes, but Casey Skowron made a 48-yard field goal to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.
The Buffs took over on their own 25 with an 11-yard pass from Sefo Liufau to Shay Fields. Phillip Lindsay ran for four yards on the next play and Nelson Spruce caught an eight-yard pass.
On second down, Colorado went for a trick play and Reggie Gilbert was all over it, forcing a loss of nine. Arizona then got the Buffs to lose three yards on the next play and force the punt, taking over on its own 18.
After a four-yard run by Baker, he went 79 yards to the end zone and the extra point put the Wildcats up 10-0 five minutes into the game.
The Buffs answered quickly when Liufau hit Fields for a 72-yard touchdown on second down and the extra point brought the Buffs within three.
Arizona started on its own 25 with a 34-yard pass to Davis Richards. Baker ran for two yards on second down and Cayleb Jones caught a 34-yard pass on third down.
Two plays later, Solomon found Josh Kern for a five-yard touchdown as the extra point put the Wildcats up 17-7 with 7:53 left in the first quarter.
Colorado got the ball on its own 24 and received a 12-yard run from Lindsay. Spruce then caught a 13-yard pass and Colorado was called for holding on the next play.
Fields proceeded to catch a pass for eight 8 yards and then added 23 more. Lindsay picked up four and then two, but Arizona forced the Buffs into a 43-yard field goal that went wide.
Arizona had the ball on its own 25 and Baker ran for four yards. Trey Griffey then caught a seven-yard pass and Baker added five on the ground.
Tyrell Johnson ran for 11 and Samajie Grant caught a six-yard pass, before a snap when Solomon wasn’t looking resulted in a turnover.
On second down from the 50, Fields caught a 15-yard pass. The Buffs were then called for holding twice, but a 15, 11, and five-yard run by Lindsay got the yardage back to end the first quarter.
On third down, Spruce caught a six-yard pass for the first down. The Wildcats then forced a third and long situation and Lee picked up eight yards.
The Buffs settled for a 20-yard field goal and Arizona’s lead got cut to 17-10 with 13:35 left in the first half.
Both teams exchanged unsuccessful drives before the Wildcats took over on their own 36. Arizona forced a fumble on first down and got the ball on Colorado’s 22.
A holding call set the drive back and Skowron eventually came on for a 45-yard field goal, but it missed and Arizona’s lead held at 17-10.
Colorado proceeded to go three and out, but the punt went off of Trey Griffey’s back and Colorado got the ball on the Arizona 24.
Lindsay started the drive with a six-yard run and Spruce followed with a 10-yard reception. Liufau ran for four yards and found Bryce Bobo for 11 more.
Liufau then scored from two yards out and the extra point tied the game at 17 going into the half.
Colorado started the half on its 25 with a seven-yard pass to Fields. Two plays later, Sean Irwin caught a five-yard pass.
Irwin then grabbed a 47-yard throw over Cam Denson. Lindsay has consecutive carries for five, four and two, before Liufau ran it in from four yards out and the extra point gave CU the 24-17 lead.
Arizona took over on its own 26 with a five-yard run by Baker and a 13-yard reception as well. On second down, Richards caught a ten-yard pass. However, a sack stalled the drive and the Wildcats had to punt.
Colorado’s next drive started with a seven-yard catch by Spruce and 10-yard run by Patrick Carr. A false start basically ended the drive and the Buffs had to punt, giving the Wildcats the ball on its own 19.
Neither team got much going offensively and Arizona started a drive on its own three. Jerrard Randall ran for 15 yards and Baker for seven, as Arizona ended the third quarter on third and three.
Randall started the quarter with an 18-yard run and followed with a gain of 12. On the next play, Baker ran for a 45-yard touchdown and the extra point tied the game at 24 early in the fourth.
Arizona forced a punt on Colorado’s drive and got the ball on its own six. Randall ran for nine yards on first down and Baker followed for five.
Randall hit Cayleb Jones for 31 yards and Baker picked up two. Randall ran for four more and hit Jones for 11.
Randall gained seven on the ground, but left the game with an injury. Solomon came back in and connected with Baker on a wheel route for a 25-yard touchdown as the extra point gave The BuffArizona the 31-24 lead with 9:17 left.
Arizona forced a three and out due in large part to a sack by Jack Banda on third down. The Wildcats got an extra 15 yards on the hunt return and took over on Colorado’s 35.
Baker ran for 12 yards on first down and followed with six more. Randall gained three and Baker two more.
Randall gained six and Baker added five before Randall scored from a yard out and the extra point put Arizona up 38-24 with under five minutes left.
Colorado started on its own 26 with an eight-yard run by Liufau. Arizona got the Buffs to 4th and 15, but Colorado converted with a 16-yard pass to Bobo.
Lindsay caught a four-yard pass and Bobo added a catch for nine yards. Two plays later, Fields caught a 30-yard touchdown pass and the extra point brought CU within 38-31 with 2:19 left.
Arizona recovered the ensuing onside kick, but wound up giving Colorado the ball back with a punt that was downed on the one.
There wasn’t much beyond that and the Wildcats hung on to win by a touchdown.