Wisconsin holds off Arizona 9-7

On Saturday at Arizona Stadium, the only desert drought was on offense. The remnants of Hurricane Javier and stingy defense dominated Arizona's game at Wisconsin. The game endured an 88-minute delay and came down to the foot of Wildcat field goal kicker Nick Folk, who missed a 48-yard field goal attempt in the UA's 9-7 loss.

Wisconsin dominated most of the fourth quarter, but had to hold its breath as Arizona got a last-minute field goal attempt that went wide left. The UA fell to 1-2 with its 9-7 weather-delayed loss at Arizona Stadium.

A Badger punt return gave Wisconsin the ball at the UA 34, and Wisconsin converted a third and fourth down, but Arizona made the big play on fourth and short at the three to stop the Badger threat.

The UA crossed midfield for the first time early in the second quarter thanks to a Mike Bell sweep on the left side, but the drive stalled shortly thereafter.

Wisconsin managed to advance to midfield on the ensuing possession, but Andre Torrey recovered a fumble to give Arizona another solid opportunity. However, the UA was stuffed three and out, and Wisconsin was forced to start from inside the 10 on its second consecutive offensive opportunity.

Prior to the rain and lightning delay, Wisconsin managed 79 total yards while the UA registered 70 yards.

Arizona struck first with 32 seconds left in the half as Kris Heavner connected with Michael Jefferson for a 44-yard touchdown pass.

Inclement weather caused problems for Wisconsin early in the third quarter when the UA forced a second turnover near midfield. Nick Folk missed a 43-yard field goal wide right.

Controversy reigned supreme later in the third quarter when Wisconsin appeared to rip the ball from Mike Bell's hands with a return to the end zone that would have tied the game, but the officials said Bell was down by forward progress. Ironically, Wisconsin took control from that point on. Arizona punted, and Wisconsin took over near midfield, and answered with an impressive 10-play, 56-yard drive that culminated in a Booker Stanley seven-yard touchdown burst. However, Mike Allen missed the extra point.

The Badgers mounted another impressive drive, 16 plays for 72 yards that took up 7:26 of the final quarter. They managed to move the football on some key third down plays, but the play of the game occurred with 6:30 left when Wisconsin converted fourth and four at the UA 34 to keep the drive alive. Allen redeemed himself with a 23-yard field goal, just his third field goal in seven attempts this season.

Arizona responded with a big pickup from Heavner to Steve Fleming, and the UA advanced into Wisconsin territory with 3:30 left. Consecutive Gilbert Harris rushes moved the ball to the 25 with 2:45 to play. A false start and rushes on two straight running plays put the UA back to the 32, and on third down Arizona played conservative and left it up to Folk, whose effort drifted left.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories