Too little, too late

Is there a QB controversy brewing? The Wildcats pulled starter Kris Heavner in the fourth quarter and Richard Kovalcheck responded. The redshirt freshman led the Cats to a pair of late scores and looks like he will force the coaches to make a decision.

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Arizona entered the game hoping to win, but they failed to put points on the board until the last two minutes of the game and lost to the Oregon Ducks 28-14. Even though certain players shined on particular drives, the inability of the ‘Cats to convert in the redzone once again came back to haunt them. The game was very exciting for Arizona, but proved to be too little too late. Arizona was able to score its first points with 2:00 left in the game. Following the touchdown, Arizona recovered an onsides kick and later scored with 1:16 seconds left, and Oregon would run out the clock after recovering Arizona's second onsides kick attempt.

Oregon scored a touchdown on their first drive, but it wasn't without controversy. The Ducks ran the ball up to the half yard line before fumbling the ball over to Arizona. However, the referees did not have a good view of the play and gave the ball back to Oregon, who would score on the following play to make the score 7-0.

Head Coach Mike Stoops was furious about the call who stormed out onto the field and berated the referees. Stoops was issued a penalty, but not kicked out of the game. After being issued the penalty, Stoops continued arguing the call, and even called a timeout to get more time to voice his opinion to the official.

Mike Bell added a strong run on Arizona's next drive, which ended at the three yard line. Bell ended the game with 64 yards on 16 carries. Gilbert Harris also had a strong run on the same drive, ending the game with 44 yards on 8 carries as well as a late touchdown. Chris Henry was the third running back who played in the game, however he only gained four yards on four carries.

Oregon scored their second touchdown with 6:12 left in the half as Terrence Whitehead scored his second touchdown of the game. He had 73 yards on 15 carries for the game.

Arizona followed the drive well moving the ball strong and getting up to the five yard line. With an opportunity to cut the score in half, Kris Heavner threw his first interception of the game at the one yard line.

"You get inside the five twice, and you came away with nothing," Stoops said. "That hurt us." Heavner ended the game completing 9 of 24 passes, for 78 yards, being sacked once, and throwing two interceptions.

In the second half, Oregon struck early off of an Arizona punt. Danny Baugher punted the kick and Justin Phinisee ran the ball back for a touchdown, but Baugher was blocked illegally in the back, bringing the touchdown back. However, Oregon would score a few plays later, once again off another rush from Whitehead.

On Arizona's next drive, Richard Kovalcheck entered the game. It was his first career appearance. Though Kovalcheck didn't begin the game well with an interception on third and ten, he came back strong a few drives later.

Oregon would score a touchdown on their next drive off a five yard pass to Dante Rosario from Kellen Clemens with 5:06 left in the game. The touchdown made the score 28-0, and it seemed as though the ‘Cats may be staring their first shut out in the eye, but nobody told Kovalcheck.

Using up 3:06 on the clock, Kovalcheck led the ‘Cats to their first touchdown of the game off a two yard run by Harris. During the drive, Kovalcheck completed a 20 yard pass and an 11 yard pass, but it was a roughing the passer penalty that put them on the Oregon 4 yard line.

With the score 28-7 with 2:00 left, Arizona was forced to attempt the onsides kick. The Wildcats recovered the kick and took over on offense once again.

Kovalcheck completed a pass to Harris to put them on the 35 yard line. Kovalcheck was sacked on the next play, but a dead ball unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Oregon put Arizona at the 22 yard line with a second and three.

Kovalcheck then completed a touchdown pass to Brad Wood with 1:16 left in the game. Following the successful extra point by Nick Folk, Arizona trailed 28-14. Stoops was very impressed with Kovalcheck's performance in the game.

"That's just Richard," Stoops explained. "He's one of those guys who shows up and plays his fanny off. I don't think you can slight what Richard did." Arizona once again attempted the onsides kick, but was unable to recover. Oregon then ran out the clock and held on to the 14 point lead to win.

Following the loss, Arizona moved to 1-5 on the year. As a result of Kovalcheck's outstanding 5 minutes of play, there may be a quarterback change for next week's game against Cal.

"The quarterback job is open," said Stoops. "We will reevaluate the situation this week."


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