Game Log: Arizona Falls to Purdue

Arizona fell in a close game to Purdue. Here are some thoughts during the game.

Ten minutes before kickoff: The full moon is a very impressive backdrop. Desert temperature 92 degrees, and it's a good turnout. The top banks of the facility are occupied.

Seven minutes before kickoff: The Arizona band is doing its usual interesting look at the US geography. If you haven't attended a home game lately, the Wildcat band makes an outline of the United States, only the state of Arizona pretty much annexes Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and parts of Idaho. I had no idea the Four-Corners Region was so close to Denver.

Band note two: I want to be a part of the group that carries the "R" portion of the block A registered trademark. What a sweet gig.

Three minutes before kickoff: It's a sea of red at Arizona Stadium, The red fireworks have gone off, and the team in red has taken the field. Yes, Arizona is donning the red unis tonight.

Purdue wins the toss.

Arizona holds three and out. Purdue picked up 10 yards on the initial play, but then decided to go to the air on second and five. Marcus Hollingsworth got a sack, and that put the Boilermakers into third and long, which they couldn't convert.

For the second straight game, the UA student section has come out in force. It's a wall of red on the lower east side of the stadium. They're very noisy in the early going as well.

Arizona's success on offense might come from the air. Purdue is getting deep penetration on the frontline. Danny Baugher might lead the nation in punts in the end zone. He just boomed one 61 yards on a rope that landed three yards deep into the Arizona blue.

7:19 first quarter: The statute of limitations has been lifted on Arizona tight ends. Brad Wood is fast becoming one of Richard Kovalcheck's favorite targets. His third touchdown of the season occurred on a 32-yard strike on fourth and two. The UA called a timeout, then appeared as if it was going to try to draw Purdue off sides. Instead, Kovalcheck got the snap with two seconds left on the playclock and found Wood wide open as Purdue sold out on the blitz.

4:30 left first quarter: Baugher has boomed another, but a fair catch at the 17 broke a bit of a streak. Arizona's defense has a team inside the 20.

Call from the booth: Schu looks to Matt Messina and says, "Watch, Baugher will kick it into the end zone." At the time Baugher was at his own 10. Seventy-six yards later, Baugher had just set a new career best, and sure enough, he punted it into the end zone.

13:16 second quarter (I think): The timer is having a tough night. This is about the fifth time the official has asked him to change how much is left in the quarter.

12:20 second quarter: Arizona's kicking game has come to play. Nick Folk just hammered a 51-yarder with room to spare. He also is 3-3 on kickoff touchbacks. Meanwhile, Baugher is averaging better than 60 yards on three punts.

7:47 second quarter: Purdue is carving up an overmatched Arizona defense. The last two drives have covered close to 80 yards and have been flawless. At this rate, Purdue will have 300 yards in the first half.

Halftime thoughts: If this game goes against Purdue, it will look at its final drive before the half. Purdue had moved the ball well on two consecutive drives, but got sloppy deep in its own territory. Arizona drove 60 yards to cut the lead to 21-17, when it was otherwise in danger of getting blown out.

Attendance: 56,400, an official sellout and the number is legit.

Marcus Hollingsworth with an interception early in the third quarter. Arizona's first of the years.

9:40 third: Arizona uses its second timeout, and out of the TO promptly gets sacked.

8:09 in third: Baugher keeps it in the field of play, gets a nice roll for a 68-yard punt downed at the two. He is currently leading the country in yards per punt.

6:30 third: Special teams hurt the UA. Syndric Steptoe fumbled a fair catch, recovered by Purdue. The UA would have had the ball in Purdue territory, but Purdue took the possession and scored, converting a pair of third downs en route to a 31-17 lead.

10:50 fourth quarter: Arizona keeps fighting. Down 14, the UA gets a fortuitous bounce off a pass intended for Anthony Johnson caught off the deflection by Brad Wood. Johnson later caught a nine-yard TD pass to cut the Boilermaker lead to seven.

8:30 in fourth: Big Mo is in Arizona's corner. With a new quarterback in, the student section is off the charts on third and eight. Pass broken up at the line of scrimmage. Arizona has possession at its own 28.


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