Sept. 28, 2009
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Arizona senior cornerback Devin Ross has been named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced today.
Ross, who led the Wildcats with 12 tackles in the game, helped clinch Arizona's 37-32 victory in the fourth quarter with a game-changing interception that thwarted an Oregon State comeback bid.
The Beavers looked to be gaining momentum on their home field late in the third quarter after they cut UA's lead to 35-32. Arizona was forced to punt from its own 35-yard line, and the Beavers took possession at their own 3-yard line with 3:03 to play and a chance to tie or take the lead with a score.
OSU collected three first downs in four plays, pushing the ball out to its own 40-yard line. After an incompletion, OSU's Sean Canfield looked to hit Aaron Nichols on a crossing pattern, but Ross stepped in front of the dig route and intercepted the pass, returning it 12 yards.
The interception proved to be a game-clinching play as the Beavers last-second efforts on their final possession were also turned back by the Arizona defense.
Ross turned in seven solo tackles in the game and broke up a pass, pushing his career total to 17 passes broken up. His effort combined with the rest of the UA defense to shutout Oregon State in the third quarter, which proved to be a turning point in the game.
Arizona entered halftime trailing 17-14, but responded with a touchdown following a Trevin Wade interception to claim a 21-17 lead. The Wildcats never looked back and extended their lead to 28-17 by the end of the third quarter.
The accolade is the first for Ross, a 2008 Second Team All-Pac-10 selection, and the first weekly honor for a Wildcat in 2009.
The Wildcats, who are idle this weekend, return to practice on Tuesday to begin gearing up for a third-consecutive road game. Arizona will battle Washington on October 10 in Seattle. The game will be televised live on FOX Sports Arizona at 7 p.m.
Devin Ross' interception (courtesy VERSUS.com)