Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona Football Bowl History
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 14, 2005
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Arizona Bowl Game History



Christmas Classic, San Diego

Centre (Ky.) 38, Arizona 0


Salad Bowl, Phoenix

Drake 14, Arizona 13


Sun Bowl, El Paso

Auburn 34, Arizona 10


Fiesta Bowl, Tempe

Pittsburgh 16, Arizona 10


Sun Bowl, El Paso

Arizona 13, Georgia 13


Aloha Bowl, Honolulu

Arizona 30, North Carolina 21


Copper Bowl, Tucson

Arizona 17, N.C. State 10


Eagle Aloha Bowl, Honolulu

Syracuse 28, Arizona 0


John Hancock Bowl, El Paso

Baylor 20, Arizona 15


IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl, Tempe

Arizona 29, Miami 0


Freedom Bowl, Anaheim

Utah 16, Arizona 13

1997 Bowl, Tucson

Arizona 20, New Mexico 14


Culligan Holiday Bowl, San Diego

Arizona 23, Nebraska 20


1921 East-West Christmas Classic

Centre (Ky.) 38, Arizona 0

                SAN DIEGO, Calif.?-A dominating squad from Centre (Ky.) College splashed to a 38-0 victory over Arizona in front of several thousand rain-soaked fans, spoiling Arizona’s first-ever bowl game appearance.

                The Praying Colonels held the Cats to zero first downs in the first half, and Arizona was unable to maintain a good drive throughout the game.

                Centre’s Red Roberts, one of Walter Camp’s first All-America ends, scored the first touchdown five minutes into the match. Later, All-American Alvin (Bo) McMillin went over the right tackle for another score. Centre led 18-0 at the half.

                 The second half was much the same, as Centre dominated every phase. Just as Arizona was mounting a drive late in the third stanza, an interception ended Western hopes, and the Wildcat defense was unable to halt the potent Eastern attack. Centre’s Herb Covington scored on a punt return and a sweep to seal the victory.


1949 Salad Bowl

Drake 14, Arizona 13

                PHOENIX, Ariz.?-Arizona couldn’t overcome crucial mistakes, and the Drake Bulldogs triumphed, 14-13, before a crowd of 14,000 in nostalgia-filled Montgomery stadium.

                The fiesty Midwesterners were outgained by coach Miles Casteel’s troops, 355 yards to 206, but the Cats had two fumbles and an interception that ended any hope for a victory.  Drake built a 14-7 halftime lead on the strength of Frank Metzger’s 1-yard run and Floyd Miller’s interception of Ed Wolgast for a 20-yard score. The Cats got on the board with a 15-yard Wolgast rollout.

                Arizona roared back in the second half, as running back Charlie Hall romped 79 yards with the third quarter kickoff.  The Cats failed to score on their first thrust after the thrilling return, but after an exchange of punts, the durable Wolgast tallied his second touchdown.

                Drake carried the luck on this afternoon.  Arizona’s Wrinfred Tackett, one of the Border-Conference’s top extra-point kickers, booted the pigskin against the left upright, the ball bounced away from the goal posts, and Drake escaped with a one-point margin. 

                Wolgast finished the day with 133 yards rushing, eight yards more than Drake’s team total.


1979 Fiesta Bowl

Pittsburgh 16, Arizona 10

TEMPE, Ariz.?-The 10th-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers survived a late rally and hung on to defeat Arizona, 16-10, in the 1979 Fiesta Bowl.

        A national television audience was able to watch superb defensive play on both sides. Arizona’s defense held Pitt to 299 yards, while the offense dented the Panther’s nationally-ranked defense for 317 yards.

        Pitt led 6-0 at halftime on the strength of 46-and 36-yard field goals by the game’s most valuable offensive player, Mark Schubert. Arizona moved the ball well, but couldn’t get the one big play it needed. The Cats drove to Pitt’s 37, 26 and 22, but came up empty each time.

        The Cats’ trouble came on key plays. Midway through the first period, they were stopped on fourth-and-two at the Pitt 21.  Arizona managed to get on the board late in the third period on a 38-yard field goal by Brett Weber, but Pitt answered with a touchdown to expand its lead to 13-3.

        The Panthers appeared to have wrapped up the game when Schubert kicked his third field goal of the day with 8:02 left.  But the Cats reached into their bag of tricks to get back in the game. From the Pitt 47, fullback Hubie Oliver took a pitch and launched a pass down field to Greg Jackson who caught it at the Panther one. Oliver scored on the next play.

        The outcome was in doubt until Terry White picked off a Jim Krohn pass with :58 remaining.

                Arizona’s David Liggins was voted the game’s most valuable defensive player on the strength of two key interceptions of Dan Marino passes to thwart Panther drives.


1985 Sun Bowl

Arizona 13, Georgia 13

        EL PASO, Texas?-Arizona and Georgia each failed on late field goal attempts leaving the teams tied, 13-13, and the record Sun Bowl crowd of 52,203 going home with an empty feeling.

        The teams battled on even terms for a half with Georgia’s Steve Crumley booting a 37-yard field goal and Arizona’s Max Zendejas adding a 22-yarder after an apparent Arizona touchdown was nullified by penalty.

        The third quarter belonged to coach Larry Smith’s troops, who drove 34 yards with the second-half kickoff before Zendejas nailed a 52-yard field goal.  The Wildcats expanded the margin to 13-3 with 3:30 left to play in the stanza, as Martin Rudolph picked off a James Jackson pass and bolted 35 yards for a touchdown.

        Georgia took the ensuing kickoff and drove to the Arizona 28, where Davis Jacobs kicked a 45-yarder to begin the Bulldog rally. Two plays later, James DeBow fumbled, and Georgia’s Tony Flack recovered to set up Lars Tate’s game-tying 2-yard run.

        Jacobs missed a 44-yarder with 1:14 to play. The Cats then used a 25-yard David Adams run to give Zendejas a 39-yard try with :10 remaining. However, his attempt was wide-right and short.

                Zendejas and Georgia center Peter Anderson won outstanding player honors.  Arizona finished the season at 8-3-1, while Georgia wound up 7-3-2.


1986 Aloha Bowl

Arizona 30, North Carolina 21

        HONOLULU, Hawaii?-Arizona capitalized on big defensive plays to coast to its first-ever post-season victory, 30-21, over North Carolina. All-America free safety Chuck Cecil was the ring-leader of the Cat defense that forced five fumbles with bone-jarring hits.

        The Arizona offense showed spark as well. David Adams closed his sterling career with 81 yards rushing and a touchdown and three catches for 77 yards. Offensive MVP Alfred  Jenkins finished 12-of-28 passing for 187 yards and a score.

        But it was coach Larry Smith’s defense which made the big plays to set up points. A Jim Birmingham fumble recovery led to a 31-yard Gary Coston field goal to begin the attack.

        Later, Boomer Gibson partially blocked a punt, and the Cats put seven more on the board with an Adams one-yard scamper. Danny Lockett’s sack of Mark Maye caused a fumble, and the Cats cashed in with another Coston three-pointer for a 13-0 halftime lead.

                It was more of the same in the third quarter. Arizona’s Jeff Valder booted a 52-yard field goal to set an Aloha Bowl record. Then Cecil clobbered Jonathan Hall, and Jerry Beasley recovered the subsequent fumble at the Tar Heel 30. Jenkins found Jon Horton from 13 yards out for the quick score. Another Tar Heel fumble led to Greathouse’s five-yard scoring run, and the Cats were in



1989 Copper Bowl

Arizona 17, North Carolina State 10

        TUCSON, Ariz.?-Arizona cashed in on big plays to defeat North Carolina State, 17-10, before an Arizona Stadium crowd of 37,237 in the inaugural Copper Bowl. 

        The Wildcats were dominated statistically, 310 yards to 130 yards including a season-low 50 yards on the turf. However, two unlikely heroes, Olatide Ogunfiditimi and Scott Geyer, made the big plays to pull out the victory.

        In the first stanza, neither team could sustain drives, but the Cats got on the board first as Ronald Veal found a double-covered Ogunfiditimi 37 yards down field for a 7-0 advantage.

        The second quarter proved more magical as Geyer, the Defensive MVP, intercepted Shane Montgomery and raced 85 yards for a score.

        But the Wolfpack had a magic wand of their own as Montgomery, the Offensive MVP, capped a 56-yard, nine-play drive with a four-yard touchdown toss to fullback Todd Varn to cut the lead, 14-7.

        The half ended with a Gary Coston 34-yard field goal. Score: 17-7.

        The second half included a Damon Hartman 43-yarder to inch the Pack closer, 17-10.  However the New Year brought a little luck to the Cats, as Montgomery just missed a diving Chris Williams over the middle for the possible tying touchdown with 1:02 left.

        Arizona Dick Tomey notched a victory in his first-ever bowl game in 13 years as a head coach.  The Wildcats finished 8-4 on the season, and the Wolfpack closed at 7-5.




1990 Eagle Aloha Bowl

Syracuse 28, Arizona 0

        HONOLULU, Hawai’i?-Marvin Graves ran for two touchdowns and passed for another score as Syracuse embarrassed Arizona, 28-0, in the ninth Eagle Aloha Bowl game in rain-drenched Aloha Stadium.

           Graves scored on a pair of 5-yard runs and threw 47 yards to Terry Richardson and 6 yards to Chris Gedney as the Orangemen ran their record to 7-4-2.  Arizona fell to 7-5.

       The shutout snapped Arizona’s 214-game scoring streak, the second longest scoring streak in NCAA history.  The last time the Cats were shut out was a 31-0 defeat by Arizona State in 1971.

           The Orangemen drove 65 yards in 13 plays following the opening kickoff with Graves scoring on a quarterback draw from the five with 8:35 left in the first quarter. 

        Syracuse made it 14-0 with 2:22 remaining in the half as Richardson slipped behind the Cat pass defense for an easy 47-yard reception.

        Arizona tried to get back into the game in the third quarter, twice reaching the Orangemen 35-yard line.  But both drives died, and Syracuse put the game away in the fourth quarter with two long marches.

        Graves was selected as Syracuse’s most valuable player, and cornerback Todd Burden, who had two interceptions and caused a fumble, was selected as Arizona’s most valuable player. The week-long inclement weather put a damper on many activities and caused many ticket purchasers to stay at home. There were 32,217 tickets sold but only 14,185 attended the game.



1992 Hancock Bowl

Baylor 20, Arizona 15

        EL PASO, Texas?-Arizona’s defense lived up to its billing on all but two plays; those spelled doom as Baylor’s big scoring passes helped beat the Cats, 20-15, in the John Hancock Bowl.

        UA, which unleashed a no-huddle, wide-open passing attack, opened scoring with a Steve McLaughlin first-quarter field goal and increased the lead to 10-0 with a 65-yard scoring drive capped by a George Malauulu quarterback draw for seven yards mid-way through the second quarter.

        BU halfback Brandell Jackson hit Melvin Bonner for a 61-yard strike three minutes later, but Arizona answered with a 14-play drive to set up another McLaughlin field goal and take a 13-7 halftime lead.

        The Bears, held to 47 yards rushing, went to the air and struck again with another Bonner TD catch for 69 yards from QB J.J. Joe. Shortly into the fourth period, the Bears capitalized on two Arizona fumbles in UA territory and cashed them in for two Terry Weir field goals and a 20-13 lead.

        With time running out, Arizona held BU deep on fourth-and-eight, and punter Rhett Delaney took an intentional safety at 0:31. A Chuck Levy 27-yard kickoff return put the Cats in decent shape, and UA drove to the Baylor 28. Two passes from Malauulu into the end zone were incomplete although Heath Bray nearly snagged the game winner on the first try.

                Baylor’s big plays spoiled UA’s edge in total offense,



1994 IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl

Arizona 29, Miami 0

        TEMPE, Ariz.?-Arizona’s heralded “Desert Swarm” defense lived up to its name, and the Cats’ offensive attack nearly named its own price as UA thumped No. 10 Miami, 29-0, in IBM OS/2 Fiesta Bowl XXIII.

        The convincing victory was the bowl’s only shutout in its 23-game history.

        UA ran for 257 yards and one touchdown, passed for 152 yards and two touchdowns, had three Steve McLaughlin field goals and held Miami to 182 yards in total offense. The Wildcats’ swarming defense limited the Canes to Fiesta Bowl record-lows of 22 rushes and 35 yards, plus picked off three Miami passes and sacked the quarterback four times.

        Tailback Chuck Levy ran for 142 yards including a 68-yard scoring dash and earned Fiesta Bowl offensive MVP honors, while defensive end Tedy Bruschi recorded a sack and earned defensive MVP honors for UA.

        UA jumped to a quick lead on its first possession, driving 75 yards with Dan White throwing a 13-yard TD pass to Troy Dickey. Arizona never looked back.

        The Canes’ total offense was the second-lowest in Fiesta Bowl history, and the Arizona margin of victory was the second-largest in bowl history. Arizona enjoyed a time of possession advantage of 37:20 to 22:40 for Miami, another bowl record. Miami’s frustration was typified by its first possession, starting at its own 37-yard line. Three plays later the Canes punted on fourth-and-41 from their own 6-yard line.

                The game gave UA its first 10-victory season in 90 years of football, and its strong showing earned the Cats a No. 9 final ranking in the coaches poll and No. 10 in the media poll.



1994 Freedom Bowl

Utah 16, Arizona 13

        ANAHEIM, Calif.?-Utah used a 72-yard kickoff return to set up the winning touchdown, as the Utes upset No. 14 Arizona in the 11th annual Freedom Bowl, 16-13.  A crowd of 27,477 watched as the Cats used a stifling defense to hold Utah to only 75 yards of total offense. 

        Arizona quarterback Dan White connected with Ontiwaun Carter from 23 yards out to give the Cats the early lead.  After a White fumble deep in Arizona territory, Utah running back Charlie Brown scampered in from six yards out to tie the score. 

        After a 44-yard field goal by Steve McLaughlin, the Cats had first-and-goal at the Utah 2-yard line, but two dropped passes by Tim Thomas and then Lamar Lovett in the end zone forced the Cats to kick a 20-yard field goal.  Late in the fourth quarter with Arizona leading 13-7, and Matt Peyton having to punt from his own end zone, the Cats gambled and took a safety as Peyton stepped out of the back of the end zone. 

        On the ensuing kickoff, Cal Beck returned the ball to the Arizona 5-yard line. The Wildcat defense held the Utes on three straight downs to set up a fourth-and-goal.  Quarterback Mike McCoy scrambled out of the pocket and was in the grasp of Chuck Osborne but managed to get the pass off and found Kevin Dyson in the corner of the end zone for the winning score.  A final UA drive ended in an interception.

        The Cats recorded six sacks on the day, three of them by Tedy Bruschi, who earned Defensive MVP honors.  Chuck Osborne had two sacks, and Sean Harris led the team with nine tackles.




1997 Bowl

Arizona 20, New Mexico 14

        TUCSON, Ariz.?-Four Wildcat interceptions helped seal a hard-fought victory for Arizona over New Mexico in the ninth Bowl, 20-14, before a crowd of 49,385 in the Cats’ house, Arizona Stadium.

        UA ran over the Lobos, using a 209-yard running attack featuring the quicker Trung Canidate and the bruising style of Kelvin Eafon on 43 of the team’s 81 plays. Canidate was named the game’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player with 97 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries, while Eafon earned the game’s Most Valuable Player award for his 75 yards and two touchdowns on 19 totes. Thirteen of his rushes came in the fourth quarter when Arizona used ball possession to turn back New Mexico efforts at a game-winning touchdown.

        Arizona picked off four passes by UNM’s Graham Leigh?-one in the first quarter by cornerback Chris McAlister, two in the third quarter by backup corner Kelvin Hunter and strong safety Rashee Johnson, and one in the fourth stanza by cornerback Kelly Malveaux, who returned the ball 44 yards just as the Lobos were crossing midfield. It was Malveaux’s first interception of the year. Arizona outside linebacker Jimmy Sprotte earned the bowl’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player honor with nine tackles including four hits for losses of 12 yards. Inside linebacker Marcus Bell was the Cats’ leading tackler with 10.

                Arizona coach Dick Tomey gave fifth-year senior QB Brady Batten the start in the game. An injury early in the year cost him a shot at the every-day spot. He played all but the fourth quarter, when the nominal No. 1 guy for most of the year, Ortege Jenkins, came on.



1998 Culligan Holiday Bowl

Arizona 23, Nebraska 20

        SAN DIEGO, Calif.?-Arizona’s defense held the storied Nebraska option rushing attack to 87 net yards, and the No. 5-ranked Wildcats cranked up some tough-guy rushing of their own to score 14 fourth-quarter points and beat the No. 14 Cornhuskers, 23-20, in the 21st annual Culligan Holiday Bowl.

        The Cats secured the school’s finest record in history and earned enough acclaim through their efforts in the game ?- the most watched of any college bowl game in ESPN history ?- to earn a final No. 4 ranking in both the Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN polls.

        Unanimous All-America cornerback Chris McAlister cemented his reputation with an outstanding effort, intercepting two passes, one which turned the Huskers back on their final come-back try with less than four minutes remaining. He also had a 78-yard reverse punt return called back because of a questionable blocking call against Derek Hall.

        Arizona trailed 13-9 at the half, and both teams struggled through five possessions in the third quarter before UA’s Dennis Northcutt gave the Cats some decent field position with a 16-yard punt return to start a 10-play scoring drive. Trung Canidate rushed five times for 37 yards in the span, and Keith Smith completed passes of five yards to Northcutt and Paul Shields and topped it off with a 15-yard strike to Brad Brennan for the score.

        Nebraska answered, though, and reclaimed the lead at 20-16 with an eight-play, 88-yard drive, almost exclusively through the air.

        With 10 minutes remaining, Smith opened UA’s next drive with a seven-yard pass to Shields, then the Cats ran the ball eight straight times for the nine-play, 68-yard drive which netted the final score on a Kelvin Eafon one-yard plunge. Smith had runs of 20, eight and eight yards to set up the score.

        UA halted the Huskers with McAlister’s second pick and then later used enough clock with a first down to force Nebraska to get the ball back with 34 seconds remaining. One short completion and three incompletions, and the game was over.

                Canidate ran for 101 yards on 22 carries. Smith, who completed 11-of-19 passing for 143 yards and ran for 25 more, was named Holiday Bowl Offensive MVP. UA’s Mark McDonald, who was 8-17 in field goals during the regular season, was a big key with a perfect 3-for-3 day, including a career-long 48-yarder. NU outgained the Cats, but UA won the turnover battle and kicking game.


Bowl Game Highs

Team Records

Most First Downs: 24, vs. Miami (1994 Fiesta)

Most Rushing Attempts:  59, vs. New Mexico (1997

Most Yards Rushing:  266, vs. Miami (1994 Fiesta)

Most Passes Attempted:  44, vs. Auburn (1968 Sun)

Most Passes Completed:  20, vs. Baylor (1992 Hancock)

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