The Arizona Wildcats did it again.
For the second year in a row, the Wildcats ruined the Oregon Ducks’ season. This time the Wildcats went to Eugene to face the No. 2 Ducks and walked out of Autzen Stadium with a 31-24 victory.
The Wildcats are now 5-0, while the Ducks may have played themselves out of the national championship picture.
Unfortunately, a signature win for the Wildcats will be marred due to a questionable taunting penalty.
With the score tied at 24, Oregon’s Tony Washington sacked Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon on 3rd-and-goal from the 8-yard line. The Wildcats should have been forced to attempt a 34-yard field goal. Instead, Washington was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after bowing to the crowd.
Immediate outrage spewed all over social media.
Granted an automatic first down, Wildcats running back Terris Jones-Gribsy eventually took a one-yard plunge into the end zone four plays later for the game-defining score.
Both teams struggled with penalties all evening. The yellow laundry continued to fly at an outrageous rate. The teams combined for 19 penalties which resulted in 157 lost yards.
The other lasting image of the contest will be Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota fumbling away his national championship and Heisman Trophy aspirations.
Mariota overcame all the limitations found in Oregon’s offense for 57 minutes and 49 seconds. The talented junior quarterback completed 20-of-32 passes for 276 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But he picked the worst possible time to commit his first turnover of the season.
Oregon’s quarterback was harassed by Arizona’s defense throughout the game, and he finally coughed up the football when the game was on the line. The Wildcats secured the loose ball to secure the victory.
There is a long road ahead for Oregon if the program still plans to make a major bowl. The Ducks struggled against multiple teams before finally losing to the Wildcats. The schedule doesn’t let up with the No. 8 UCLA Bruins next on the docket.
Arizona, meanwhile, should be expected to enter the Top 25 this week after the upset victory, and Rich Rodriguez‘s team can enjoy their perfect start to the season for a couple days.