Arizona's explosive offense showed up just in time to save last night's game against Texas Christian and, possibly, the Wildcats' season.
Keith Smith atoned for two fumbles by throwing a 30-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Northcutt with 2 minutes 10 seconds remaining to give No. 15 Arizona a 35-31 victory in Fort Worth.
Three touchdown passes from backup Ortege Jenkins in a 3:46 span in the third quarter allowed the Wildcats (1-1) to turn what had been a 25-7 deficit into a 28-25 lead. It was their first lead of the season after being blown out 41-7 by Penn State last week.
The Horned Frogs (0-1) tied the game on their next possession with a 43-yard field goal by Chris Kaylakie, then got a 44-yarder from him with 13:18 to play following a fumble by Arizona's Trung Canidate. It was the Wildcats' fourth turnover.
Arizona missed a chance to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter when Chris Palic missed a 43-yard field goal, but the Horned Frogs punted.
The Wildcats turned to Smith for the first time since his second fumble--which set up the touchdown that put TCU up 23-7--and he responded with the game-winning drive, moving Arizona 77 yards in six plays.
Northcutt was the go-to guy all night for both Wildcats quarterbacks, and the Horned Frogs never found a way to stop him. He caught 10 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns.
Unpleasant June Day
Carson Palmer and Malaefou MacKenzie passed and ran for five touchdowns as No. 21 Southern California (1-0) routed Hawaii, 62-7, Saturday night to extend the nation's longest losing streak to 19 games.
The loss spoiled the debut of Coach June Jones, the former San Diego Chargers coach who is attempting to rebuild his alma mater's program. The Trojans greeted him by scoring on their first six possessions.
Palmer completed 14 of 16 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown. He added another score on a nine-yard bootleg. MacKenzie, returning after suffering a severe knee injury in last season's opener, scored three times on short runs.
In an effort to thwart a postgame celebration by victorious Colorado State fans, police fired tear gas and Mace into the stands at Denver's Mile High Stadium Saturday night after fans hurled debris at the officers and Colorado players.
With about a minute left in the Rams' 41-14 upset win over the No. 14 Buffaloes, police--some dressed in riot gear--moved onto the field near where Colorado State fans were sitting. The officers were under orders from the Denver Broncos, the primary tenants of the stadium, to prevent damage to the field or tearing down goalposts.
The police were greeted with boos and were pelted with debris. Colorado players were targeted as they left the field.
"We didn't want them [fans] to rush the field. There were still people out there," said Denver police Lt. Tony Ryan, a field supervisor. "The potential was pretty high that people could be injured from a stampeding mob. They tried to rush the field and were told to get back. They didn't, and Mace was employed."
The crowd dissipated quickly. No injuries were reported.
Defending Pacific-10 champion No. 17 UCLA scored three touchdowns in less than six minutes--including Julius Williams's 53-yard interception return--during the second quarter in its 38-7 home-opening victory over Boise State (0-1).
Azusa Pacific's Neo Aoga, 6 feet 2 and 290 pounds, completed 16 of 30 passes for 210 yards in the Cougars' season-opening 26-19 home win against San Diego (0-1). Azusa Pacific, the NAIA defending champion, has won 11 straight games.
Special correspondent John Mullen contributed to this report.
CAPTION: Julius Williams gives UCLA a lift with a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown, so teammates Pete Holland and Kenyon Coleman return the favor.