TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A tough defense was good enough for Arizona
in the season opener, just barely.
Nick Folk kicked a 48-yard field goal with one second to play to
give Arizona a 16-13 victory Saturday night over Brigham Young.
"It stayed right," Folk said. "I kind of leaned with it, and
it just snuck in there. I was playing with fire a little bit, but
it went in."
Folk, who missed a 42-yarder as the first half ended, also had
field goals of 30 and 22 yards in a mistake-filled, defensive
struggle in front of 58,450 fans, the ninth-largest crowd in
Arizona Stadium history and first home sellout since the season
opener against Ohio State six years ago.
The Wildcats, in their third season under coach Mike Stoops, are
seeking their first winning season since 1998.
"That was one of the best games we've played defensively,"
Stoops said, "and to do it against a team like that was very
On offense, though, it was a different story. Arizona managed
only 186 yards, to the Cougars' 289.
"Our offense was stagnant," Stoops said. "We didn't (have) a
good feel, a good rhythm, for whatever reason."
Jared McLaughlin kicked field goals of 20 and 32 yards, but the
Cougars botched a third field-goal attempt.
"We were able to move the ball up and down the field," Beck
said. "We were able to get in the red zone, but we needed to get
touchdowns, not field goals."
BYU also had a touchdown called back by an offensive pass
"We made too many mistakes to win the game," Brigham Young
coach Bronco Mendenhall said.
Of the numerous calls, or in some cases non-calls, that went
against the Cougars, Mendenhall would only say, "I'm sure they did
the best they could."
Arizona rushed for 67 yards on 24 carries, 54 of them on one
Chris Henry, who had three yards in six carries up to that time,
broke free on a 54-yard run, and Willie Tuitama threw two yards on
third-and-goal to Anthony Johnson for a touchdown to give Arizona
its first lead, 13-10, with 6:52 left in the third quarter.
BYU took the kickoff and drove to the Arizona 5, and on
fourth-and-one, the Cougars went for the tying field goal. Jason
Beck bobbled the snap and was smothered by defenders.
The Cougars held up on defense, and Jared McLaughlin's 32-yard
field goal tied it at 13-13 with 5:23 to play.
The Wildcats took the subsequent kickoff and went from their own
25 to the BYU 29. Syndric Steptoe reversed field after a short pass
for an 11-yard gain. Two running plays lost yardage, then Tuitama
used a sneak to set up the game-winning field goal.
Both teams were hurt by penalties. BYU was penalized 10 times
for 76 yards, Arizona eight for 61.
BYU turned it over on the game's first play from scrimmage when
John Beck threw to John Harline, who fumbled and Arizona's Spencer
Larsen recovered at the Cougars' 33. Arizona drove to the 10, then
Folk's 30-yard field goal made it 3-0 with 11:52 to play in the
"We gave them a field goal right there at the beginning of the
game," Beck said, "and three points was the difference tonight."
BYU's touchdown was set up by a pair of superb punts by Derek
McLaughlin, the first going 66 yards to the Arizona 5. After an
exchange of possessions, a 40-yard punt went out at the Wildcats'
The Cougars held, then got the ball on the Arizona 34. Beck's
20-yard pass to Michael Reed set up his 5-yard scoring pass to
Coats and BYU led 7-3 in the first quarter.
Tuitama's 47-yard pass to Steptoe was the big play as the
Wildcats moved to the BYU 4 late in the first quarter, but again
the drive stalled, and Folk's 22-yard field goal made it 7-6.
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