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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Holiday Bowl like an ex-girlfriend for Wildcats

Arizona players and coaches have said it time and time again: the Valero Alamo Bowl marks a new beginning for the Wildcats.

Arizona’s epic season-ending collapse is “”in the rear view,”” according to quarterback Nick Foles.

But even if that pain is gone, this time of year re-opens a different, even more painful wound for the Wildcats – the 2009 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.

It’s hard not to forget about Arizona’s 33-0 embarrassing loss to Nebraska in one of the most lopsided finishes in Holiday Bowl history. When the Wildcats put on their pads and helmets and trot out onto the field in the Alamodome, they have to feel some of what they felt when they sprinted onto Qualcomm Stadium field a year ago.

But Foles uses one analogy to keep the loss from popping up in his mind from time to time.

“”It’s like an ex-girlfriend, you don’t think about her every day,”” Foles said with a smile. “”That’s in the past. That’s sort of what the Holiday Bowl is like for us.””

But there must still be times when bad memories of that girlfriend (or bowl game) take over the minds of the Wildcats.  Like when Foles threw an interception on Arizona’s third play of the game. Or when the Huskers took the lead less than two minutes of the game and never looked back.

Foles, a top three Pac-10 quarterback this season, finished the game completing six of his 20 passing attempts for 28 yards and a 1.4-yard average. The Wildcats’ offense put up only 109 total yards, while Nebraska lit them up for 296 – 223 which came on the ground.

“”Last year, Holiday Bowl, we all know what happened with that,”” said receiver Bug Wright. “”We got embarrassed.””

No one in the all-white uniforms played well, and even though the Wildcats are in a different scenario this time around, senior offensive lineman Adam Grant said it’s hard not to think about or visualize last year’s game.

“”It’s tough,”” he said. You watch ESPN and see what (former Nebraska tackle Ndamukong) Suh’s doing in the NFL.””

It may be a new season, a new year, a slightly different team, but that bad taste and embarrassing performance won’t be completely flushed out until Arizona shows up against Oklahoma State and the Cowboys’ No. 1-ranked offense. 

“”If we go out and get a victory it’s going to wash away all the things that happened,”” said junior cornerback Robert Golden. “”We just want to go out there and get a victory and show the world that we’re a talented team and we can compete on any level.””

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