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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat



Mike Christy/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Football vs. ASU.
Mike Christy/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Football vs. ASU.

As the tipped ball floundered wide of the right upright, Arizona kicker Alex Zendejas slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration.

Chants of “”ASU, ASU”” rang through Arizona Stadium, as Zendejas could be seen erupting at a heckling fan. Face red full of anger, the livid junior kicker was restrained. That very moment exemplified his season-long struggles and the epic collapse of the Wildcats’ 2010 season.

Zendejas missed not one, but two crucial extra points as Arizona fell 30-29 in double overtime on Thursday night.

“”Tonight wasn’t his night,”” head coach Mike Stoops said of Zendejas’ struggles.

After ASU struck first in the second overtime with a two-yard touchdown from running back Cameron Marshall, Arizona answered back with a score from wide receiver David Douglas. Stoops pondered going for two and the win.

“”I wanted to go for two and I should’ve stuck with my gut and I didn’t, and that’s my fault,”” Stoops said. “”I just had that feeling to go for two.””

But Stoops went with Zendejas, and, for the second time in the game, he disappointed. His kick was low and eventually blocked, handing the Sun Devils’ their first win over the Wildcats in the last three years.

“”Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t,”” Stoops said of Zendejas’ missed extra points. “”That’s just part of football. We’ve all been on the good side of it, the bad side of it, life goes on.””

Life does go on, but the Wildcats will forever feel the agony of a game that they were so close to winning. Arizona was on its way to victory after marching downfield to erase a 20-14 ASU lead with a five-yard touchdown catch by Douglas.

Zendejas had a chance to all but ice the game, giving Arizona a 21-20 lead with 27 ticks left. But the junior, who struggled all season long, kicked a rocket into ASU’s defensive line, giving the Sun Devils hope.

The Wildcats got the ball first in overtime, but ended up settling for a field goal. ASU’s Thomas Weber, who made five field goals on the night, drilled a 40-yarder to send it to double overtime.

But Zendejas’ collapse in the second overtime handed Arizona its fourth consecutive loss in a season that started with Rose Bowl hopes, and ended with a heartbreaking loss to a bitter rival.   

“”It’s really disappointing for us, our fans, our university to lose to ASU,”” said quarterback Nick Foles, who finished with 262 yards and three touchdown passes.

The game ultimately came down to Zendejas’ missteps, but the Wildcats didn’t perform well enough early on to deserve a victory.

“”We didn’t make enough plays in the game,”” Foles said. “”Not one play defined the game. We had our opportunities.””

Arizona played an ugly and uninspired first half that featured only 83 yards of total offense on 34 plays.

“”That wasn’t a good first half at all,”” said co-offensive coordinator Seth Littrell.  

ASU wasn’t much better, but was able to build a 6-0 lead behind two field goals from Weber — one a 52-yarder.

Arizona took control in the third quarter thanks to two touchdown catches from Juron Criner, one from 28 yards out and one from 52. The Wildcats were in the driver’s seat, but couldn’t contain ASU quarterback Brock Osweiler (56 rushing yards) on the ground as he gave ASU a 17-14 lead with a 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver Mike Willie.

Weber added a 40-yarder a few minutes left in the game to push ASU’s lead to six. Although they made a late push, Zendejas and the Wildcats ultimately fell short, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of Arizona and its seniors.

“”I’m very disappointed for this group of seniors that tonight wasn’t more memorable,”” Stoops said. “”The end is certainly disappointing, that we didn’t finish better.””

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