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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Seniors go out in style

    UA cornerback Antoine Cason tackles Ducks running back Jonathan Stewart in last nights 34-24 upset victory over No. 2 Oregon at Arizona Stadium. Cason, playing his final home game had two touchdowns, including a 42-yard interception return.
    UA cornerback Antoine Cason tackles Ducks’ running back Jonathan Stewart in last night’s 34-24 upset victory over No. 2 Oregon at Arizona Stadium. Cason, playing his final home game had two touchdowns, including a 42-yard interception return.

    When the Arizona football team was sitting at 2-6, the fans had given up faith, the talks of firing head coach Mike Stoops erupted, and the anticipation for basketball season was higher than ever.

    Little, if any, hope still remained.

    But if the Wildcats were to have any chance at making a postseason run – or even ending the season with a respectable record – the senior leaders needed to pave the way.

    And after last night’s 34-24 victory over No. 2 Oregon – making it Arizona’s third consecutive victory and putting the Wildcats just one win away from bowl eligibility – they did just that.

    “”The (seniors) have been through tough times,”” said defensive coordinator Mark Stoops. “”They have always believed and they have always worked. I just love those seniors and the way they have been committed.””

    Standout cornerback Antoine Cason did exactly what he does best, stepping up for the Wildcats in critical situations in big games.

    The senior accounted for two touchdowns, returning an interception 42 yards and a punt for 45 yards, both for scores.

    Cason said it was probably the best individual performance he has ever had.

    “”It is always rewarding when you win. I couldn’t have scripted this out,”” Cason said. “”I dreamed for one (touchdown) and I got two. … This is probably the greatest game.””

    “”I have always had faith that we would pull this out,”” he added.

    Complementing Cason’s superior play was Spencer Larsen, who registered a game-high 16 tackles (three for a loss) and a sack.

    Larsen said it was the sweetest victory he has experienced in an Arizona uniform and he couldn’t have imagined a better way to end his career on Arizona’s field.

    “”It was senior night and I had all of my family here. This is as good as it gets,”” Larsen said. “”It helps us believe that we are the team that we thought we were and that we weren’t losing our minds.

    “”I couldn’t ask for a better setting to go play ASU back in my home town and having them being as good as they are this year,”” he added. “”We have had a lot of memorable games here, but this one was the best yet.””

    Now, like last year, Arizona finds itself needing a victory over ASU in order to possibly be invited to its first bowl game since 1998.

    And the game has big implications for both squads.

    With the Oregon loss, the Sun Devils control their own destiny in the Pacific 10 Conference, while the Wildcats are still searching for that bowl invite.

    “”We have a little bye week. I’m going to go home for Thanksgiving and have some of my mom’s cooking,”” said quarterback Willie Tuitama. “”Then it is all about ASU. It is going to be a fun game.””

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