More than five years after leaving the UA for an NFL career, Earl Mitchell returns to campus...
After Win, Arizona Football Enters BCS, Associated Press Rankings
The UA football team now is ranked No. 22 in the BCS Standings and No. 24 in the Associated Press Top-25.
After its Oct. 27 39-36 win over then-No. 10 USC, the University of Arizona football team has earned a spot in the BCS Standings, it was announced on Oct. 28. The Cats sit at No. 22 and are one of five Pac-12 teams listed, with Oregon at No. 4, Oregon State at No. 11, Stanford at No. 14 and USC at No. 17.
Arizona also is back in the Associated Press Top-25, sitting at No. 24, for the first time since Sept. 16 after the 56-0 win over South Carolina State when the Cats were ranked No. 22. Arizona also is receiving votes for the USA Today/Coaches' Top 25. The UA is one of six Pac-12 schools listed, with Oregon at No. 2, Oregon State at No. 13, Stanford at No. 15, No. 18 USC and No. 25 UCLA.
With its win over USC, the UA (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) defeated its second AP Top-25 opponent of the season (then-No. 18 Oklahoma State on Sept. 8), and 2012 marks the first time since 2008 that the Wildcats defeated two ranked teams in the same season (No. 25 California and vs. No. 17 BYU).
The victory over the Cougars was in the Las Vegas Bowl, leaving the 2006 season as the last time the UA knocked off a pair of ranked foes in the same regular season (at No. 25 Washington State and No. 8 California). Arizona has now defeated two AP Top-25 teams in the same season at home for the first time since 1992 (23-3 victory over No. 11 UCLA and 16-3 upset of No. 1-ranked Washington).
Both of UA's wins against ranked teams this year have featured impressive scoring runs for the Wildcats. On Sept. 8 against No. 18 Oklahoma State, the UA scored 30 unanswered points after falling behind 14-0. USC overcame a 10-0 deficit before claiming an 18-13 advantage in the third quarter. Arizona scored the next 26 points to gain an 11-point edge, which was enough to hold on for the 39-36 win.
Senior quarterback Matt Scott racked up 469 yards of total offense with four total touchdowns and Wildcats rallied from a 15-point deficit. Scott was 27-for-50 passing for 369 yards with three touchdowns and one interception, while carrying the ball 15 times for 100 yards with a score on the ground.
Junior linebacker Marquis Flowers led the defensive effort with two interceptions for 14 yards and a forced fumble to go with his seven tackles. The unit recorded two sacks for a loss of seven yards and a total of four tackles for a loss of 13 yards. Sophomore safety Tra'Mayne Bondurant paced the squad in tackles with 11 while also recovering a fumble.
The UA's defense held USC to just a 1-for-5 conversion rate on third downs in the second half after allowing a 4-of-6 conversion rate in the first half. The UA's offense was 5-of-9 on third-down tries in the second half after struggling at a 1-for-8 clip in the first half.
The five turnovers committed by USC were the most in a game by a UA opponent since Idaho had five in the 2008 season opener (Aug. 31, 2008). The Wildcats are one victory shy of achieving bowl eligibility. After missing out a season ago, Arizona went to three-straight bowls from 2008-2010.
Arizona hits the road on Nov. 3 for a matchup at No. 25 UCLA. The game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff and will air live on the Pac-12 Networks.