No. 23 Arizona football takes down Colorado on last-second field goal

Nov 11, 2023, 4:02 PM | Updated: 5:23 pm


Arizona wide receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig (5) is stopped short of the goalline by Colorado safety Shilo Sanders (2) in the second half of an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

BOULDER (AP) — Tyler Loop connected on a 24-yard field goal with no time remaining, and No. 23 Arizona rallied to beat Colorado 34-31 on Saturday at sold-out Folsom Field.

Jonah Coleman rushed for 179 yards as the Wildcats (7-3, 5-2 Pac-12, No. 21 CFP) won their four straight game.

Arizona trailed 24-17 at the break, and didn’t take its first lead until Loop’s field goal. The Wildcats are 13-74 when trailing at halftime in the Pac-12 era.

Shedeur Sanders ran for a score and threw for two more as the Buffaloes (4-6, 1-6) lost for the sixth time in seven games since a 3-0 start. Sanders also finished with 262 yards passing to go over the 10,000-yard mark for his career.

Colorado kicker Alejandro Mata missed a 44-yard field goal to the right with 4:57 remaining.

Coleman then went to work and helped the Wildcats put together an 11-play, 67-yard drive, setting up Loop’s winner. Loop also connected on a career-best 52-yard field goal with 1:32 remaining before halftime.

“Always hard to win on the road,” Coleman said, “in the atmosphere like this.”

Arizona receiver Montana Lemonious-Craig caught five passes for 67 yards against his former team. Lemonious-Craig entered the transfer portal after Colorado’s spring game and has been a dependable target for Noah Fifita.

Tetairoa McMillan had nine catches for 107 yards for the Wildcats, highlighted by a one-handed grab in the end zone for a 2-yard score that tied the game at 24-apiece early in the third quarter.

Colorado’s offense found some early rhythm with Pat Shurmur, recently promoted to the role of co-offensive coordinator, calling the plays from the press box and fellow offensive boss Sean Lewis signaling them in from the sideline.

The Buffaloes scored just once in the second half.

“We could have won the darn game. I like that we should have won. I’m tired of we could’ve won,” said coach Deion Sanders, whose team had 11 penalties for 83 yards. “There ain’t no lose in me. It don’t sit well with me. It don’t rock well with me. It don’t lay down with me. I have no lose in me.”

Sanders’ 7-yard TD pass to tight end Michael Harrison late in the third was on the heels of a roughing call on Arizona defensive end Taylor Upshaw. Upshaw briefly joined Colorado in the spring before transferring to Arizona. As Sanders was getting up following the hit, he had some words for Upshaw.

Two-way standout Travis Hunter had five catches for 74 yards on offense and six tackles, along with a pass breakup, on defense.

Sanders, who started his career at Jackson State, is closing in on single-season program records. He has thrown for 3,144 yards this season, just behind the single-season mark of 3,200 set by Sefo Liufau in 2014.

The Wildcats have their best record through 10 games since 2017. That was also the last time they were bowl-eligible until this season.

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