TEMPE, AZ - NOVEMBER 19: Quarterback Bryson Beirne #7 of the Arizona Wildcats throws a 23 yard touchdown reception during the fourth quarter of the college football game against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Sun Devil Stadium on November 19, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Sun Devils 31-27. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
There's a lot of storylines following Arizona's defeat of rival Arizona State on Saturday.
The Wildcats got the Sun Devils back for sticking a fork in the Arizona Stadium turf a year ago.
Alex Zendejas' failures of last year have been put in the back of our minds after ASU similarly blew a winnable game.
Nick Foles put up a school record for completions and might've seen his last action as a Wildcat after injuring an abdominal muscle.
But from Foles injury, Bryson Beirne, the seemingly eternal third-string quarterback, threw the game-winning touchdown -- a 23-yard pass to Juron Criner -- in his only throw of the game. Anthony Gimino wrote a great story about Beirne's career and the order of events that led to that great story, but I want to talk about that situation meant in itself and what it should remind us of.In an age where we get all too caught up in the greedy NCAA, and even worse, sexual molestation allegations at Penn State and Syracuse, we forget to cherish moments like Beirne's touchdown throw.
This was about a guy who liked Arizona enough, despite never being considered to be challenging for the starting job in five years, to stick around. This was about a player whose work ethic didn't halt, who realized he had an important role on a football team despite his athletic limitations.
When fate called Beirne's number, he was ready to deliver.
For all the athletes that transfer because they want to be the man and for all of them who give up because they believe they're under-appreciated, Beirne deserves all the credit in the world for sticking around. If Foles hadn't gotten hurt, he wouldn't have had the chance to make an on-field impact.
And if that would've been the case, we wouldn't have thought a bit about saying goodbye to the quarterback in a week despite his impact that he's likely made behind the scenes -- in the film room and beyond.
We often forget about the longsnapper and the third-string quarterback.
On Saturday, Bryson Beirne reminded us to appreciate those guys as we should.