Beavers Have Dammed Arizona Stadium

Do you remember where you were on Nov. 8, 1997? If you were at Arizona Stadium, congratulations: you witnessed the last Wildcat home win over Oregon State.

Along with reaching a Rose Bowl and ending his tenure with a record over .500, Rich Rodriguez strives for an accomplishment that eluded predecessors Mike Stoops and John Mackovic: beat the Beavers at home.

Some perspective: There have been three U.S. presidents and four Arizona football coaches since OSU last left Tucson with a loss. blink 182's "Dammit" was a popular new song of the time -- appropriate, given the Beavers have dammed Arizona Stadium (first and last Beaver pun, promise).

OSU's last two trips to the Old Pueblo have been especially heartbreaking for the Wildcats. In 2008, UA saw a late lead and likely Sun Bowl berth slip away in the waning seconds.

Then, in 2010, the Beavers made UA's first trip to the top 10 since the embarrassing 1999 blowout at Penn State short lived. OSU punched the Wildcats in the mouth early, and weathered a desperate Wildcat rally late.

Speaking of embarrassingly lopsided losses, the vexing Beavers are UA's first opponent since the first loss of the Rich Rodriguez's tenure. The 49-0 rout at Oregon was much different than that 41-7 showing in Beaver Stadium: Arizona never stood a chance against the Nittany Lions, unlike Saturday night when missed opportunities early cursed the 'Cats. However, the end conclusion is the same: the Wildcats are not among the nation's elite.

Now, in 1999 that blunt reality was the knee-buckling uppercut that shut off the lights on one era of Arizona football. In 2012, it could be the needed jolt that invigorates change.

The 15-year skid on which UA enters Saturday probably doesn't mean much to the current Wildcats. This team's seniors would have been second graders during the 27-7 '97 win. The underlying symbolism the streak signifies is meaningful to the current Wildcats' mission of rewriting history and not repeating it.

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