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Oregon vs. Arizona: Shaquille Richardson tip to Scooby Wright sets tone for Wildcats defense in upset over Ducks

Reliving the most exciting defensive play of the season for the Wildcats

Shaquille Richardson tips a Marcus Mariota pass to Scooby Wright
Shaquille Richardson tips a Marcus Mariota pass to Scooby Wright
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Most everyone has seen it by now, but if not, here's a GIF of the Shaquille Richardson tip to Scooby Wright on the first play from scrimmage against the Oregon Ducks


"I seen him tip it up," said Richardson "I tried to grab it with one hand, took a picture of it, looked for some red and just threw it to some red jerseys."

It sounds so simple, but....what?  Scooby Wright kind of had a more normal reaction than Richardson did.

"I was hustling to the ball, and then I saw Shaq," said Wright.  "And then I saw the ball coming back to me and it all started to slow down and I was like 'Whoa, I'm about to catch this ball'.  Then I caught it and tried to make the most of it."


"It was awesome, I didn't even really know what happened," said Jake Fischer.  "I was running after somebody on the other side of the field, and I look over right as he's pitching the ball over to Scooby."

"Can't say I've ever been involved in a play where someone's out of bounds and throws it back to someone in bounds," added Wright.

Antoine Cason, who was at the game and has a relationship with Richardson, also touched on the play with me.

"That was a heckuva play," said Cason.  "That's definitely one of those plays that don't happen very often and it takes a special guy to do it."

Cason did bring up this play from 2010 by Oklahoma State, where Broderick Brown tips a Landry Jones pass from out of bounds back to Cowboys teammate Shaun Lewis.

But back to the Arizona play.  Scooby was super close to the sideline, and apparently he didn't know it.

"I knew I was close, but after seeing the play, I didn't realize I was that close."

That play set the tone for the rest of the game for the Arizona defense.  The Wildcats held Oregon to their fewest points of the year, and actually ended up picking off Marcus Mariota twice on the day, his first two interceptions thrown this season.

"It just says a lot about our defense because that's the first pick that (Mariota) threw," Fischer said.  "And we got two.  Shaq did a good job."

The defense is riding high heading into Tempe this weekend, where they face yet another high-powered offense in Arizona State.  Will this tip play go down as the play that changed this defense moving forward?  Let's hope so.