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Arizona football: Bad read on two-point conversion by Anu Solomon one of many costly mistakes made by Wildcats against the Trojans

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This would have tied the game late against a team without its starting kicker

Christian Petersen

The Arizona Wildcats came roaring back against the USC Trojans Saturday night, but came up just two points shy of completing the rally and staying undefeated.

A late drive that ended with Jared Baker's third touchdown of the night left the Wildcats down 28-26, forced to go for two.

On the first attempt, Cayleb Jones had one-on-one coverage on the left side of the field, but was not on the same page as Anu Solomon with which route he was supposed to run.

The throw soared over his head as Jones ran a slant pattern, but was bailed out when the refs called defensive pass interference, moving the ball to the one-and-a-half yard line for another try.

Baker's touchdown came from about the same spot, so everyone knew there was a chance it was going to be a run again.

And it was.

And it didn't work.

But was it a called run? It doesn't appear that way.

Right after the play was over, cameras showed Rich Rodriguez getting on Solomon about the play; most likely the read that the freshman quarterback made. The announcers also made the point that it looked like Anu was reaching back for the ball during the play, looking like he was trying to get it back.

This is right after the ball is handed off to Baker.

Two point conversion side

You can sort of see an open running lane behind Austin Hill for Solomon, or an open throw to David Richards at the goal line.

Here's the view from behind.

Two point conversion back

Pretty clear that if Anu bootlegs it out right, or just gives David Richards a soft toss, it's a tie game, and maybe we're still talking about an undefeated Arizona team.

We definitely aren't talking about Casey Skowron and death threats being made against him.

There were a ton of blown opportunities in this game for the Wildcats. It's not fair to put the blame solely on one person. Put it on a ton of guys. Put it on the receivers for dropping tons of passes throughout the game. Put it on Anu for some of his decision-making.

Put it on the offense for not converting on any of the long drives in the first half. Put it on the defense for letting Cody Kessler have all day to throw it.

There's plenty of blame to go around in a game that Arizona had every chance to win.