There were still about 90 minutes until kickoff, and Arizona Stadium was still largely empty. We were getting set for the final non-bowl game of the year in the stadium, and a Senior Night matchup against a No. 10 Utah team. There were a couple of Arizona Wildcats and Utah Utes warming up in cut-off Ts, just going through the motions to get ready for some late-night football in Tucson.
Then one guy walked out in full uniform to start going through his pregame paces. That guy? Arizona kicker Casey Skowron.
He was out there, going back and forth just north of the 50-yard line, getting those legs loose. Guys in uniform would slowly trickle out to join him, but Skowron was there first.
Fast forward to five minutes before kick, after all of the seniors had their families escort them out onto the field. After the band's pregame show. But just seconds before the fireworks go off.
Skowron emerges from the north tunnel with the flag of France raised above his head, with punter Drew Riggleman carrying the U.S. flag right beside him. This was obviously Arizona's way of showing support for those affected by the horrible tragedy in Paris late Friday night, and the kicker got the nod to lead the way.
"Drew just kind of came up to me before the game and he said 'Hey, we're taking out the flags, and you have the flag for France'," Skowron said of how he learned he would be doing that. "It was an honor to be selected for that. I don't know if it had to do with us being featured on the program or what, but it was a big honor to carry that out there."
Casey had his name called again soon after that, but this time for his services on the field. Just more than two minutes into the game, Skowron attempted a 47-yard field goal, and put it right through the uprights. That was just one yard shy of his longest field goal this year, a 48-yarder that came at Colorado earlier this year, and just two yards shorter than his career-long 49-yarder against UNLV in 2014.
After a couple of extra points, Skowron got another shot at three points, this time from 40 yards out after a botched snap from Cayman Bundage with Arizona at the two. It felt like a moment where everything would fall apart, but Skowron kept the sequence from being a total disaster, and converted to put Arizona up 20-10 at the time.
The Wildcats would only score one touchdown in the second half, and of course, Skowron nailed that extra point as well. That would be the final point scored in regulation, as neither team scored in the fourth quarter.
It was time for some overtime in Tucson.
Utah got the ball first, and after Arizona's defense did not allow a first down, Skowron's counterpart Andy Phillips was up. He made it, but man did he make it interesting by banging the ball off the inside of the right goal post. It banked in, and the 'Cats would need at least three points to keep its hopes of an upset alive.
Arizona would also go three-and-out, setting up a 35-yard attempt for Casey.
"I was a little bit (nervous)," Skowron said about when he was walking out to attempt it. "But I had faith in myself and I was ready to execute."
He did execute, sending the game into a second overtime period.
Arizona got the ball first for the second overtime, and Jerrard Randall proceeded to find Nate Phillips in the endzone for his only completion of the night. Skowron would tack on the final point of the night after that. That was his 214th career point, 7th-most in school history.
The defense would keep Utah out of the endzone, and held on for the 37-30 upset win.
"It's amazing to come back after a rough few weeks the last few weeks to come back and get this win," Skowron added about the team's performance.
There were seniors contributing everywhere to pull the upset on Senior Night, but from start to finish on Saturday evening, I don't think any of them made as much of the moment as Casey Skowron did.
It was a perfect night for him in more ways than one.