If I had told you at halftime that the Arizona Wildcats, down 31-10 to the Arizona State Sun Devils, would have the ball in a one-possession game late in the fourth quarter, would you have believed me? I didn't believe it myself. It required a second-straight outstanding performance from the Wildcat defense, and a few miraculous plays from third-string quarterback Brandon Dawkins, but with less than seven minutes to play in the game, Arizona had a chance to tie the game.
It wasn't meant to be.
After throwing two touchdowns in the second half and closing the gap to 38-30, Dawkins unraveled before our eyes. On a third down inside their own 20-yard line, Dawkins dropped back to pass and ASU again dialed up their unrelenting blitz, and it pressured him into getting rid of the ball faster than he should have. Dawkins overthrew his intended receiver Johnny Jackson and ASU safety Kareem Orr made the interception and returned it for a back-breaking touchdown.
Dawkins would go on to throw another pick-six on the next possession, which was just further icing on the cake for the Sun Devils.
It's hard to blame Dawkins at all for the play. He fared incredibly well off the bench, coming in for a completely ineffective Jerrard Randall, and made what looked to be a blowout into a competitive game. You have to be proud of a third-string QB with next to no reps during the week coming in to a rivalry game and almost bring his team back from the brink. It's unfortunate that it had to fall apart the way it did.