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Arizona football countdown: 44 days, and a 44-yard kick return by Cayleb Jones

Somehow this was the longest kick return all year for Arizona

William Mancebo/Getty Images

It was towards the end of what was a blowout against Washington State. A nice little onside kick with the hands team on the field for the Arizona Wildcats.

And somehow, it ended up being the longest kick return of the season for the team.

(At about 3:30 mark of the video)

Cayleb Jones picked up the WSU onside kick and took it 44 yards for the touchdown. No other kickoff return for Arizona in 2014 went more than 43 yards.

The issue here is how was an onside kick returned for a touchdown the longest kick return of the season?

Arizona's special teams excelled that particular day, as DaVonte' Neal returned a punt 81 yards at the beginning of the game.

The kick return was an area of concern for Rich Rodriguez throughout the season, and at one point, wondered out loud if teams would start kicking short on purpose to try and pin Arizona inside the 20. That did not happen, but it certainly should have.

Hopefully with the increased depth at seemingly all positions this season, that should also mean improved talent on special teams, in particular, kick and punt return coverage. Take last year's offensive performance as a whole. How much better would it have been if it was consistently starting at the 35 instead of the 20? All of the sudden, maybe there's less three-and-outs, there are more field goals attempts instead of punts, and Arizona's not trying to squeak out close games over and over.

But seriously, how does an onside kick result in Arizona's longest kick return of the season?