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The saga of Brandon Dawkins and Miss Arizona

When a late hit out of bounds becomes a thing of lore in the Grand Canyon State

Arizona State v Arizona Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Duel in the Desert is arguably the biggest event in the state of Arizona every year. On Friday night in Tucson, that was still the case despite the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils having a combined record of 7-15 heading into the game.

This brings out some of the schools’ biggest and most well-known alums, and you can usually see them gracing both sidelines with their presence.

But the Arizona sideline had an interesting tie-in, as former linebacker Jake Fischer was there with his girlfriend, Tommy Lynn Calhoun.

Why should you know Calhoun? Well, she is Miss Arizona.

Brandon Dawkins is a redshirt sophomore who ended up starting nine of Arizona’s 12 games at quarterback this year after getting very limited playing time last year.

But Dawkins and Calhoun’s paths crossed in a way that no one will ever forget during the ASU game.

With Arizona driving about halfway through the second quarter, Dawkins left the pocket after a fake end around, looking for the pylon.

Instead, he was ridden out of bounds by two ASU defenders short of the endzone, but then he found Miss Arizona in his path.

“He laid there for a second,” Sani Fuimaono chimed in after the game.

“It was a late hit and I was trying not to hit anybody and I just so happened to run into her,” Dawkins explained. “I’m gonna leave it there. It was an accident.”

“I was looking at the replay,” Rich Rodriguez added. “He was kind I think. Didn’t he help her up? At least I hope he did. You gotta be a gentleman at all times, even if you’re in a gladiator outfit I guess. Yeah, she made a nice tackle.”

When the ESPN sideline reporter found Calhoun after the incident, Dawkins made sure that he apologized on national television in what is possibly one of the greatest moments in college football broadcast history.

After the game, Miss Arizona was hovering around the entrance to the Arizona locker room, waiting for Dawkins to make his way over there. Arizona’s quarterback was taking the time to sign autographs and high-five every fan that was along the field, so it took about ten minutes.

But then this happened:

“It felt good,” Dawkins explained about putting the tiara on. “I didn’t get to touch the cup yet, so that was my first little taste of the victory. She came over and made fun of it and she was a good sport about it. A lot of people wouldn’t have been as cool about it as she was so I commend her for that.”

Dawkins did finally get to touch the cup, and tweeted this out:

“Yeah, I owe her one,” Dawkins said of the dinner invite. “I told her if she needs anything let me know. I’ll take her out to dinner anytime she needs it.”

After all of this, it appears Miss Arizona just wants to do a redemption video, where hopefully she gets her shot at taking down Arizona’s quarterback.

This was all just so good and another layer to one of the most interesting nights that has happened at Arizona Stadium in recent memory.