Saturday’s game between Arizona and Hawaii featured eight turnovers, over 1100 yards of offense and 83 points, yet the most exciting moment of the game began with only 10 seconds remaining in regulation.
With his team down seven late in the fourth, Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate helped his team march down the field to have at least a puncher’s chance at keeping this game going. After completing two big passes to put the offense just outside Hawaii’s 30-yard line, Tate set up for one final Hail Mary throw. Things did not immediately break in the way he had hoped it would as none of his receiver were open enough for his liking. Instead of just heaving up a prayer and hoping it would land in the hands of the right person, Tate decided to make a break for it, using the wide open space in front of him to make a run towards the end zone. The quarterback evaded two would-be tacklers and appeared to have an open lane for the buzzer-beating score, but defensive back Kalen Hicks was able to wrap his arms around Tate’s legs and lineman Manly Williams was able to get a second hit on the Wildcat to bring him down one painful yard short of reaching the goal line.
Per the Arizona Daily Star:
“I felt like it was the right decision to take off and run,” Tate said. “I just came up a little short.
“I thought I was going to score, as a lot of people probably did.”
While there’s never a guarantee that the team that sends a game to overtime will be the one to win it, a late touchdown like that would have certainly given Arizona the momentum it needed to have an upper hand during that extra period, especially considering how things had started for the team.
The Wildcats found themselves down by 14 twice in the game, which included a 14-0 deficit in the first quarter, and both times they were able to rally back to tie things up. Even with Hawaii receiver Cedric Byrd II racking up 10 catches for 128 yards and three scores in the first half—he’d end the evening with 14 receptions for 224 yards and four touchdowns—the defense stepped up in a big way to set up second-half scores to keep the team within striking distance. Tate’s final rush, for example, was only possible because Arizona linebacker Tony Fields II intercepted Hawaii quarterback Cole McDonald at the 10-yard line.
But, those efforts ultimately weren’t enough as all Arizona got out of those rallies was a bunch of Kevin Dyson references.