christiantdhbowl2017.jpgSan Diego, CA – The Arizona Wildcats were a little nervous heading back to the Holiday Bowl.  After all, they had been humiliated in front of a massive alumni gathering in 2011.  And considering the challenges of the 2017 season, this looked like another dangerous game for Arizona.

Texas A&M came in with the #2 Offense in the NCAA and the #9 ranked defense.  A&M also had Joel Pittman, the top QB in the Big 12, a white guy  with 186.5 RTG, 32/327 3127 yards, 38/7.  They also had a pair of WRs dubbed the Texas Steppas who were big, fast, and strong.

With another strong turn out of alumni from Orange County and San Diego, the Wildcats walked into a Qualcomm Stadium that had pouring rain.  And Lee Corso picked A&M.

With the rain falling, most Arizona alums are pretty intolerant of any inclement weather, and after A&M scored first, they left to try and beat traffic.  Stadium attendance went from over 60,000 to just under 20,000 in ten minutes. What a mistake they made.

Arizona made a solid drive on the next play and scored 3 points.  But One of the Texas Steppas – TJ Green busted up fora  huge TD giving A&M a 14-3 lead.  A Joe Fulton fumble was then returned for a TD, giving A&M a 21-3 lead going into the half.  The early bailing alumni felt good in their decision.

But you should never under estimate the will of Brent Robinson, and the talent of Ryan Parrish.  The two hooked up for a 20 yard pass, that Parrish busted up for a TDjaygib2017holidaybowl.jpg.

“He was a bad corner,” said Parrish.  “We knew we could beat him.  He was in for a long day.”

Parrish continued to punish the corner, and Robinson kept up his great passing day.  Spreading the ball to Holbert, Haynes, and even Aaron Thompson.  Giving Arizona a 24-21 lead.  But A&M came back with some huge plays to take a 28-24 lead.  Arizona tried to make something happen but gave the ball back to A&M who kicked a field goal with 30 seconds left to give the Aggies a 31-24 lead.

The Wildcats had 30 seconds, no timeouts, and the game looked finished.  But Robinson does not quit.  He got to the line, saw single coverage on Parrish and hit him with a huge bomb.  They scrambled quickly to the line and ran another play, another set of single coverage on Parrish, another completion, another TD!

“I can’t believe they just let him run like that,” said Robinson.  “They gave him no respect, and he’s one of the best WRs in America, and probably the best in the Pac Ten.”

The game went into overtime, and the Arizona defense, finally playing as a unit, shut down the Aggies and forced a field goal.  A&M had a 34-31 lead.

robinsonholidaybowl2017.jpgWhen the Wildcats took over they gave the ball to Steve Gilmore and Alan Barron who brought the ball down to the 2.  A handoff to Fullback Tim Christian, and the Wildcats pushed into the endzone for the win.

“This win was huge,” said senior Marcus Holbert. “I love going out as a winner.  Plus there was this girl from Costa Mesa who I wanted to hook up with when I was a freshman, but she dissed me.  I’m looking her up tonight!”

Notes

  • Brent Robinson 24/36, 456 yards, 4 TDs – 0 INTs.
  • Ryan Parrish, 9/224 2 TDs
  • #4 Greatest Game of All Time
  • A&M
    • #19 Nick Wyatt, 2/65, 1 TD
    • #16 TJ Greene, 4/125, 1 TD
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