No. 14 Arizona overtakes No. 12 Oklahoma to win Alamo Bowl
League: NCAA Football
Posted on: 29 Dec, 2023 at 06:15 AM
Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
No. 14 Arizona forced six turnovers and got the go-ahead touchdown on a 57-yard pass to Jacob Cowing, stunning No. 12 Oklahoma with a 38-24 comeback victory in the Alamo Bowl on Thursday in San Antonio.
Wildcats safety Gunner Maldonado intercepted a pass and recovered two fumbles, the second of which he returned 87 yards for a game-changing score late in the third quarter.
That touchdown with two seconds left in the third quarter and subsequent two-point conversion pass from Noah Fifita to Montana Lemonious-Craig cut Oklahoma's lead to 24-21 -- just as it seemed the Sooners were about to add to an 11-point edge.
Fifita passed for 354 yards for Arizona (10-3), which won its seventh consecutive game, its longest streak since the 1998 season. The Wildcats reached 10 wins in a season for the fourth time in school history.
Oklahoma true freshman quarterback Jackson Arnold, making his first start in the wake of Dillon Gabriel's transfer, passed for 361 yards and two touchdowns. However, he was intercepted three times and lost a late fumble on a sack after the Wildcats took a 31-24 lead with 5:28 left on Cowing's touchdown.
Arizona then added a 19-yard touchdown run by DJ Williams, ending the game by scoring 25 unanswered points in the final 15:02.
Oklahoma had roared back from a 13-0, first-half deficit and was up 24-13 when momentum changed quickly.
Dalton Johnson popped the ball out of the hands of receiver Jalil Farooq, and Maldonado grabbed it and raced down the left sideline for his 87-yard fumble return.
Martell Irby intercepted Arnold on the next play from scrimmage, setting up Arizona at the Oklahoma 11. The Sooners defense stiffened, though, forcing the Wildcats into a game-tying, 37-yard field goal.
When the Wildcats got the ball back after a punt, they drove 95 yards, capped by Fifita's scramble and TD pass to Cowing. Cowing caught seven passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. Teammate Tetairoa McMillan made 10 receptions for 160 yards.
Arnold completed 26 of 45 passes. Oklahoma outgained Arizona 562-383 but was undone by the six turnovers, which led to 28 points.
--Field Level Media