No. 21 Arizona beats Colorado on last-second FG

League: NCAA Football

Posted on: 11 Nov, 2023 at 10:50 PM

Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Jonah Coleman ran for a career-high 179 yards and Tyler Loop kicked a 24-yard field goal on the final play of the game to lift No. 21 Arizona over Colorado 34-31 on Saturday in Boulder, Colo.

The Wildcats (7-3, 5-2 Pac-12), who won their fourth consecutive game for the first time since early in the 2019 season, never led Saturday until there was no time left. Colorado (4-6, 1-6) lost its fourth game in a row and needs to win its final two to be bowl eligible.

The game was tied at 7, 14, 24 and then 31 when Arizona's DJ Williams rushed for a 7-yard TD on the first play of the fourth quarter. It was still 31-all when Colorado had a chance to take the lead with five minutes left, but Alejandro Mata's 44-yard field goal attempt barely slid right.

After Arizona took over at its 26-yard line, Coleman ripped off runs of 21 and 24 yards to get the Wildcats into scoring range. They reached first-and-goal from the 1 with 1:04 left and ran the clock down for the final kick.

Coleman rushed 11 times, including gains of 49 and 54 yards. Noah Fifita completed 21 of 35 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Tetairoa McMillan caught nine passes for 107 yards and a score.

Colorado's Shedeur Sanders was 22 of 35 for 262 yards and two touchdowns, also rushing for a team-high 42 yards on 13 attempts. Neither quarterback was intercepted.

Sanders often was masterful extending plays, including a fourth-and-7 scramble that kept alive a drive that ended with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Michael Harris that put Colorado up 31-24 with 3:22 to go in the third quarter.

Colorado took advantage of favorable early field position, scoring touchdowns on two drives that started on Arizona's half of the field and going up 14-7 late in the first quarter on Sanders' 20-yard pass to Jimmy Horn Jr.

The teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter before exchanging field goals in the final 1:32. Loop connected from 52 for Arizona and Mata hit from 39 on the last play of the half to put Colorado up 24-17.

--Field Level Media