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Bizarre play helps Arizona Wildcats rally to beat Cal

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Posted at 10:26 PM, Oct 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-07 12:32:46-04

Struggling in Kevin Sumlin's first season as head coach, the Arizona Wildcats will gladly take a win any way they can get one.

The Wildcats' 24-17 victory over visiting Cal on Saturday night was aided by one of the more bizarre plays you're likely to see in college football this season. Trailing 14-10 in the third quarter, Cal quarterback Brandon McIlwain threw a pass that was tipped and intercepted by Wildcat linebacker Colin Schooler. While running the other way, Schooler lost the ball -- but that was no problem for the Wildcats, as cornerback Azizi Hearn scooped it up and returned it the rest of the way for a touchdown.

"That went from good play to bad play to great play," Schooler said after the game, after joking that the sequence of events on that play was exactly how the Wildcats drew it up.

As it turned out, Arizona's defense outscored its offense on Saturday night, as cornerback Scottie Young intercepted another McIlwain pass -- Young's second interception of the game -- and returned it for a touchdown of his own late in the fourth quarter.

The win moved UA to 3-3 this season and 2-1 in Pac-12 play. Next up for the Wildcats: a matchup at Pac-12 South rival Utah on Friday night.