Arizona Wildcats senior kicker Josh Pollack made 4 of 5 field-goal attempts in Saturday's Territorial Cup game vs. the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Pollack's only miss, however, was a 45-yard attempt in the game's final seconds that would have given the Wildcats the win. Instead, the kick sailed wide right, and the Sun Devils held on for a 41-40 come-from-behind victory that prevented the Wildcats from becoming bowl eligible.
On Sunday, Pollack apologized in a letter to Wildcat fans for his last-second miss, and he thanked fans, coaches and his teammates for a fantastic five years in Tucson.
"I had an opportunity at the end of the game to take the cup back to Tucson and I failed," Pollack wrote. "I take full ownership for that kick but will not let it impede me on my future journey. Failure is a catalyst for growth, not just as a player but also as a person. At the same time I want to apologize to the wildcat family for letting you all down on what is everyone's goal each and every season, to beat the team up north."
— Josh Pollack (@JoshPollack9) November 25, 2018
Pollack's last-second miss was hardly the only reason for the Wildcats' loss to ASU. Arizona failed to convert a pair of two-point conversion attempts, missed a couple opportunities to recover ASU fumbles, and failed to score touchdowns multiple times after reaching the red zone. The Wildcats also switched to an ultra-conservative offense in the fourth quarter that contributed to ASU's 20-point fourth-quarter rally.
In response to his letter, Wildcat fans were largely supportive of Pollack, and many placed the blame for the loss on the UA coaching staff.
You are a fine young man and the outcome was not your fault. As an alum x 2 (89 & 97) and a season ticket holder for the last 14 years I see the athletes lay it on the line year after year and 2018 was no exception. Josh, I wish you well, BEAR DOWN 🐻⬇️🔴🔵
— Dario Lizarraga (@azfamdoc) November 25, 2018
Josh....you have ABSOLUTELY nothing to apologize for. Sure you had the opportunity to regain the HUGE lead that was LOST due to INCOMPETENT coaching. There is not a SOUL on this earth with half a brain that thinks it was YOU who let us down. And if there is, send em my way
— Lauren Joffe (@thespinzone) November 25, 2018
Appreciate you taking blame for the loss, but this was a team loss. 40 points, including the field goals you did make, should've been enough to win. Coaching was the biggest factor in the collapse, but I know you can't say that nor should you as a team player. Good luck! ⬇️🐻🌵
— GroupTicketsAmerica (@Group_Tickets) November 25, 2018
Ya Josh I don’t blame you at all, you were 4 for 5 and played a overall great game. It never should’ve come to that field goal. The coaching staff unfortunately did not set up our team for the win!
— Beren Brown (@BerenBrown) November 25, 2018
Josh. You are a class act. Your coaching staff and offense did not need to put you into that situation. Had the coaches let you kick the PAT things wld have been different.
— Steve Nordberg (@SteveNordberg) November 25, 2018