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Wildcats lose nail-biter in OT

CHRIS CODUTO/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Free safety Clay Hardt (33) and linebacker Marcus Smith (55) react after TCU's game-winning field goal in overtime.
By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, September 29, 2003

The Wildcats made it much more interesting than their fans expected and than TCU would have liked.

But the end result was the same, as Arizona lost its fourth straight game, 13-10 in overtime to the No. 19 Horned Frogs on Saturday at Arizona Stadium, in front of 40,515 people.

In overtime, Arizona got the ball first and turned it over on their second play, as freshman quarterback Kris Heavner threw an interception to a TCU defender.

The Horned Frogs followed with three straight running plays and a 33-yard, game-winning field goal by Nick Browne in the first overtime.

It was Browne's second field goal of the game; the first was a game-tying 24-yard field goal with 1:07 left in the fourth quarter.

TCU's lone touchdown came with 2:44 left in the first half, when quarterback Brandon Hassell hit Reggie Harrell with a 98-yard touchdown pass, the longest score ever allowed by Arizona.

The Wildcats tied the game at seven on a 58-yard screen pass from Heavner to junior tight end Steve Fleming for Arizona's first score.

Senior Kicker Bobby Gill added a 30-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter to give the Wildcats their first lead since their opening-game win against UTEP.

Heavner gets opportunity to start, throws for 276

Heavner finished 14-of-29 for 276 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions in his first college start.

Heavner was the first Arizona quarterback this season to play an entire game. Sophomore Nic Costa started the first three games and freshman Ryan O'Hara started last week at Purdue. Both traded drives with each other, with Heavner seeing action last week as well.

Heavner was able to effectively move the Wildcat offense at times, and saw his most success throwing to junior receiver Ricky Williams, who finished the game with 5 catches for 131 yards all coming in the first half.

"I feel confident that each quarterback can get in there and get the job done," said senior linebacker Matt Molina. "Kris got the job and I thought he did alright."

Hardt's 13 tackles helped defense keep score close

The defense also played a huge role in the Wildcats' success against the nationally ranked Horned Frogs.

Arizona held TCU to just 10 points in regulation and limited the Frogs to just three points in the second half, despite being on the field for more than 21 of the final 30 minutes of regulation.

Although UA's defense gave up more than 450 yards, they held the Horned Frogs out of the end zone with the exception of the 98-yard touchdown pass before the half.

Senior safety Clay Hardt led all Wildcat defenders with 13 tackles, including 10 solo stops and a sack.

"I feel like we've grown a lot (as a defense), and tonight (we) kind of showed it," Hardt said.

Sophomore Danny Baugher played an important role in keeping TCU on its own end of the field with eight punts for an average of nearly 48 yards. He landed two of his kicks inside the Frogs' 10-yard line.

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