Full Version: "We were cheated!"
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As far as coach Ron McBride is concerned, his Utah football team did not lose to Arizona on Saturday night.

The scoreboard read "Arizona 23, Utah 17" but McBride knows his team scored the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds, only to have it taken away.

"It was a touchdown. Game's over. Period," McBride said. "It's an impossible call to miss. Everybody in the stadium saw it. Everybody on TV saw it. That's embarrassing. It's embarrassing to your conference."

The Utes (2-1) trailed throughout the game and were down 23-7 early in the third quarter, but after Bryan Barreson kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal with 4:11 to play, Arizona led only 23-17.

Utah mounted one final drive from its own 28. With their usually powerful running game stifled by the Wildcats' defense, and with star running back Marty Johnson sidelined with a knee injury, quarterback Lance Rice's passing moved Utah down the field.

On second-and-10 from the Arizona 12-yard line, wide receiver Josh Lyman broke open over the middle and made a diving catch of Rice's pass as he slid out of the back of the end zone. The official standing on the line a few feet away immediately ruled the catch was no good.

But television replays clearly showed that Lyman's knee came down at least a foot inside the end zone.

"I felt like I was in. I don't know what else to tell you," Lyman said. "There's not much I can do. It should have been 6. We did what we had to do. We had one more drive and we got into the end zone. You can't ask for more than that. It's just the way it went. We just have to move on."

McBride said the call was "the worst one I've had in 40 years" of coaching.

"The game should be played by the players," McBride said.

Utah, which plays at Michigan next Saturday, moved to the Arizona 3, but on fourth-and-1, the Wildcats' Clay Hardt stopped J.R. Peroulis for a 2-yard loss to preserve the victory.

"I'm not down on my team at all," McBride said. "I'm proud of the way we played. This is a good Arizona team. The receivers are good, the quarterback's good, their defense is very good. I like the way our guys stood toe-to-toe with them. We never gave in. There were times when it looked kind of bad for us, but my guys just kept playing."

Arizona (2-0) dominated the statistics, outgaining the Utes 459-204. The Wildcats' Jason Johnson threw for a career-best 416 yards.

Bobby Wade caught nine passes for a career-best 175 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown play for the Wildcats. Andre Thurman had nine receptions for 165 yards, both career highs, including a 44- yard touchdown.

But all of those numbers almost went for naught for Arizona, which plays at Wisconsin on Saturday.

"This was a gut check game," Wildcats coach John Mackovic said. "We were not in a situation like this once last year. This is the first time we've stepped up and really won a close game."

Even if it was a game that Utah really didn't lose.

<small>[ September 18, 2002, 07:28 PM: Message edited by: JoltinJacket ]</small>
I didn't know that Utah "scored at the end". Maybe the TD should have been allowed but Utah should have a great season.
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