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Arizona rips Cal's heart out with fourth quarter comeback and Hail Mary connection

Arizona dug themselves out of a late hole to avoid an upset loss in their Pac-12 opener.

Christian Petersen

The word I would best use to describe Arizona's performance is _____________ because _____________. The word I would best use to describe Cal's performance is _____________ because _____________.

Sam Barbee: Follow on Twitter The word I would be use to describe Arizona's performance is fun. What a fun game that was. Down 31-16 in the fourth quarter and winning 49-45 is just fun, no matter how you slice it.

The word I would best use to describe Cal's performance is disappointing because they had that game won. Last year they were just plain bad, but this year they had a chance to beat a good Arizona team on the road and they blew it. Dis, a, pointing.

Patrick Ghidossi: Follow on Twitter Bonkers. That was bonkers. What a way to win a game. And then heartbreaking, very heartbreaking. What a way to lose a game.

Trace Travers: Follow on Twitter Resilient was the word for Arizona. putting up 36 points in a quarter is incredible. For Cal, the word is gut-punch. That is one of the most demoralizing games I have ever seen Cal lose, and I've seen a lot of them.

The word I would use to describe Arizona's performance is Crazy because who would have thought they could come back like that. The word I would use to describe Cal's performance is sad, because they blew it.

Jack Follman: Follow on Twitter Insane. Arizona proved that college football is increasingly becoming a game where well-executed bursts are a lot more important than sustained performances. For Cal, heartbreaking, they had their biggest win in years in the bag, but allowed Arizona to get into a position where a lucky play would allow them to steal the game.

Check out the box score. What were the key stats of the game to you?

Sam Barbee: Anu Solomon was 47-of-73 (73!) for 520 yards and five touchdowns, including the game-winner with no time left. The percentage isn't great, he through two picks, but he had a basketball shooter's mentality: keep shooting (throwing) and good things will happen, and they did.

Trace Travers: I was surprised at all the rushing yards Cal had. For the Bear Raid to work to perfection, you have to be able to run, and Daniel Lasco and Khalfani Muhammad provided that.

Roy Stenlund: The stat that surprised me the most was 193 yards rushing for the Bears. But also surprising is 73 pass attempts for Anu Soloman, with those numbers he should be playing for Mike Leach.

Jack Follman: Impossible to ignore 520 yards passing and five touchdowns for Anu Solomon on 73 attempts. He was like a basketball shooter that got a hot hand late and took over the game.

What was the most impressive part of [the winning team]'s performance and why? Who were the standout players and coaches and why?

Sam Barbee: Can I pick anyone else but Solomon? He won the game, with stats, plays, etc. He will be a hero and celebrity on campus on Monday.

Trace Travers: Solomon. He ran his offense quick and efficiently when it mattered, and he couldn't be stopped.

Roy Stenlund: The most impressive part of Arizona's win was that they never gave up. That is the most important, and hardest, thing for a team to learn. The standout player was Anu Soloman, he rolled up 566 yards of offense.

Jack Follman: Arizona and Solomon's refusal to go away was most impressive as the Wildcats easily could have packed it in late in the game trailing by so much, but didn't give up and pulled off the impossible.

What were the most concerning aspect of [the losing team]'s performance and why? Which coaches and players struggled the most and why?

Sam Barbee: They blew that game like a balloon. They had it won: up 31-16 heading into the fourth. This game is a season-killer. Let's hope it isn't, but losses like that absolutely kill morale.

Trace Travers: An inability to stop quick slants of the middle, along with not stopping Cayleb Jones.

Roy Stenlund: The most concerning thing about this game for Cal is the fact that they choked. You have to have a killer instinct to consistently win.

Jack Follman: Cal's inability to hold on. With the up-tempo and spread dominating football now, you have to be able to hold on in the fourth.