Former Arizona State center Thomas Delnoce remembers vividly as a player how Arizona practically stole a bowl game from the Sun Devils.
“My favorite memory is the ‘Ultimatum Bowl’ played in 1968 in Tucson. The Sun Bowl wanted to offer the winner of the ASU-UA game a bowl bid, but the Wildcats issued an ultimatum to the Sun Bowl committee: If they wanted UA, they needed to offer them the bid before we played.
“The Sun Bowl caved and gave the whining kitties the bid. As a player I remember vividly walking out into the stadium for pregame warm-ups.
“Next to me was defensive tackle Bobby Johnson (now deceased); we walked the entire length of the field taunting the fans who were already there and then registered our disgust by spitting in their end zone. Bad, I know, but we were a very angry team.
“Bowl games were hard to come by then, and we knew we were the better team. I suspect (Darrell) Mudra (their coach) knew that as well, thus the ultimatum.
“The rest, as they say, is history. On our first possession, Frank (Kush) – as was his custom – called a play named 44 trap. Everyone knew it was coming, including the Wildcats.
“Jimmy Kane (guard, and now president of Southwest Gas) pulled and opened a gaping hole for Art Malone. Art went in for the touchdown. Unfortunately, there was a penalty on the play, and it was called back. What did Frank do? Well, he called the same play again with same result – without the penalty.
“Art took it to the house for a second time, and the rout was on. Final score: ASU 30, Wildcats 7.”
UA went on to lose to Auburn 34-10 in the Sun Bowl to finish 8-3.