The Arizona Wildcats likely will remember Thursday’s game against UCLA for being a streak-buster, the end of a 10-game skid against FBS teams.
The rest of the college football world will just remember the streaking.
It’s not every week that somebody dressed as a game official comes off the sideline, blows a whistle, tries to take the game ball and then runs off toward the end zone while removing his clothes.
And that was only half of that.
While security attended to that little problem, a small group of Arizona and UCLA players started jawing. And then shoving and pushing. And then it brushfire became an inferno, both benches emptying and several skirmishes covering half the field.
In the middle of the night, a story about the bizarre incident — which happened with four seconds left in the first half — was on the home-page carousel on Yahoo.com.
“I was really disappointed with that,” Arizona interim head coach Tim Kish said of the fight. “If there was a black mark to this whole game, it was that.”
Arizona sophomore cornerback Shaquille Richardson and UCLA senior receiver Taylor Embree were ejected for committing flagrant personal fouls.
As Kish left the field to go to the locker room, Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne walked and talked with him.
“We needed to address it (at halftime),” Kish said.
“He made sure I was aware of that, and believe me, I was aware of it. … We addressed that issue the entire halftime. Without discipline you have nothing. I thought our guys reacted well in the second half and showed some composure.”
The Pac-12 will review the incident Friday, Byrne told ESPN in the third quarter, and can impose punishments to players who were not called for a penalty during the brawl. Richardson and Embree could also face additional sanctions, if not from the league, from their coaches.
Bottom line: Arizona and UCLA could each lose players to suspensions for next week’s games. The Wildcats play at Washington on Oct. 29.
The streaker-brawl combination won’t soon be forgotten.
“I turned my head because of the streaker,” said Arizona linebacker Paul Vassallo. “And then everybody started oohing and ahhing again. I turned back, and a fight was breaking out. I had to go out and protect my teammates.”
Said running back Taimi Tutogi: “It was bizarre. I have never been a part of something like that. It was funny and took our minds off of everything.”