ALBUQUERQUE — Just like Thursday practice.
Arizona Wildcats senior kicker John Bonano set the ball low on the tee, lined up on the right hashmark. He knew what he had to do. Hit the top of the ball. Squirt it along the ground, hoping to get a big second bounce.
Just like Thursday practice.
Except this wasn’t the practice field on campus. This was the New Mexico Bowl, University Stadium, 42 seconds left, Arizona down by six points to Nevada, out of timeouts. If the Wolf Pack recovered the onside kick, game over.
C’mon, how often do these things work?
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez was yelling at his assistants to make sure they not only had 11 guys on the field, but had them lined up properly. This is what UA calls the Takeaway Team. Coaches had to shuffle personnel on the fly because of injuries.
“And then,” Rodriguez said, “it’s just crossing the fingers a little bit.”