Update 9:45 p.m.: UCLA scored in the fourth quarter to bring the score to Wildcats 48-UCLA 12. For the first time in 355 days, Arizona Wildcats have a victory over an FBS team.
Only minutes into the first quarter tonight, the Arizona Wildcats scored their first touchdown in the post-Mike Stoops era.
"Ol' Stoops is sitting somewhere wondering, why didn't they do that with him?" Luis Ochoa told his buddies while watching the game at the Fox and Hound in the Foothills Mall.
The Wildcats scored whenever they touched the ball during the first half of the game, ending the half with six touchdowns for a 42-7 lead over UCLA, a school record in PAC 10/12 conference play. The Wildcats then extended their lead to 45-7 in the third quarter and to 48-7 with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter, in front of a hometown crowd.
A highlight for Northwest residents was an 18-yard touchdown drive - the team's second drive of the game - by former Canyon Del Oro High School standout Ka'Deem Carey. The freshman running back took the score to 14-0.
Tonight is the first game being played under the leadership of interim head coach Tim Kish.
Kish took over the position after former head football coach Mike Stoops was fired on Oct. 10 after a 10-game losing streak against FBS opponents. UA's former defensive coordinator is leading the ‘Cats through their remaining six games on the schedule, including tonight's.
Kish had been with Stoops at Arizona since Stoops was hired in 2004.
Before the start of tonight's game, UA fans in the Northwest varied somewhat in what they expected from the Wildcats under Kish's reign. Most, however, were happy to see Stoops gone.
"Tim Kish will do great," said Eric Mansur after the first touchdown. "Mike Stoops couldn't produce, even with a field of quality players. His time was coming. It's a new dawn."
"(Mike Stoops) was good but he stressed out the team," said Jessica Flores, 15, who was watching the game with her family, all UA fans. "I think the Wildcats will win because the team will be relieved without him."
"The change in coaching at the very least gives the team a fresh outlook. That's shown by the energy being shown in the first quarter," said Greg Sherman, of Oro Valley.
What did you think of tonight's game and Kish's performance as head coach? Email Wendy Miller at email@example.com by Sunday night. Your comments may be used in The Explorer on Oct. 26. Please include your name, where you live and your contact information.