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On the Sixth Day ESPN Gave Me...Six Seconds From The Rose Bowl

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05:  Defensive ends Brooks Reed #42 and Ricky Elmore #44 of the Arizona Wildcats celebrate after stopping the USC Trojans on the final play on December 5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. Arizona won 21-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Samantha CookeCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2009

Mike Stoops figured he was six seconds away from a Rose Bowl berth this year when the University of Arizona lost to Oregon.

The way Jeremiah Masoli ran the ball, bought time, and threw the touchdown in the waning moments of regulation amazed Stoops.

"We did really well tonight with getting Oregon out of their comfort zone. They've got a very good quarterback, and that is definitely what makes the difference," Stoops said. "We just couldn't stop them in the fourth quarter. We made some very good plays and took control in the third, but it's very hard to explain how to control an offense like theirs."

Masoli scored the tying touchdown with six seconds to go in regulation. If he had not scored, Arizona would have controlled their own destiny to the Rose Bowl.

Stoops has had success with a program that has struggled in recent years. In his first five years, Arizona has gone 25-34 under Stoops.

In Stoops's sixth year coaching, Arizona has won eight games and is headed to the Holiday Bowl.

Along the way, the Wildcats have beaten USC, Stanford, and rival Arizona State. It takes a while to rebuild a program, but Stoops is proof that if you stick with who you believe in, good things will come.

After all, the Wildcats were six seconds from a Rose Bowl berth.

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