The Arizona defense is fast-becoming the Wildcats’ best offense.
Linebacker Sean Harris and lineman Jim Hoffman each returned fumbles for touchdowns as No. 15 Arizona defeated Illinois, 16-14, in a game dominated by the defenses at Champaign, Ill.
“I hope we will not see a defense like that again,” Illinois Coach Lou Tepper said. “It was intimidating. This is not the kind of defense you want to put a young offense up against.”
The Arizona defense entered the game giving up only 158 yards per game--best in the nation. And it was the defense that put the Wildcats (3-0) ahead in the first quarter.
Arizona sacked Illini quarterback Scott Weaver and caused him to fumble at the Wildcat 24. Harris picked it up and ran 76 yards for a touchdown.
Arizona made a similar play in the second quarter after Weaver fumbled at the Illinois 46. Hoffman grabbed the ball and ran for the touchdown.
Weaver was also trapped in the end zone for a safety, putting the Wildcats ahead, 16-0.
Illinois scored in the first half when Arizona’s Terry Vaughn botched a punt return and Rod Boykin fell on the fumble in the end zone.