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McAlister Ends Career in a Big Way

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

This was how Chris McAlister wanted to end his career at Arizona.

Unanimous All-American. First-team All-Pac-10 for the third year. Only the seventh player in NCAA history, and the first at Arizona, to return a kickoff, punt and interception for scores in the same season.

Arguably the best defensive back in the country.

To make it sweeter, the cornerback from Pasadena blocked a field goal attempt and intercepted two passes, the second one sealing Arizona’s 23-20 victory over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl.

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“This was the best way I could have pictured it,” McAlister said. “I couldn’t have pictured it any other way. Everybody on this team fought hard for this victory, and everyone deserves credit.

“Hopefully this will give us the respect we deserve. We beat a team that has been noted for the last 30 years to go out and dominate their opponents. They came here today thinking it was the same thing. But they got out here and found out things were different.”

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Nebraska hadn’t lost four games in a season in 30 years. The Cornhuskers’ loss ends their four-game bowl winning streak, and may also affect their most impressive streak: 290 consecutive rankings in the Associated Press poll. It definitely ends their five-year streak of top-10 finishes in the national rankings.

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The attendance was a Holiday Bowl-record 65,354. The previous record was set in 1987, when 61,892 watched Iowa defeat Wyoming, 20-19.


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