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The top five games between the Arizona Wildcats and California Golden Bears:
5. Arizona 41, California 38 (2 OT), Arizona Stadium, Nov. 15, 1997
A year after losing at Cal in four overtimes (No. 4-ranked game on this list), Arizona outlasted the Golden Bears in a double-overtime game in Tucson.
Arizona’s Mark McDonald booted a career-long 43-yard field goal to give Arizona the victory.
On the first possession of overtime, Arizona’s Keith Smith passed 23 yards to Brad Brennan to the California 7-yard line. Smith then hit Dennis Northcutt with a five-yard pass for a 38-31 lead.
Justin Vedder ran 22 yards on Cal’s first play of overtime to the 3 and Tarik Smith immediately scored from there. Tim Wolleck’s extra point tied it at 38-38. Wolleck missed a 40-yard field goal attempt in Cal’s second overtime, setting up McDonald’s heroics from 43 yards.
4. California 56, Arizona 55 (4 OT), Memorial Stadium (Berkeley, Calif.), Nov. 2, 1996
In the first year of overtime in college football, Arizona and Cal took it to the extreme. Arizona quarterback Keith Smith completed five touchdown passes and ran for two more but it was not enough in what was the longest game in major college football history at that point.
In a risky move that resulted in the loss for Arizona, coach Dick Tomey elected to go for the victory rather than send the game into a fifth overtime after the UA scored a touchdown to cut the lead to 56-55.
Arizona lined up for the extra point, but holder Ryan Hesson took the snap and flipped it over his head to kicker Matt Peyton, who was tackled immediately by a Cal defender to end the game.