Arizona 45, Louisiana-Lafayette 37

Nick Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns in his final

game for Arizona, and the Wildcats held off Louisiana-Lafayette

45-37 on Saturday.

Foles, whose status for the game had been uncertain because of

bruised ribs, tied the school record for career (64) and

single-season (31) touchdown passes. He already held virtually all

other passing records at the school. Foles also topped 4,000 yards

passing for the season and 10,000 for his career.

Juron Criner caught nine passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns

for the Wildcats (4-8), breaking the school career record for TD

receptions at 32.

Blaine Gautier threw for 315 yards and a touchdown and ran for a

score for the Ragin’ Cajuns (8-4), who cut the Arizona lead to

eight points three times in the fourth quarter.

Javon Lawson caught five passes for 137 yards for the

Cajuns.

Gautier tied Jake Delhomme’s school record of touchdown passes

in a season at 20.

Louisiana-Lafayette tied an NCAA record when Jemarious Moten

intercepted Foles’ pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown

early in the fourth quarter, the seventh ”pick six” of the season

for the team. That tied a mark set by Tennessee in 1971.

The Cajuns of the Sun Belt Conference accepted a bid to the New

Orleans Bowl on Monday, their first postseason appearance in 41

years.

Arizona (4-8) finished 3-3 under interim coach Tim Kish after

Mike Stoops was fired halfway through the season. New coach Rich

Rodriguez visited with tailgaters before the game and was

introduced to the crowd at halftime.

Louisiana-Lafayette, 0-4 against Pac-12 teams, pulled within one

possession for the final time when Gauthier scored on a 10-yard

quarterback draw with 5:05 to play. But the Cajuns never got the

ball again as Arizona moved downfield and ran out the clock.

Moten’s TD return, on his second interception of the day, cut

Arizona’s lead to 31-23, but the Wildcats’ Daniel Jenkins returned

the ensuing kickoff 81 yards to the Louisiana 2. Two plays later,

Keola Antolin scored on a 5-yard run to make it 38-23 with 13:28

left.

Again the Ragin’ Cajuns came back, going 71 yards in 10 plays,

with Alonzo Harris scoring on a 5-yard run to cut it to 38-30 with

10:26 still to go.

Foles’ 35-yard pass to Criner at the 6:08 mark boosted the lead

to 45-30.

The Cajuns used a fake punt and an onside kick in the first

half, both of them successful, to take leads of 7-0 and 13-7.

Backup Bryson Bierne started in place of Foles, who was knocked

out late in last week’s 31-27 win at Arizona State. Bierne drove

the Wildcats to the Louisiana 25, but his pass was intercepted by

Moten, who returned it 19 yards to the Cajuns’ 40.

Gautier’s 40-yard pass to Lawson set up Harry Peoples’ 11-yard

TD run to make it 7-0. Foles came on for Arizona’s second series

and directed a 16-play, 80-yard scoring drive, with fullback Taimi

Tutogi bulling in from the 1 on fourth down to tie it at 7-7.

After the kickoff, Louisiana-Lafayette faked a punt on

fourth-and-11 from its 40, with punter Brett Baer throwing 13 yards

to the Arizona 47. Ladarius Green’s 20-yard run on a reverse set up

Gautier’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Alonzo Harris. Baer’s conversion

try bounced off the right upright and was no good, so the Ragin’

Cajuns led 13-7 with 9:14 left in the half.

Foles threw two touchdown passes in a span of two minutes, 39

seconds late in the half to put Arizona up 21-13 at the break.

Jenkins’ 34-yard run and a 24-yard pass to Criner set up Foles’

9-yard scoring pass to Criner that put Arizona up for good 14-13.

On the second play after the subsequent kickoff, Gautier was hit by

defenders from both sides and fumbled. Marquis Flowers recovered

for the Wildcats at the Louisiana 32.

A roughing-the-passer penalty and four straight completions by

Foles, the last 12 yards to David Douglas for a touchdown with 34

seconds left, put Arizona ahead 21-13.