It was back in 1988 when kicker Doug Pfaff and the Wildcats visited Oklahoma in the first half of a home and home series.

“We had a couple of plays go the wrong way,” said Pfaff.

Arizona lost, 28-10, in a game in which Pfaff says was not indicative of how close the game actually was.

“That kind of gave us a lot of confidence that following season when we played them in Tucson that we can stand toe to toe with those guys no matter what.”

Sure enough, in 1989, the Wildcats and Sonners were locked in a late defensive battle at Arizona Stadium with the game tied, 3-3.

“I knew there was a good chance a field goal could decide the game,” said Pfaff.

Arizona drove down the field and set up Pfaff for a potential game-winning field goal.

“Great kick, great snap, great gold, great protection. The kick made it through. It was a great memory. The crowd was going nuts. I’ll never forget it.”

Pfaff hit the game winning field goal from forty yards away as Arizona upset 6th ranked Oklahoma, 6-3. He kicked during two winning seasons under the late Dick Tomey.

“He’s a guy that played a huge role in my life. I’m thankful that he ended up being my head coach.”

A generation later, Doug Pfaff’s son, Blake Pfaff, would walk-on to the Wildcat team as a defensive back in the late 2010s. Meanwhile, Doug as living near Dallas, where current Arizona kicker Tyler Loop was growing up.

“I worked him out once and tried to teach him, so I’ve stayed in contact with him ever since he was in middle school. So, I’ve helped him psychologically plus a little bit of teaching his kicks during his time at Arizona.”

Now, Loop and the 9-3 Wildcats are headed to the Valero Alamao Bowl to play Oklahoma. It’s the first time they’ve played the Sooners since when Pfaff played for Arizona. The team is winning the way it did back then.

“That’s the Arizona football that I’m used to. So, it’s nice to see it return to what it should be.”