1989 Copper Bowl Recap
Arizona 17 • NC State 10
The inaugural Copper Bowl saw the Arizona Wildcats survive a defensive struggle, with the Cats posting a 17-10 victory at Arizona Stadium.
In the opening quarter, NC State had a pair of scoring opportunities go awry. On NCSU’s first possession, the Wolfpack drove to the Arizona 33-yard line, but the march stalled and Damon Hartman’s 50-yard field goal attempt was off the mark. Later in the quarter, State’s Ray Agnew recovered a Wildcat fumble at the UA 33. The Pack moved inside the 10-yard line, but an Anthony Barbour fumble ended the threat at the four-yard line.
The scoreless tie was finally broken with 2:00 remaining in the period when Arizona quarterback Ronald Veal connected with Olatide Ogunfiditimi on a 37-yard touchdown pass play.
Midway through the second quarter State was once again bitten by a key turnover. The Pack had the ball at the Arizona 17, but Shane Montgomery’s third-down pass was intercepted by Scott Geyer, and the Wildcat defender raced 85 yards for a touchdown and 14-0 Arizona lead.
State finally scored following a Wildcat fumble, which Fernandus Vinson recovered at the Arizona 44-yard line. Montgomery used nine plays to move the Pack into the end zone, with the senior signal-caller hitting fullback Todd Varn with a four-yard scoring pass to cap the drive.
Arizona took the ensuing kickoff with just 1:55 remaining in the half, but the Cats made the most of the time. Veal directed his unit downfield with the clock winding down, and Gary Coston booted a 34-yard field goal with l4 seconds left for a 17-7 Arizona halftime advantage.
The 2nd half was dominated by the NCSU defense, with Arizona gaining just 36 yards in the half. However, State was unable to generate enough offense to catch the Cats.
The Pack put together an impressive surge in the third quarter, when Montgomery guided the Pack on a 62-yard march that concluded with a 43-yard field goal by Hartman. NCSU would carry the ball into Wildcat territory three more times in the final minutes of the game, but State failed to produce points and Arizona held on for the win.
UA Ogunfiditimi 37 pass from Veal (Coston kick)
UA Geyer 85 interception return (Coston kick)
NCSU Varn 4 pass from Montgomery (Hartman kick)
UA Coston 34 FG
NCSU Hartman 43 FG