The 70,585 fans inside Iowa's Kinnick Stadium hardly noticed last fall when the Arizona Wildcats summoned their backup quarterback to play the fourth quarter.

Nick Foles was happy to receive the audition, even if there was no ovation.

"I was excited to get my opportunity," Foles said. "I remembered them being a big, physical team."

What happened in those 15 minutes didn't affect the outcome - Iowa won 27-17 - but it altered the Wildcats' season.

The Wildcats will take on Iowa in a rematch Saturday at Arizona Stadium with Foles under center and Juron Criner as their most potent offensive weapon.

Foles was named the UA's starting quarterback after completing 6 of 11 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown against the Hawkeyes a year ago; the receiver he found for the score, Criner, became the new focal point of the offense.

Here's a look at that quarter, what happened and how it changed the Cats' fortunes:

15:00 remaining: Facing fourth-and-four from Arizona's 23, Iowa's Daniel Murray hits a field goal to give the Hawkeyes a 20-10 lead.

14:52 remaining: Foles leads the Wildcats offense onto the field for the first time. Starter Matt Scott had struggled, completing just 4 of 14 passes for 50 yards.

Foles' first drive is a mixed bag. After completing a 15-yard pass to David Douglas, the Wildcats quarterback misses his next two attempts. Keenyn Crier is forced to punt on fourth-and-eight from the Wildcats' 45.

A year later, Foles still remembers the speed.

"The one thing you realize when you play a team like Iowa is the game's a lot faster," he said. "The first drive, I was adjusting to the speed. Everybody was moving around really fast."

13:10 remaining: The Hawkeyes mount their most impressive drive of the game, covering 74 yards in 14 plays over the next 8 minutes 30 seconds. Tailback Brandon Wegher's 2-yard touchdown run gives the Hawkeyes a 27-10 lead.

4:40 remaining: Foles, adjusting to the speed, improves on his second drive. He converts on fourth-and-two from the Wildcats' 45, hitting Nicolas Grigsby for gain of 7 yards.

2:25 remaining: On second-and-10 from the Hawkeyes' 48, Foles is sacked for a loss of eight yards. He fumbles on the way down, but the ball is recovered by UA tackle Mike Diaz.

"I was like, 'Oh, man,'" Foles said.

The Wildcats call a timeout.

2:19 remaining: On third-and-17, Foles hits wide receiver Terrell Turner for 16 yards. The Wildcats will have to convert on fourth down again.

2:05 remaining: They do. Keola Antolin's 34-yard run puts Arizona on Iowa's 5.

1:55 remaining: The Wildcats are called for delay of game, moving the ball to the 10.

From the line of scrimmage, Foles notices Iowa playing man coverage.

Criner does, too.

"Any time it's press (coverage), it's probably going to be a fade to the outside," Criner said. "And it was."

Foles finds Criner on a fade route for a 10-yard score.

"I threw it up there and let him do what he does," Foles said. "I saw man coverage, and I knew all I had to do was throw it out there and let him make a play."

The Wildcats' celebration is muted; it's still a 10-point game.

"There's no reason to celebrate when you're getting beat," Foles said. "There's always a chance to get an onside kick."

0:01 remaining: Following an unrecovered onside kick and an Iowa three-and-out, the Wildcats get the ball back on their 39-yard line. Foles tries to find Grigsby on the final play of the game, but his pass falls incomplete.

Not that it matters. Foles is named the Wildcats starting quarterback a day later, based mostly on his ability to spark the offense against Iowa.

Criner said Foles "changed the whole game."

"Things started going a little faster. Things started clicking a little more," Criner said. "We just needed a little more time."

On StarNet: Read more about the Arizona football team on reporter Ryan Finley's blog at

Up next

• What: Iowa at Arizona

• When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday


• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)

QB recruit's appeal denied

The Arizona Wildcats' quarterback of the future will not play this season after a Texas state high school association denied his request for reinstatement.

Daxx Garman was initially ruled ineligible Aug. 28, hours before his Southlake Carroll team was scheduled to open its season. Officials questioned Garman's eligibility to compete based on his family's summertime move to Southlake from Oklahoma.

Texas high school rules prohibit student-athletes from transferring to schools specifically to play sports. Carroll is one of Texas' most prestigious programs; Garman would have been the starting quarterback there.

The Garmans maintained their move was for family reasons. But, as The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday, the Garmans had an "out clause" for a Southlake home, allowing them to break their lease if Daxx were not allowed to play football at Carroll.

Garman verbally committed to the UA's 2011 recruiting class last winter. He, and other verbal commits, can sign national letters of intent in early February.