The Arizona Wildcats' final dress rehearsal before their Sept. 1 season opener ended with a play that would seem unlikely, even on a PlayStation.
Running the "last play" offense, quarterback Matt Scott scrambled and threw to a receiver, who pitched to a running back, who pitched to a tight end, who pitched…
Well, it was a long play. And at the end, center Kyle Quinn stood in the end zone, ball above his head. Touchdown.
"First one of my career," Quinn said.
Friday night's "Beanie Bowl" at Arizona Stadium was a night of firsts. With a few hundred members of the Zona Zoo and the "Pride of Arizona" Marching Band cheering them on, the Wildcats ran through their game-day routine in real time. The club stretched on the field, wearing game uniforms. Just before 7:30 p.m. - the scheduled start time of next week's opener - they ran under the "Bear Down" sign and onto the field.
The scrimmage itself didn't quite live up to first-year coach Rich Rodriguez's game-day expectations. Full contact was prohibited, and coaches mixed units against a scout team that wore all white.
The highlights instead came on the sidelines and in the stands, where the team debuted a handful of new traditions. Among them:
• Players will perform the Haka dance in front of the Zona Zoo four minutes before kickoff. Students are being asked to join them.
• The Zoo - and fans - will be asked to sing along to Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" every time the opponent faces a third down.
• Arizona's special teams players will line up under tiny flags designating each unit. Each player has an assigned seat on the bench, making them easier to find in a pinch.
"It's a lot more organized," cornerback Shaquille Richardson said. "There won't be any confusion on game days."
• Following each game, the Wildcats will run to the field in front of the marching band and sing along with the fight song, "Bear Down, Arizona."
The "Beanie Bowl" - its name is taken from the yellow beanies that scout-teamers wear over their helmets - is a Rodriguez tradition. It's a way to give his players an idea of what to expect on game nights and to build a little good will with the students and fans.
Next week, they'll go live.
"Coach Rod just said it: 7 1/2 days from now, we're playing Toledo for real," Quinn said. "Tonight was a great taste of what the game atmosphere is going to be like. We're real excited for next week."
• Marquis Flowers has moved from safety to outside linebacker and is expected to be in the starting lineup for the team's opener. The move will allow both Flowers and "Spur" Tra'Mayne Bondurant to start in the same unit. The Wildcats' other linebackers will likely be Jake Fischer and Hank Hobson.
"Marquis is a team guy, and he loves football," Rodriguez said. "I'm excited to see him there."
• "Ten to 12" true freshmen are expected to play right away, Rodriguez said. Though he wouldn't name specific players for fear of spoiling any surprises. A guess: Running back J.T. Washington; defensive end Kyle Kelley; linebackers Keoni Bush-Loo, C.J. Dozier and Shadow Williams; and wide receiver Jarrell Bennett will be among the guys playing.
• Rodriguez figures to unveil his first depth chart Monday. It'll be fluid, he said.
"To have a two-deep," he said, "you need to be two deep."