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Arizona 42, California 27: Third-quarter reflections

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona just plays better at home. Way better. Particularly against ranked teams.

It certainly owned the third quarter. Owned with a capital O.

As in 28-3 owned. The Wildcats took a 42-27 lead into the fourth quarter after trailing 24-14 at the half.

There was more Keola Antolin, whose 59-yard touchdown run gave the Wildcats a 28-27 lead.

And there was a 21-yard pick-six from Devin Ross when he wrestled a Nate Longshore pass away from Verran Tucker.

But the overriding theme was getting the ball back in the hands of the Wildcats money players: Money Mike Thomas and Big Freak Rob Gronkowski.

They combined for just six catches for 61 yards and no touchdowns a week ago in the loss at Stanford.

Through three quarters, Thomas has six catches for 104 yards and a 56-yard TD on Arizona's first possession of the second half that swung momentum the Wildcats' way.

And Gronkowski had six receptions for 91 yards, including the 35-yard TD that made it 42-27.

Here's where Arizona got the idea to throw the ball to Thomas and Gronkowski.