Arizona's Off To Corvallis To Try, Try Again
Oct. 8, 2001
2001 Arizona Football Schedule/ResultsDate Game Score AttenA 30 at San Diego State (ESPN2) 23-10 28,386S 8 Idaho (Fox Sports Net Arizona) 36-29 44,250S 22 Nevada-Las Vegas# (KWBA) 38-21 47,031S 28 *Wash. State (KWBA) 21-48 42,729O 6 *Oregon (Fox Sports Net) 28-63 45,258O 13 *at Oregon St. (Fox Sports Net) 7:15 p.m. MSTO 20 *at Washington (Fox Net syndic.) 3:30 p.m. MSTO 27 *Southern California& 7 p.m. MSTN 3 *at California 12:30 PSTN 10 *Stanford% 7 p.m. MSTN 23 *at Arizona State (Fox Sports Net) 1 p.m. MST#Hall of Fame Game, &Family Weekend, %Homecoming
The Game - The Arizona Wildcats (3-2, 0-2 in the Pacific-10 Conference), hit the first of two venues in a Northwest road swing, playing the Oregon State Beavers (1-3, 0-2) at Corvallis in a nationally televised game at 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, in 35,362-seat Reser Stadium. The game will be cablecast over Fox Sports Net affiliates with Steve Physioc, Tom Ramsey and Lewis Johnson describing the action. A capacity crowd is expected as OSU sold out Reser on a season basis.
Some Game Themes - A match of two teams fighting for a reversal of their early league fortunes... A third league loss at this juncture could quell hopes for an upper-division finish... UA hits the road for only the second time in 2001... Arizona is still looking to snap its conference losing streak (7 games) dating 364 days to Oct. 14, 2000... UA faces the team that gave it the most lopsided loss in 2000... The Beavers, ranked 11th in the preseason, look to find the running game which put one of their own in the preseason Heisman hunt but has netted only 95 team yards per game... Arizona hopes to stop a two-game turnover binge (nine) and opponents' scoring outburst (111 pts.)... The series has not witnessed close games with only three of 24 contests decided by a touchdown or less, though the combined score in the last three games is 64-60, Arizona...
The Series -- Arizona leads the series, 19-4-1 although OSU has won the last two games with a bowl- team identity. The Beavers romped last year in Tucson, 33-9, and beat UA in the last game at Corvallis, 28-20, in 1999 when that victory assured OSU of its first bowl game in years. UA has an 8-3-1 record at Reser Stadium.
The Coaches -- Arizona: John Mackovic (Wake Forest '65), first year at UA (3-2) and 14th season as a collegiate head coach (88-66-3). He is the first new UA coach to open 3-0 since Jim Young did so in 1973, when Mackovic was UA's offensive coordinator and UA started 5-0. He has not coached against Oregon State. Oregon State : Dennis Erickson (Montana State '69), third year in Corvallis (19-9) and 16th year overall (132-49-1). Erickson is 5-2 against Arizona -- 2-0 at Oregon State, 2-1 while at Miami and 1-1 while at Washington State. He's the reigning Pac-10 Coach of the Year.
Last Week -- It was Arizona 28, Joey Harrington 21, but UO's poster boy threw for three more scores and two 100-yard Ducks rushers ran for three others in a blizzard of touchdowns as Oregon handed the Cats a 63-28 loss. The point total is the most allowed by UA in a Pac-10 game. When rain showers began with the game tied at 14 in the second quarter, Oregon showered UA with 21 more points to take a 35-14 lead at the half. The Wildcats were again troubled by turnovers (5) which each led to an Oregon touchdown and 35 sudden-change points. The miscues helped UO enjoy short-field advantage with three scoring drives of 35 yards or less. Harrington (15-24, 279 yds) and Co. were economical, with six scoring drives taking less than two minutes. Tailbacks Maurice Morris (21-110) and Onterrio Smith (15-131) became the first duo to eclipse the century barrier in a game against UA since two ASU backs did so in 1999. Arizona's defense was hurt with defensive tackle Keoni Fraser (concussion) unable to play and starting end Austin Uku sidelined in warmups by a knee injury, leaving just two veteran tackles and two ends able to go, with one of them coming off the injured list. UA was not without its positive moments, as Clarence Farmer rushed for a career-high 158 yards on 15 carries, Jason Johnson threw two TD passes and UA did not give up a sack. Backup QBs Cliff Watkins and John Rattay got some needed work and Rattay threw his first career TD pass. But UO ran 80 plays for 7.6 yards per pop and they netted the Ducks 607 total yards, the sixth-highest opponent total ever against UA.
Oregon State and Match-up Notes...
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Ore.: Enrollment 17,000... Colors - orange and black... Conference - Pac-10... In 2000: 11-1
The Beavers saw their nine-game home winning streak snap against UCLA two weeks ago, then lost at WSU Saturday, 34-27, but roared back from a 31-0 deficit... OSU scored its final points on a punt-block return and a fumble return against WSU... OSU's Dennis Erickson is currently the seventh winningest Division 1-A active college head coach with five or more years of service as a head coach, with a winning percentage of .728 (132-49-1)... The Beavers, with an historically best 11-1 record a year ago, are 20-8 in their last 28 games... Tailback Ken Simonton, the first Pac-10 player to record 1,000-yard seasons each of his freshman, sophomore and junior years, has 256 yards on 74 carries (3.5 ypc) this year as OSU has played catch-up ball in three games. Against three good defenses this year he had 19 yards against WSU, 26 yards against UCLA and 42 against Fresno State. He's the No. 3 career rusher in Pac-10 history with 4,329 yards, training Marcus Allen of USC (4,810) and the unreachable top guy, Charles White of USC (6.245). Simonton has scored 330 points which rate No. 5 behind four kickers in league history including UA's Max Zendejas (360)... QB Jonathan Smith made his 31st consecutive start last week. He's 20-11 as the QB of record and has passed for 8,030 career yards. The latter puts him in stead to reach figures posted by some storied players -- such as the No. 5 passing yardage total in Pac-10 history by ASU's Jake Plummer (8,664)... Kickoff returner Patrick McCall (25.80) ranks 30th nationally, helping the Beavers to a No. 24 team ranking at 24.44 yards... OSU has two interceptions this year (both last week vs. WSU) compared to 24 a year ago, and the club is -5 in turnovers after a season in which it was +18... Junior place kicker Ryan Cesca, a Lou Groza Award watch-list representative (as is UA's Sean Keel), has made 28 of 40 career field goal attempts (.700) in three years. Keel's 20 for 31 (..645). Cesca is the No. 1 kick scorer in OSU history with 177 points... Arizona is one of four teams to hold OSU under 100 net rushing yards in Dennis Erickson's career. The Cats limited the Beavers to 74 yards in 2000, Oregon held them to 27 in 1999 and Fresno State (27) and Washington State (24) held them to low totals this year...
Some NCAA Team Statistics - Cats and Beavers
Rushing OffenseArizona 54th - 150.80Oregon St. 100th - 95.5Passing OffenseArizona 44th - 231.40Oregon St. 51st - 221.3Pass EfficiencyArizona 40th - 128.20Oregon St. 91st - 102.37Total OffenseArizona 51st - 382.2Oregon St. 89th - 316.8ScoringArizona 36th - 29.2Oregon St. 80th - 21.3Rushing DefenseArizona 52nd - 139.6Oregon St. 95th - 198.5Pass DefenseOregon St. 79th - 227.8Arizona 98th - 258.0Pass Efficiency DefenseArizona 86th - 133.89Oregon St. 99th - 141.71Total DefenseArizona 87th - 397.0Oregon St. 92nd - 426.4Scoring DefenseArizona 103rd - 34.2Oregon St. 105th - 34.0Turnover MarginArizona 83rd - -.60Oregon St. 103rd - -1.25
In the Polls
The Wildcats received votes in the Sept. 24 and Oct. 1 polls but none this week. Arizona's most recent ranking was No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today and No. 24 in the AP polls with a 5-2 record a year ago, but dropped out on Oct. 29 after a loss to UCLA. Oregon State received 15 votes in the coaches poll this week. It had a preseason No. 11 ranking.
Injury Report for Oregon State Game
DTKeoni Fraser missed the Oregon game (concussion) and is doubtful for OSU. He's seeing specialists. OLB Joe Siofele (hand) will have surgery ans is likely out for three weeks. DE Austin Uku re-injured his knee last week and is out for OSU. He missed the first two games of the year but played vs. UNLV and WSU. LB Shelton Ross (knee) is out for several weeks. Backup LB Scott McKee (elbow) is out. Backup LB Pat Howard (quad vs. UO) is doubtful. DE Fata Avegalio (knee) missed the Oregon game with a knee injury (and Idaho/UNLV with an elbow injury) and is questionable for OSU. DE Eli Wnek (preseason foot fracture, has not played) is doubtful for OSU. DE Alex Luna (knee arthroscopy 9-23) played vs. Oregon and is probable for OSU. SS Zaharius Johnson (quad) is questionable for OSU. Lost Potential Starts due to Injury: 6 (Wnek-5, Fraser-1).
Arizona Head Coach John Mackovic
UA's 26th head coach, John Mackovic (Wake Forest '65) assumed leadership in December 2000 and quickly demonstrated his intent to take Arizona football in a new direction. Notably it's been a turnaround, as he snapped a school five-game losing streak and gave the program new life with three consecutive victories to open his tenure. The opening victories this year made him the first new Arizona head coach to open 3-0 since Jim Young did so in 1973 when Mackovic was an offensive coordinator on the staff. (Young went on to a 5-0 opening mark, UA's best.)
The Wildcats' 3-0 non-conference record in 2001 give him one of only three undefeated non-conference seasons Arizona has enjoyed in the past 11 years.
Mackovic draws on 17 years' experience as a collegiate head coach, athletics director or professional head coach, and from 15 additional seasons in coordinator or assistant positions in the trade. Further, he has three recent years' experience in the media as a college football analyst for ESPN. The transition year has progressed extremely well and given Arizona a mentor with extensive offensive acumen and a strong network of colleagues in the allied professions. His professional and organized approach in assembling a staff, recruiting his first class and establishing the coaching processes for the 2001 Wildcat program has been exemplary.
Mackovic took over for 14-year Arizona coach Dick Tomey and switched gears in placing a primary focus on the passing game and its contemporary derivations. That being said, he determined that UA's strong tradition of defense is a useful tool, and his vision of Wildcat football involves putting the same aggressive forces to work while UA attacks with the ball. It's a swell development for Arizona partisans and has been in evidence on the field in 2001.
UA's initial games of the Mackovic era have demonstrated his play-calling ability and taste for unpredictability, such as the 1st-down, 99-yard pass play by Jason Johnson from his own end zone after a sudden-change possession against Idaho. It was the longest play in UA history and came off in de rigueur fashion. Arizona throws the ball as advertised. Still, a weekly wrinkle here or there has resulted in new plays which catch the defense off balance, such as a simple trap play that RB Tremaine Cox turned into an 80-yard score against UNLV. Unpredictability has quickly become an Arizona offensive trait.
Mackovic, 57, carries a 13-year collegiate record of 88-66-3. He took three of his last four teams (University of Texas) to bowl games and has led nine teams to winning records with eight bowl trips overall as a head coach. In 32 years of coaching he has held three college head coaching positions and one top National Football League spot (Kansas City, 1983-86, 30-34-0 record), served as offensive coordinator at three different Division I-A schools and worked as an assistant under former Dallas Cowboys' legend Tom Landry. He has Arizona bloodlines as Young's four-year offensive coordinator from 1973-76, heydays for prolific Western Athletic Conference offensive displays.
He has worked with and helped to develop such noted offensive players as Arizona's Bruce Hill and Theo Bell, Purdue's Mark Hermann, the Cowboys' Danny White, Illinois' Jeff George and Ricky Williams of Texas. Moreover, his emphasis on the total student-athlete can be underscored by eight national academic/citizenship honor winners including defensive end Eli Wnek's recent selection to the AFCA Good Works Team. Plus, Mackovic has fostered classroom progress which gave him nine overall first-team Big 12 All-Academic honors his charges earned during his tenure at Texas. Quite soon several UA players should join that list.
Mackovic is no stranger to honors. At Wake Forest as a quarterback he won the Atlantic Coast Conference Gold Medal Award and earned Academic All-America honors his senior year. Later at WFU as head coach in 1979 he earned Walter Camp Foundation National Coach of the Year, The Sporting News College Coach of the Year, AFCA District Coach of the Year and Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year. At Illinois where he also served as athletics director, he earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 1988 and 1989. At Texas in 1995 he was Southwest Conference Coach of the Year and a national award finalist. In 1996 he was Big XII Coach of the Year by the Austin American Statesman after taking the Longhorns to victory in the inaugural Big XII title game over Nebraska.
Mackovic has stepped forward at each stop in his 17-year head coaching career to improve the program. For that matter, in his first stint at Arizona as offensive coordinator (1973-76), he was part of a staff which improved UA from a 4-7 club to successive 8-3, 9-2 and 9-2 seasons. At Texas, the Longhorns were 5-6 the year before his arrival. His six-year mark: 41-28-2 with three bowl appearances. At Illinois, the Illini finished 4-7 before he arrived. His four-year mark: 30-16-1 with four bowls. At Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons were 1-10 the year before he took over. His three-year mark: 14-20 and WFU's first bowl appearance in 30 years. At Kansas City of the NFL, he took over following a 3-6 mark in a strike year and eventually led the Chiefs to a 30-34 record and their first playoff appearance in 15 seasons.
Mackovic has endowed an athletics scholarship in the name of his daughter, Aimee, at the University of Arizona, just as a similar endowment continues in his name at the University of Texas.
Cats Break Streak, Hope to Break Another
John Mackovic helped UA end an ignominious streak in the opener, snapping a five-game losing skein with the 23-10 victory at San Diego State. The next obstacle -- his first Pacific-10 Conference victory. UA's new program is only two games into Pac-10 play, but Arizona faces an 0-7 mark in a string of league games, five of those losses at home. Both are school low-water marks. Three of the losses were by four points or less and UA had chances in several games.
Arizona Game Captains
Here are the game captains to date: San Diego State: SS Brandon Nash, WR Malosi Leonard, SS Zaharius Johnson, C Steven Grace, DE Eli Wnek. Idaho: FB Mike Detwiler, LB Lance Briggs, FS Jarvie Worcester, WR Lance Relford, DE Alex Luna. UNLV: TE Peter Hansen, CB Jermaine Chatman, DT Anthony Thomas, OT Makoa Freitas, OG Kevin Barry. WSU: WR Bobby Wade, SS Brandon Nash, DE Austin Uku, C Steven Grace, PK Sean Keel. Oregon: DE Johnny Jackson, ILB Lance Briggs, FS Clay Hardt, FB Mike Detwiler, C Steven Grace. The Wildcats will select permanent 2001 team captains following the season.
Jason Johnson's Efficiency
UA quarterback Jason Johnson suffered the ignominy of four interceptions in the last two games (3 vs. WSU, 1 vs. Oregon), a factor which carved a chunk from his pass efficiency rating. Still, it's not bad for a first-year player, albeit a junior. He has shown composure, accuracy and understanding of the Cats' multiple-pro passing attack -- as well as his relative inexperience -- in his five-game starting career. He's 27th nationally in pass efficiency rating at 138.01. He's completed 59 percent of his passes (79 for 135) and thrown nine touchdown passes against five interceptions (two were tipped balls). One of his TD tosses was a school and Pac-10 record 99-yarder to Brandon Marshall. In Arizona's two losses it faced considerable first-half deficits which affected UA's game plans.
QB's Targets Reach 14
After five games UA quarterbacks have completed passes to 14 different receivers, with tailback Tremaine Cox the latest club member with an 8-yard catch against the Ducks from backup John Rattay. Eight guys caught balls in that game -- the fourth time this year that eight or more players have receptions. WSU limited UA's corps to five different players. The nine players catching a ball vs. UNLV was the biggest single-game corps since the 1998 season opener (9 at Penn State). Redshirt freshman tight end Steve Fleming, a scout team quarterback last year, caught his first ball against WSU and appears to be earning more rotation play at the spot. The14 players who have caught passes includes receivers Malosi Leonard, Bobby Wade, Andrae Thurman, Brandon Marshall, Lance Relford and Gary Love, tight ends James Hugo, Justin Levasseur and Steve Fleming, and backs Clarence Farmer, Anthony Fulcher, Mike Detwiler, Leo Mills and Tremaine Cox. Wade (22-294), Leonard (19-247) and Thurman (15-243) lead the way in receptions, although Marshall's school-record 99-yard catch-run against Idaho puts him close in yardage with nine catches for 217 yards. He has the other longest scoring catch, a 44-yarder against Oregon. He and Wade lead with three touchdown receptions.
In its first four games last year, UA started four different OL units. So far this year it's been a different story and injuries have not been a factor. Arizona's starting offensive line has worked together through camp and in each game except the Oregon contest, with starters Makoa Freitas, Reggie Sampay, center Steven Grace, Kevin Barry and Darren Safranek from left to right. Redshirt freshman guard Keoki Fraser started ahead of Barry and sophomore tackle Brandon Phillips started ahead of Safranek against the Ducks. The group did not play together last year due to injuries that caused Grace (shoulder) to miss 10 games and Freitas (foot) to missed eight. Phillips switched from defensive tackle in spring ball. The line has allowed only six sacks in 129 passing attempts, within goals set by offensive coaches. The line held Oregon to no sacks. UA's running game has shown some promise through five games, and boosted its per-carry figure to 4.4 yards with a 7.2-yard mark against Oregon. The line has blocked for a three 100-yard individual efforts (Clarence Farmer, 18-118 vs. Idaho and 15-158 vs. Oregon, Tremaine Cox, 8-111 vs. UNLV) and rushed for a season-high 258 yards against the Ducks.
Sacking and Protecting the QBs
UA recorded the only sack of the Oregon game on a blitz by safety Zaharius Johnson. It was his first of the year and second of his career. UA had three sacks against Washington State and has 17 this year. LB Lance Briggs, DE Johnny Jackson and DT Keoni Fraser sacked the WSU quarterback, including a 17-yard loss on Jackson's play, which caused a fumble Austin Uku returned two yards for a score. UA did a good job of containing UNLV's mobile Jason Thomas and sacked him three times, with two by Jackson and one by DT Young Thompson. A week earlier UA had seven sacks in the Idaho game, its most since a school-record nine at UCLA in 1999. Briggs and Alex Luna had one and shared another to lead the way. Luna, Jackson and Michael Jolivette had one apiece in the opener. Opponents have six sacks (two at SDSU, none by Idaho, one by UNLV, three by WSU, none by Oregon). The latter is well within parameters set by offensive coaches, who insist on pass-protection success of one sack per 17 passing attempts. The current pass-protection ratio is 1:27. The six sacks allowed was listed at No. 15 nationally and the 17 sacks at No. 11 in Sunday I-A figures.
Backs in the Attack
UA's running backs worked hard last week. Sophomore tailback Clarence Farmer broke runs of 78, 14, 15, 12 and 25 yards en route to a career-high 158 rushing yards against Oregon. The 78-yard run was two shy of his career best, an 80-yard jaunt at USC last year. The yardage gave him his second 100-yard game of the year (18-118 vs. Idaho) and fifth of his 16-game career. He also had 90 (SDSU) and 84 (WSU) yards in two other games and moved to No. 33 nationally and third in the Pac-10 at 97.0 yards per game. His best run of the Oregon game might have been the 25-yarder toward the end of his duty, when he hurdled a Ducks defender at the corner to get a bunch of extra yardage. One of his sidekicks, redshirt freshman Tremaine Cox, scored on a 26-yard run and another, Anthony Fulcher, had a 36-yard run and an 8-yard scoring reception vs. Oregon. The Cats averaged 7.2 yards per running play.
Turnover Splurge Spells Points (Against)
The last two weeks have seen Arizona give up the ball, and the new program needs more mistake-free ball to make midseason progress. Five turnovers against Oregon led to five scoring possessions by the Ducks. Four interceptions against WSU led to three scores. The nine turnovers dropped Arizona from a No. 26 standing to 83rd in turnover margin among I-A teams, and dropped UA into negative ratio for the first time in two seasons. UA is -3 overall and -.60 per game in margin. Safety Jarvie Worcester had his first career interception against UO to provide UA with its only takeaway in a game in which it lost three fumbles and suffered interceptions by Jason Johnson and Cliff Watkins. UA does have three fumble returns for scores -- for 2 yards by DE Austin Uku vs. WSU, by CB Michael Jolivette for 40 yards against UNLV and by SS Brandon Nash for 57 yards at San Diego State. UA suffered an over-the-head snap on a punt that was illegally kicked through the endzone by punter Ramey Peru to give SDSU a scoring possession at the UA 1 yard-line.
2001 Turnovers - Arizona 13, Opponents 10 -.60 margin
2001 Miscue Points - Opponents 73, Arizona 43
Rushing-Defense Tradition Takes A Hit
Arizona held its first three opponents to an average of 92 rushing yards per game, good enough to rate No. 24th nationally, then WSU posted 138 yards and hurt on some big runs and Oregon netted 282 yards with a pair of 100-yard efforts. The latter two games pushed UA to 52nd in Division I-A rushing defense. Too, four backs have rushed for 100 yards against UA this year -- WSU's Dave Minnich (30-121), Idaho's Blair Lewis (21-110) and Oregon's Onterrio Smith (15-131) and Maurice Morris (21-110) -- among six running backs to hit the 100-yard mark against UA in the last 18 games. Injuries across the line have hurt. Senior end Johnny Jackson has been the stalwart, starting all five games. Otherwise, ends Eli Wnek, Alex Luna, Austin Uku and Fata Avegalio, and tackles Keoni Fraser and Anthony Thomas have lost practice or game time because of various physical difficulties. When nearly 100 percent healthy at the get-go, UA held San Diego State to 41 net yards rushing on 29 attempts, an average of 1.4 yards per carry in its best effort of the season.
Arizona converted nearly 50 percent of its third-down tries against Oregon to boost its season rate to the minimum game objective of 38 percent. UA had season-highs of 24 first downs against both Oregon and Washington State in the lopsided losses. UA was eight for 16 in converting third downs against Idaho, its best this year. Opponents have a 38 percent third-down rate, thanks to the Cougars' 9-17 and Ducks' 7-12 efforts... UNLV converted only one of 13 tries. Notes... Against Oregon, Jason Johnson's touchdown throw of 44 yards to Brandon Marshall came on a 3rd-and-17 play and John Rattay's 25-yard scoring pass to Malosi Leonard came on a 3rd-and18 play... In UA's first drive against UNLV, it converted on 3rd, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 2nd down with Jason Johnson hitting four different receivers including Bobby Wade for the score... In one of the team's better drives at San Diego State, the Cats converted four first downs after starting at their own 6 yard-line in the fourth quarter, eventually moving the ball into Aztec territory followed by a Ramey Peru punt which required a fair catch at the SDSU 19 yard-line. The 10-play possession used 4:30 on the clock. While a ball-control effort, it used five pass completions by Jason Johnson for 46 yards, illustrating that UA's offense has evolved from its recent traditions of 'hold-em, and slug it out.' The 1st-and-10 pass from UA's end zone by Johnson for 99 yards and a score to Brandon Marshall against Idaho further emphasized the shift in priorities.
Kicking Game Notes...
Arizona's Sean Keel had one 50-yard attempt (wide right) against Oregon. He did not attempt a field goal against WSU, the first time a kicker hasn't given it a go since the Ohio State game 15 contests back... The Oregon game was decided up front, though its kicking units (and UA turnovers) gave UO average field position at its 40 yard-line compared to UA at its 21... WSU had a 141-60 edge in return yards against Arizona, 40 percent of that on INT returns rather than special teams play... Arizona had a 30-yard field goal attempt by place kicker Sean Keel blocked against UNLV, though he later connected on a 20-yard attempt. He's 2 for 6 on the year and one was a career-long 44-yard kick against Idaho. He missed his first 2001 field goal attempt at SDSU, striking the upright from 30 yards. He missed from 43 against the Vandals. He's 20 for 31 in his career. He had one PAT kick blocked and missed a PAT against Idaho... Punter Ramey Peru's best outing was a 41.2 average and 39.0 net figure against UNLV. Against Oregon he had a 41.3 average but UA gave up 24 yards on returns for a net figure of 33.3 yards... UA's kickoff return coverage has allowed 22.8 yards per return including an opponents' season-best 55-yard return by Dominique Dorsey of UNLV... UA used a punt return by Bobby Wade (58 yards) to set up a score against the Aztecs, and a 16-yard return by Wade against UNLV to give it scoring-drive starting position at UA's 40 yard-line ... Peru has three punts inside the 20 yard-line and had two others inside the 25. He does not have a touchback kick, less than half his punts have been returned (12 of 26) and opponents average 5.9 yards per return... Andrae Thurman blocked a punt at the goal line to give UA a safety at SDSU... The team has blocked 43 kicks in the last 12 seasons.
Arizona Football Notes...
...Arizona's defensive secondary has broken up 26 of opponents' 169 passes, plus intercepted three more to wreck 17% of the other guys' work. Cornerbacks Michael Jolivette (5) and Jermaine Chatman (6) lead the way in PBUs, while Jolivette has two interceptions. Free safety Jarvie Worcester (vs. Oregon) has the third interception... Jolivette's seven career interceptions in 1+ seasons bode well for his eventual place on UA's career interception list. He'd need five more to hit the Top 10 list with 12...
...Arizona has attempted only one field goal in its last two games, a 50-yarder by Sean Keel against Oregon which was pushed wide to the right. UA did not attempt a field goal against WSU. The last time that happened was against Ohio State last season...
...Clarence Farmer's 158 yards against Oregon eclipsed his previous high of 134 at Southern Cal last season as a true freshman... Farmer is averaging 6.0 yards per carry... Redshirt freshman back Tremaine Cox is averaging 6.8 yards per tote (28 carries) and soph Anthony Fulcher is averaging 7.0 on nine carries... Cox's 80-yard touchdown run against UNLV was UA's longest since Clarence Farmer popped for 80 and a score at Southern California last Oct. 7...
...Inside linebacker Lance Briggs recorded 12 tackles against the Ducks, including two for losses. It was his third double-digit tackles game of the year. His highest total was 13 against WSU... Briggs, to no surprise, leads Arizona with 51 tackles, and with eight for losses... Cornerback Michael Jolivette had 10 tackles against SDSU... Defensive end Johnny Jackson leads with four sacks... Briggs had 113 hits a year ago, the most among returning Pac-10 players...
...The four interceptions (3 by Jason Johnson, 1 by Cliff Watkins) against WSU were the most in a single game since Ortege Jenkins threw four against UCLA last season...
...With the 14 different players who have caught passes, UA has not had a 100-yard individual receiving game this year, though Brandon Marshall (1-99 vs. Idaho) and Andrae Thurman (5-95 vs. WSU) came close. It underscores that Mackovic's offense seeks the open man...
...Arizona's 491 yards in total offense against Idaho and the 483 yards against Oregon were the team's biggest totals since Nov. 13, 1999, when UA had 500 even at Oregon State...
...Quarterback Jason Johnson's .585 completion percentage is solid and in the school's season (Minimum-200 Attempts) category compares to Keith Smith's .575 school-record figure in 1999... The 21 completions by Johnson ( 21 against SDSU, 20 against Idaho, plus Cliff Watkins' 1) in the first two games were only six shy of the single-game team and individual record of 27 by Marc Reed against Utah in 1966... .Johnson's 310-yard passing game against Idaho was the first over the 300 mark since Ortege Jenkins threw for 348 yards on Oct. 18, 197 against Washington. That's a span of 43 games...
...The Cats have recovered seven of opponents' eight fumbles -- returning three for scores -- and three of their own. UA was among national leaders (5th) last season with 17 fumble recoveries... Arizona's 18 penalties in the first two games was followed by more disciplined efforts against UNLV (6-58) and WSU (6-56) and Oregon (3-20)...
...A number of players have had their first career action this year -- redshirt junior Ray Wells (starting ILB), backup QBs Cliff Watkins and John Rattay, redshirt freshman FB Tremaine Cox, redshirt freshman DE Fata Avegalio, soph TE Justin Levasseur, redshirt freshman TE Steve Fleming, junior redshirt OT/LS John Vorsheck, true freshman LB Kirk Johnson, redshirt freshman LB Pat Howard, redshirt freshman punt snapper Ben DalMolin, and walk-on freshman kickoff specialist Ryan Slack...
...Arizona and Arizona State officials worked over the summer to earn NCAA Division I-A designation for the 1899 Territorial Cup as the oldest trophy game in America, eclipsing the battle for the Little Brown Jug, awarded annually since 1909 to the winner of the Michigan-Minnesota game. Officials of the two Arizona schools are working to complete details for the awarding of the Territorial Cup to the winning school, a replica to the winning school's president's office and awarding of two later trophies in the series -- the Saguaro Trophy for the winning coach (since 1997) and a modern sculpture piece by artist Ben Goo which is expected to be awarded to the game's Most Valuable Player. That piece formerly went to the winner of the Big Game from 1979 to 1998.
Arizona Practice Schedule
Arizona practices at 8 p.m. Monday and 4:15 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, with closed walk-through in the late afternoon Fridays (home games only). Football practices are closed to the public. Media may attend, though access by out-of-town outlets is subject to approval by head coach John Mackovic. Videotaping is allowed only in early individual drills. UA players are available for interviews by arrangement with the UA Media Relations office or after practice. Complete media policies are listed in the 2001 Arizona Football guide. Media wishing to interview specific players at the Monday John Mackovic news conferences should notify sports information personnel on Saturdays following the games.
Arizona Coaches In-Game
In the pressbox -- offensive coordinator Rick Dykes, DL coach Marty Long, TE coach Jay Boulware, DB coach Steve Bernstein and GAs Jeff Rodgers and Terry Samuel. On the field -- head coach John Mackovic, defensive coordinator Larry Mac Duff, OL coach Charlie Dickey, special teams/ILB coach Scott Pelluer, WR coach Rob Ianello, RB coach Bobby Kennedy and student assistant Adrian Koch. The 2001 opener saw eight of them begin their Arizona careers -- Bernstein, Boulware, Dykes, Kennedy, Pelluer, Rodgers and Samuel. Mackovic was a coordinator at Arizona for four years in the 1970s, Mac Duff was coordinator for 10 years until 1997 and Koch is a four-year letterman who ended his playing career last season. Dickey, Ianello and Long were on UA staffs of recent years and have a combined 21 seasons of UA experience, plus Dickey was a Wildcat player in the early 1980s.
2001 Arizona Football Tentative Depth Chart -- at Oregon State, Oct. 13, 2001
Offense (2001 Starts)WR 25 Malosi Leonard, 6-1, 210, *Sr., 3L, Palmdale, Calif. (Palmdale) (3) 6 Brandon Marshall, 5-11, 200, *Sr., 1L, Oceanside, Calif. (Oceanside/Palomar) (3) 18 Lance Relford, 6-0, 200, *So., 1L, Houston, Texas (Booker T. Washington)LT 77 Makoa Freitas, 6-4, 296, *Jr., 2L, Manoa, Hawaii (Kamehameha) (5) 65 John Vorsheck, 6-4, 299, *Jr., SQ, Laguna Hills, Calif. (Laguna Hills/Saddleback CC)LG 75 Reggie Sampay, 6-3, 273, So., 1L, Houston, Texas (North Shore) (5) 59 Chris Johnson, 6-3, 301, *Fr., RS, Houston, Texas (North Shore)C 66 Steven Grace, 6-3, 293, *Sr., 3L, Honolulu, Hawaii (Kamehameha) (5) 60 Thomas Stevens, 6-1, 301, Fr, HS, Los Angeles (Banning)RG 67 Keoki Fraser, 6-2, 293, *Fr., RS, Kailua, Hawaii (Kailua) (1) or 72 Kevin Barry, 6-5, 315, *Sr., 1L, Racine, Wis. (Washington Park/Hutchinson) (4)RT 68 Brandon Phillips, 6-7, 278, *So., SQ, Chandler, Ariz. (Corona del Sol) or 78 Darren Safranek, 6-7, 292, *Jr., 2L, Tucson, Ariz. (Catalina Foothills) (5)TE 89 James Hugo, 6-6, 255, *Jr., 2L, The Woodlands, Texas (Oak Ridge) (4) 88 Justin Levasseur, 6-5, 230, *So, SQ, Antioch, Calif. (Antioch) (1) 87 Steve Fleming, 6-6, 237, *Fr, RS, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral)WR 1 Bobby Wade, 5-11, 194, Jr., 2L, Phoenix, Ariz. (Desert Vista) (5) 3 Andrae Thurman, 5-11, 185, *So., Avondale, Ariz. (Westview) (2) 9 Gary Love, 5-10, 176, *So., 1L, 5-10, 176, Los Angeles, Calif. (Jefferson)QB 10 Jason Johnson, 6-2, 210, *Jr., Puyallup, Wash. (Puyallup) (5) 13 John Rattay, 6-3, 200, *Fr., RS, Phoenix, Ariz. (Desert Vista/Tennessee) or 15 Cliff Watkins, 6-4, 220, *So., SQ, Breckenridge, Texas (Breckenridge)HB 32 Clarence Farmer, 6-1, 214, So., 1L, Houston, Texas (Booker T. Washington) (4) 20 Leo Mills, 5-11, 214, *Jr, 2L, Humble, Texas (Humble)FB 40 Mike Detwiler, 6-2, 227, *Sr., 1L, Truckee, Calif. (THS/Pasadena CC) (2) 21 Tremaine Cox, 5-11, 195, *Fr., RS, Tucson, Ariz. (Tucson) 36 Anthony Fulcher, 5-11, 197, So., 1L, Scottsdale, Ariz., (Horizon) (1)DefenseDE 54 Alex Luna, 6-1, 240, *Sr, 3L, San Fernando, Calif. (San Fernando) (4) 92 Carlos Williams, 6-4, 273, *Fr., Denver, Colo. (Montbello)NT 58 Anthony Thomas, 6-2, 290, *Sr., 3L, Pasadena, Calif. (Pasadena) (4) 61 Bobby Ramsey, 6-3, 256, *Jr, SQ, Flagstaff, Ariz. (Flagstaff)DT 93 Young Thompson, 6-2, 293, Jr., 2L, Aloa, American Samoa (Samoana) (3) 92 Carlos Williams, 6-4, 273, *Fr., Denver, Colo. (Montbello)DE 9 Johnny Jackson, 6-2, 246, *Sr., 1L, San Diego, Calif. (St. Augustine/Sacramento CC) (5) 98 Fata Avegalio, 6-3, 236, *Fr, RS, Pago Pago, American Samoa (Leone)ILB 7 Ray Wells, 6-1, 224, *Jr., RS, San Diego, Calif. (Mt. Miguel/Mesa JC) (5) 43 Kirk Johnson, 6-0, 203, Fr., HS, Oakland, Calif. (Skyline)ILB 27 Lance Briggs, 6-2, 232, Jr., 2L, Sacramento, Calif. (Elk Grove) (5) 44 Pat Howard, 6-0, 218, *Fr., RS, La Marque, Texas (La Marque)OLB 49 Matt Molina, 6-2, 225, *So., SQ, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral) 54 Alex Luna, 6-1, 240, *Sr, 3L, San Fernando, Calif. (San Fernando) (4)SS 19 Brandon Nash, 6-1, 217, *Sr., 3L, Los Angeles, Calif. (Beverly Hills) (5) 24 Zaharius Johnson, 6-0, 197, *Sr, 2L, Bradenton, Fla. (New Mexico Military Institute)LC 8 Michael Jolivette, 5-11, 179, *So., 1L, Houston, Texas (North Shore) (5) 17 Anthony Banks, 6-0, 161, Sr., 2L, Los Angeles (San Pedro/West Los Angeles CC)FS 47 Jarvie Worcester, 6-0, 205, *Jr., 2L, La Jolla, Calif. (La Jolla) (5) 33 Clay Hardt, 6-1, 197, *So., 1L, Marana, Ariz. (Marana)RC 23 Jermaine Chatman, 5-11, 184, Sr., 1L, Compton, Calif. (Hawthorne/Pasadena CC) (5) 2 David Hinton, 5-11, 172, *So., 1L, San Diego, Calif. (Lincoln Prep)Special TeamsPK: 3 - Sean Keel, 6-0, 201, Jr., 2L, Littleton, Colo. (Mullen), 28 - Bobby Gill, 5-10, 181, *So., SQ, Phoenix, Ariz. (Brophy)P 12 - Ramey Peru, 6-1, 190, *So, 1L, Chandler, Ariz. (Dobson), 33 - Clay HardtKO 34 - Ryan Slack, 6-1, 193, Fr., HS, Tucson, Ariz. (Salpointe) 24 - Bobby Gill, 5-10, 190, *So., SQ, Phoenix, Ariz. (Brophy)Hold 10 - Jason Johnson, 15 - Cliff WatkinsSnap 65 - John Vorsheck, 67 - Keoki FraserLSnap 42 - Joe Siofele, 50 - Ben DalMolin, 5-11, 209, *Fr., RS, Globe, Ariz. (Globe)PR 1 - Bobby Wade, 25 - Malosi LeonardKOR 1 - Bobby Wade, 9 - Gary Love, 4 - Andrae Thurman
Academic Stalwarts - Brandon Nash, Jarvie Worcester, Eli Wnek, Malosi Leonard, Jason Johnson
Arizona's top academic honors candidates include seniors Eli Wnek, Brandon Nash and Malosi Leonard, and junior s Jarvie Worcester and Jason Johnson. In order they carry 3.76, 3.13, 3.01, 3.00 and 3.75 cumulative grade point averages while starting as college football players. Wnek's been out with an injury. On Sept. 18 he was named to the American Football Coaches Association 'Good Works Team,' just one of 11 Division I-A players so honored and the only Pac-10 representative. He and Nash earned 1st-team All-Pac-10 Academic honors in 2000, while Leonard and Worcester were honorable-mention picks. Wnek and Nash both earned degrees in May and are taking post-graduate studies. Nash was named a winner of a Pac-10 Postgraduate Scholarship prior to the season.
WR, Bobby Wade, 5-11, 187, Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.
Arizona's most experienced receiver, having played in 27 career games (23 starts) ... Has at least one catch in 26 of 27 career appearances, including 25 consecutive (which ranks 16th nationally) ... Three career 100-yard receiving games to his credit ... Boosted his team-leading catch total to 22 with three receptions for 67 yards vs. Oregon ... Collected a TD catch vs. Washington State and finished with 59 receiving yards ... Posted the first two-TD game of his career with a pair of scoring grabs vs. UNLV (14, 15) and finished with four receptions for 54 yards ... Led UA with five catches vs. Idaho and totaled 70 yards ... Also added his third career reception of 50+ yards vs. the Vandals ... Tallied five catches for 44 yards in the opener at San Diego State, and added 107 return yards (59 punt/48 kick) that included a 58-yard punt return ... Led the Cats with 45 receptions and 626 yards last season ... Should blossom under Coach Mackovic's offensive system ... Has big-play potential with 14-, 60- and 75-yards TD catches last year ... Has 10 TD catches in his career ... Outstanding kick returner who led the 2000 squad with 981 yards.
PK, Sean Keel, 6-0, 200, Jr., Littleton, Colo.
Enters the year on the Lou Groza Award Preseason watch list as one of the nation's top collegiate kickers ... A Street & Smith's Preseason honorable mention All-America ... Made 2-of-6 FG atts. on the year ... Missed a 50-yard attempt vs. Oregon, but went 4-of-4 on PATs ... Was 3-of-3 PATs vs. Washington State, as UA did not attempts a field goal for the first time in 13 games ... Hit a 20-yard FG vs. UNLV and was 5-of-5 on PATs vs. UNLV ... Equaled a career long with a 44-yard FG vs. Idaho ... Missed only FG attempt at San Diego State (40 yds.) ... Ranked third in the Pac-10 and 26th nationally with 1.18 FG/game last year ... Made 13-of-17 field goal attempts (.765) and 25-of-26 PATs (.962) in 2000 ... Made 9-of-10 field goals inside 40 yards and was 4-of-5 on attempts of 40-49 yards last year ... Has a career long of 44 yards at Utah in the 2000 season opener ... Connected on 18-of-26 FGAs in his career (.692).
C, Stephen Grace, 6-3, 293, Sr., Honolulu, Hawaii
Arguably Arizona's best offensive lineman and one of the finest in the Pac-10 Conference ... For the second time this season the UA offensive line surrendered no sacks, this time to No. 6 Oregon ... Under his guidance, the O-Line continues to help the UA offense remain balanced and productive, as the squad totaled 440 yards of offense (184 rush/256 pass) in the win over UNLV ... Led the offensive line in allowing no sacks in the win over Idaho as the offense tallied 491 yards of total offense, the team's highest total since Nov. 13, 1999 ... Anchored an offensive line that first-time QB starter to complete 21-of-32 passes for 176 yards vs. SDSU ... Coach Mackovic has called Grace 'the best center I have ever coached.' ... Has recovered from shoulder surgery last year that limited him to just one game played ... Earned second-team all-Pac-10 honors in 1999 as a starter at left guard.
RB, Clarence Farmer, 6-0, 224, So., Houston, Texas
A Street & Smith's Preseason honorable mention All-America ... Averaging 6.0 ypc in 2001 ... On a pace for 1,067 yards this season ... Collected a career-best 158 yards on 15 carries (10.5 ypc) vs. No. 6 Oregon, including a 78-yard run (second longest of his career) ... Tallied 84 yards on 16 carries with a 31-yard TD run vs. Washington State ... Collected 35 yards on 11 totes vs. UNLV ... Topped 100 yards for the first time this season (fourth career) with 118 yards on 18 carries with two TDs ... Posted a strong 2001 debut, compiling 90 yards on 21 carries and a TD ... Scored UA's first TD on a nice 12-yard run and set up a second with a 27-yard scamper at San Diego State ... A powerful, bruising back that rushed for 666 yards and five touchdowns last year ... One of only two true freshmen running backs at Arizona to post three 100-yard rushing games ... Had three runs of 35 yards in 2000, including two for scores ... Named a freshman All-American by The Sporting News. LB, Lance Briggs, 6-1, 230, Jr., Sacramento, Calif.
Recorded at least 10 stops for the second week in a row with 12 vs. No. 6 Oregon to go with 2 TFL ... Notched a team-high 13 tackles vs. Washington State, the ninth double-figure tackles game of his career ... Recovered a fumble and registered a team-high seven tackles (six solo) in the win over UNLV ... Led UA with 10 stops (8 solos) 2.5 TFL, one forced fumble and 1.5 sacks vs. Idaho ... Anchored a defense that allowed SDSU just 41 net rushing yards in the season opener ... Tallied 9 stops vs. the Aztecs, including one TFL ... The Pac-10's leading returning tackler with 113 stops ... A second-team preseason All-America pick by Football News ... A Street & Smith's Preseason honorable mention All-America ... Posted seven games with 10 or more tackles in 2000, his first on the defensive side of the ball ... Briggs' earned first-team all-Pac-10 honors last season.
CB, Michael Jolivette, 5-9, 178, So., Houston, Texas
Has two of the three UA interceptions this season ... Tallied nine tackles (seven solo) vs. Oregon, the second-highest total of his career ... Collected four tackles and an interception vs. Washington State to go with three PBU ... Posted a stellar all-around game in the win over UNLV, totaling two tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble return 40 yards for a TD and one PBU ... Collected his sixth career interception in the win over Idaho to go with 6 tackles ... Arizona's leading tackler in the season opener vs. SDSU with 10 stops (a career high), including a sack (-6) and two PBUs ... A Street & Smith's Preseason honorable mention All-America ... A solid cover guy ... Returns after a freshman campaign that saw him tally 42 tackles and five interceptions (19th nationally) ... A second-team all-Pac-10 pick and freshman All-America as a wide-side corner.
QB, Jason Johnson, 6-2, 200, Jr., Puyallup, Wash.
Has completed 58.5 percent of his throws to 14 receivers on the year ... Connected on a season-low seven completions in 18 attempts vs. No. 6 Oregon for 132 yards, but did throw 2 TDs, including a 44-yarder ... Completed 13 passes (25 attempts) for 184 yards vs. Washington State to go with 3 interceptions ... Connected on 60 percent of his passes (18-of-30) vs. UNLV for 247 yards and three TDs ... Completed 20-of-30 passes for 304 yards and 2 TDs vs. Idaho ... He is UA's first 300-yard passer since Oct. 18, 1997, and he logged the longest pass play in school and Pac-10 history with a 99-yard TD strike to Brandon Marshall ... Completed 21-of-32 passes for 176 yards in his first collegiate start at San Diego State, and most importantly, led his team to victory ... Showed a strong grasp of the offensive by completing passes to eight different receivers ... Outstanding student with a 3.75 GPA as a business major ... Could be a strong contender for academic All-America honors.
The McKale Center Ticket Office is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (520-621-2287). Single-game public tickets range from $6 to $22, or higher in priority areas. Arizcats.com offers online purchases.
Arizona Football On TV
The UA-Oregon State game will be cablecast nationally by Fox Sports Net. One additional games has been selected by FSN with other games in the pool for national broadcasts by ABC or cablecasts by FSN. Fox Sports Net Arizona produces other games, often for over-the-air broadcast on KWBA-58 in southern Arizona and KUSK in central Arizona.
Arizona Football On Radio
KNST 790-AM Radio is the flagship station for live Arizona football broadcasts on the Wildcat Sports Network. Brian Jeffries and Les Josephson call the play. Affiliates: KCTK-Phoenix, KVNA-Flagstaff, KBLU-Yuma, KTAN-Sierra Vista, KRLV-Las Vegas, KDAP-Douglas, KWRQ-Safford, KZUA-Holbrook, KIKO-Globe, KINO-Winslow. Internet broadcast: www.knst.com KNST also administers UA's Spanish broadcasts carried by XENY-Nogales and KXEW-Tucson, with Joel Bojorquez and Francisco Romero. KNST's broadcast is available by phone using TEAMLINE for about 10 cents per minute, by calling 1-800-846-4700.
John Mackovic Coach's Shows
Head coach John Mackovic's weekly radio and television shows are produced by KNST Radio, with host Brian Jeffries and the coach taping during 'Tuesdays in the Huddle With John Mackovic,' a public gathering at McMahon's Steakhouse at 12 noon Tuesdays. The radio show airs at 6 p.m. Tuesdays on KNST-790 AM and the TV segment is broadcast over the air at 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays on KWBA-58.
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