Arizona Travels To Pullman To Face Cougars

Sept. 30, 2003

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Date Game - TV Score Atten
A 30 Texas-El Paso 42-7 40,264
S 6 #13 LSU (TBS national) 13-59 46,110
S 13 Oregon (TBS national) 10-48 40,462
S 20 at #25 Purdue 7-59 52,310
S 27 #19 TCU (FSNA/KWBA-58) 10-13 40,515
O 4 at #14 Wash. State (FSNA) 2 p.m. PDT/MST
O 11 UCLA# (FSN national) 4 p.m. MST
O 25 at California 12:30 p.m. PDT/MST
N 1 at Oregon State 1 p.m. PST
N 8 Washington% 4 p.m. MST
N 15 Southern California 4 p.m. MST
N 28 at Arizona State (FSN) 1 p.m. MST
# Family Weekend
% Homecoming
Times subject to change
Additional TV TBA

Game Tickets
The McKale Center Ticket Office is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (520-621-2287). Call 1-800-452-2287 toll-free. Game-day sales on the east side of Arizona Stadium are from 10 a.m. until halftime. Online ticket sales at arizonaathletics.com are offered 24/7 except after 10 a.m. game day. Game tickets range from $7-$20, or more if in priority seating areas.

Arizona Football On TV
The WSU game will be produced by Fox Sports Net Northwest for tape-delay showing at 11 a.m. Sunday statewide on FSNA. One other UA game has been pre-selected for national television and UA partner FSNA may produce additional games. Games produced by FSN this year also will be distributed by Fox Sports Digital Nets.

Arizona Football on Radio
KNST 790-AM Radio (Clear Channel) is the flagship station for live UA football broadcasts on the Wildcat Sports Network. Brian Jeffries and Les Josephson call the play. Affiliates:KKNT Phoenix, KDAP Douglas, KVNA Flagstaff, KIKO Globe, KZUA Holbrook, KLAV Las Vegas, KWRQ Safford, KTAN Sierra Vista, KNOT Prescott, KBLU Yuma. KTOX-Needles, KVSL Show Low. KNST administers UA's Spanish language broadcasts carried by KXEW Tucson and XENY Nogales with Francisco Romero and Luis Fernando Perez. KNST's broadcast is available on the Internet for $6.95 monthly, through RealNetworks at arizonaathletics.com. Live GameTracker stats can be followed at arizonaathletics.com.

Coach's Shows
Head coach Mike Hankwitz' weekly radio and television shows are produced by KNST Radio, with host Brian Jeffries and the coach taping during 'Tuesdays in the Huddle,' a public gathering at McMahon's Steakhouse at noon Tuesdays. This week's show will feature AD Jim Livengood as Hankwitz wraps up early preparations in his second day as head coach. The radio show airs at 6 p.m. Tuesdays on KNST-790 AM and the TV segment is broadcast at 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays on KWBA-58.

Weekly Media Gatherings
Mike Hankwitz will meet with the media weekly throughout the season (except for bye weeks) in McKale Center at 1 p.m. Mondays. Other opportunities are to be announced. Hankwitz' segment on the weekly Pac-10 Coaches teleconference is at 10 a.m. (PT) Tuesdays. Media may call the UA SID office to get the phone number.

Check arizonaathletics.com for football news, ticketing and information on all 19 University of Arizona sports programs.

The Game - The University of Arizona Wildcats (1-3, 0-1 in the Pacific-10) play their first conference road game of the year, traveling to Pullman, Wash., to meet the No. 14-ranked Washington State Cougars (4-1, 1-0) on Saturday, Oct. 4. Kickoff in 37,600-seat Martin Stadium is set for 2 p.m. PDT/MST. The game will be produced by Fox Sports Net Northwest for tape-delay showing statewide in Arizona at 11 a.m. Sunday on Fox Sports Net Arizona, with Chris Marlowe and Clete Casper describing the play.

Some Game Themes - UA heads to the Palouse under new leadership, with Mike Hankwitz making his debut as the newly installed interim head coach following Sunday's dismissal of John Mackovic. It will be his first experience as a head man... The Cats enter the heart of their season - Pac-10 play... The Cats try to make it two straight victories in league road games, adding to last year's breakthrough at Cal... Here's a refrain: The Wildcats face another seemingly uphill battle, against an experienced, ranked team... UA matches its struggling young offense against one of the better defensive teams in the league... The Cats' pit some young quarterbacks against a club that has intercepted 13 passes in five games... Only a handful of players on Arizona's team were on the last Wildcat club (1999) to play in Pullman... UA, albeit on the short end of a 13-10 score Saturday vs. TCU, can draw encouragement from the manner in which it played a ranked team, taking it into overtime... A match of two head coaches with a combined five games' experience with the No. 1 sideline headset - all by Bill Doba this year...

The Series - Arizona leads 20-11, but the Cougs have won the last two meetings, both in Tucson... The Cats have won three of the last four games played in Pullman, including the last Martin Stadium contest in 1999, 30-24... Those four games in Pullman were decided by an average of five points... WSU won last year in Tucson, 21-13, UA's closest Pac-10 game of the year...

The Coaches - Arizona: Mike Hankwitz (Michigan '70), first game as a head coach. Hankwitz was appointed interim head coach on Sunday after John Mackovic was relieved of duties in the third year of a five-year pact. Hankwitz has a noted background with more than 30 years of collegiate work at Michigan, Arizona, Purdue, Western Michigan, Colorado, Kansas and Texas A&M. He has been a defensive coordinator for the past 16 seasons and 19 overall. WSU: Bill Doba (Ball State '62), first year as WSU's head coach (4-1) and overall. Doba is in his 13th year with the WSU program, and was defensive coordinator for the past nine years.

Arizona Last Week - The coaching change dominated the weekend, somewhat obscuring Arizona's fifth game of the year. But, on Saturday UA injected some enjoyment back into its game and rode the emotion for 70 minutes, only to fall to TCU, 13-10, in overtime. True freshman QB Kris Heavner became the first such classman to start for Arizona since 1987, and played the whole game. In fact, UA played most of the game with the same units on the field - guys who would play with gusto, basically. UA seemed to rekindle the fly-around, smack-'em style it had lacked in most of September, and it paid off in a closely-contested game that required an extra period. Mistakes cost the Cats a chance at its first victory over a ranked team in 14 tries. A broken coverage allowed TCU's only touchdown to come on a 98-yard pass play (the longest play ever run against Arizona in a century of football), and a pass interference penalty breathed life into TCU's game-tying field goal drive at the close of the fourth quarter. The rest of the way the two teams slugged it out. Heavner did a good job for a young player, but also suffered three interceptions. UA ran a double-reverse wideout pass on the first play of the game, and Lance Relford's toss was picked off for a fourth interception. TCU had the lead at the half on its big play, 7-0, but Heavner tied the game with a 58-yard bomb to fleet-footed tight end Steve Fleming five minutes into the third quarter. Bobby Gill gave Arizona a 10-7 lead with 10 minutes left in the game with a 30-yard field goal, but the aforementioned TCU drive knotted the game at 10-all with a minute left. In overtime, Heavner, banged up late in regulation, threw an interception on UA's second play. The Horned Frogs 'drove' nine yards on three plays and Nick Browne kicked the game-winning field goal from 33 yards.

Sunday Injury Report, WSU Week
Out: OT Brandon Phillips (knee vs. Oregon), OG John Parada (knee, camp), both out for the year. Questionable: QB Kris Heavner (shoulder vs. TCU), OG Reggie Sampay (knee at Purdue, missed TCU), KO Nick Folk (hip, missed TCU), CB Zeonte Sherman (knee vs. TCU), DE Carlos Williams (ankle vs. TCU), OT John Abramo (knee at Purdue, missed TCU), LB Pat Howard (ankle, missed Purdue/TCU), Justin Stewart (shoulder, missed TCU). FS Darrell Brooks (missed TCU with the flu) should be back. HB Chris Henry (knee vs. UTEP) has not returned to play. HB Gainus Scott returned to practice before the Purdue game after an undisclosed illness, but has not played. LB Marquell Stinson (knee in camp) also has not played. Freshman DL Cedric Cofer had leg surgery during camp and will redshirt.

Game Captains
The team will elect permanent team captains in November. Each Friday prior to then, the coaching staff nominates game captains. UTEP - LT Brandon Phillips, OLB Matt Molina, HB Mike Bell. LSU - LB Joe Siofele, QB Nic Costa, TE Steve Fleming. Oregon - C Keoki Fraser, DE Carlos Williams, OG Kili Lefotu. Purdue - RB Beau Carr, FS Clay Hardt.TCU - DT Carl Tuitavuki, PK Bobby Gill. WSU -- TBA.

Miscellany of Late...

  • Clay Hardt, Joe Siofele, Michael Jolivette, Matt Molina and Lance Relford were on UA's club in 1999, the last team to play in Pullman, but all redshirted that season and weren't on the trip...
  • Hardt and Siofele appeared to like defending the option. Hardt had a career-high 13 tackles - 10 solo - (including a sack and another for a loss), plus knocked down a pass. Siofele had 11 hits, including a sack and another for a loss... Inside linebacker Kirk Johnson, in his second consecutive start , had six tackles against the Frogs... Outside linebacker Matt Molina supported the starters with a pair of sacks, his first double...
  • Arizona punter Danny Baugher had the first solo game of his career, kicking all eight times. He averaged 47.6 yards per pop and helped the club record its best net punting day of the year (44.3 yards). Sidekick James Molina, who had punted in each game since mid-year last season, too, served his regular job as the place kick holder and also kicked off with good success against TCU, his first such action of the year...
  • While a 'scoreboard' defensive game, both Arizona (5.2) and TCU (5.7) averaged nice yardage per play. Heavner passed for 276 yards, but UA could only muster 33 net yards in the running game, while TCU had better balance with its option running game (206) and a passing attack bolstered by the 98-yard TD play (246)...
  • The Cats used 44 players against TCU, the first UA game of the year decided by less than 35 points...
  • Tight end Steve Fleming's 58-yard catch-and-run for a score off a middle screen was one of five grabs the position recorded against TCU. Fleming caught three for 64 yards, while Matt Padron (1-10) and Clarence McRae (1-1) each recorded their initial career receptions as Wildcats...
  • Junior WR Ricky Williams' 135 reception yards on five catches against TCU was Arizona's first 100-yard receiving game of the season and his first as a Cat. But UA squandered set-ups from his 52- and 44-yard catches into TCU territory... The former was the longest catch of his career, and the total of five was his game-high...
  • Redshirt freshman left guard Keith Jackson had his second start against TCU, and right tackle Tanner Bell returned to the lineup, and started, for the first time this year... UA's continuity on the front line has been changed by the loss of RT Brandon Phillips in the Oregon game...
  • For the fourth consecutive game, an opponent saddled up and rushed more than 50 times Saturday: LSU 56-182, Oregon 56-210, Purdue 52-292, TCU 56-206. The Boilermakers' rushing total was the most against Arizona in the past 13 games (North Texas, 2002, 280 yards), and the most since Arizona State ran for 450 yards in the 1996 season finale...
  • Ouch. ...UA had 10 three-and-out possessions (or less) against TCU... Horned Frog Robert Merrill (31-148) and Boilermaker Jerome Brooks (21-122) have pinned back-to-back century games on the Cats... UA has been outscored 89-0 in the first halves of the last four contests...

    Arizona Head Coach Mike Hankwitz
    The Wildcat camp felt it made a sensational hire shortly before spring practice when Mike Hankwitz was hired to be defensive coordinator. He brought a different approach (a 3-4 scheme) and helped infuse new energy into the UA defense. Now, six weeks into the season, Hankwitz has been entrusted with more responsibility -- athletics director Jim Livengood secured his agreement Sept. 28 to serve as interim head coach for the rest of the season. He becomes UA's 27th head coach in its century-plus football history.

    Long appreciated for his defensive success, Hankwitz, 55, takes the reins of a program for the first time. It's a step Livengood feels can assure continuity and give the program its best chances for a rewarding 2003 season.

    Beyond that, Livengood will immediately begin a national search for the Wildcats' 28th head coach, and through the rest of the year Hankwitz' stewardship of the program will be critical. Hankwitz could be afforded consideration for the new hire, Livengood said Sunday.

    Hankwitz joined the staff in March, delaying the start of spring practice a week or so, as the defensive staff installed the 3-4 defense and shelved the double-eagle flex UA had used since 1992.

    Defensive coordinator at Texas A&M for the previous six years and a 33-year veteran of the coaching profession, Hankwitz' knowledge of the game and ability to teach have been a staple for many programs. He was coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Kansas from 1995-96, coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Colorado from 1988-94, outside linebackers and punt team coach for the Buffaloes from 1985-87 and coordinator and secondary coach at Western Michigan from 1982-84. Prior to that he served as outside linebacks and punters coach at Purdue from 1977-81 and was with the Arizona program under Jim Young from 1973-76, serving as defensive coordinator his final season in Tucson.

    A 1970 graduate of Michigan and a three-year letterman, Hankwitz played on the Wolverines' 1969 Rose Bowl squad. He entered the coaching profession in 1970 as a graduate assistant, serving until 1972 when he was hired by Young to join the successful Wildcat teams of the early 1970s that posted a four-year record of 31-13 including twin 9-2 years in 1974-75.

    As architect of Texas A&M's 'Wrecking Crew' defense, Hankwitz led the Aggies to Top-10 ratings in total defense, passing or scoring defense in 1988, 2000 and 2001. He coached Lombardi Award and Bednarik Award winner Day Nguyen in 1998, and coached three major national award winners at Colorado - Jim Thorpe Award winners Deon Figures ('92) and Chris Hudson ('94), and Butkus Award winner Alfred Williams ('90).

    He has coached nearly 20 players who later became National Football League professionals, including five punters. A noted special teams coach, seven of his punt teams ranked in the national top 10 during his 10 years at Colorado. The Buffaloes had the nation's sixth-best winning percentage in the nation from 1988-94.

    Overall as a defensive coordinator, programs Hankwitz has worked with have posted a record of 148-67-6 during his tenure. Further, Hankwitz has more bowl experience than any other UA coach, with the Rose Bowl appearance as a player and 18 other bowl teams as a coach, including the 1990 Colorado national championship club, three Big Eight title squads, to Big Ten title teams, two Big 12 South title winners and one Big 12 championship club.

    John Mackovic
    UA's 26th head coach ended his 20th year as a collegiate head coach, athletics director or professional head coach Sept. 28 after two and a half seasons in Tucson. Mackovic leaves the UA just five victories shy of the 100-victory level, and was the Pacific-10 leader in career victories, a highlight now in the hands of Oregon's Mike Bellotti (92-55-2).

    Mackovic had a 3-0 record in his season openers at Arizona, matching the most recent such streak by Jim Young from 1973-75 when Mackovic was offensive coordinator at UA.

    Arizona's passing game re-emerged under his direction in his first two years, and this year started a bit slowly as the mentor's strategies were in the hands of three untested young players - freshman, redshirt freshman and sophomore quarterbacks.

    If the eventual UA staff that should emerge by the end of the year can continue Mackovic's recruiting success in Tucson, the program will be further bolstered by outstanding young talent. The staff relied on such raw recruits throughout the Mackovic tenure.

    Off the field several of Mackovic's charges enjoyed some outstanding positive rewards -- successive players earned spots on the America Football Coaches Association Good Works Team - Eli Wnek and Johnson - and the latter won the Woody Hayes National Scholar Athlete Award in 2002. Both were Verizon Academic All-District VII honorees. Arizona recorded a program-high four first-team Academic All-Pac-10 selections in 2001 and backed that up with two more citations a year ago. Overall, 13 players were first or second-team selections or honorable mention Pac-10 All Academic in his two years. His focus on the total student-athlete was underscored by nine national academic/citizenship honor winners during his collegiate career.

    Mackovic's first Arizona team unveiled a sophisticated offensive attack that produced a 2,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and a near 1,000-yard receiver, while his second club developed a 3,000-yard passer and 1,300-yard receiver. The 2002 club established a number of high-water offensive marks and historical UA top 10 ratings. He developed an untested quarterback, Jason Johnson, into a leader who helped post five 400-yard passing games in Mackovic's brief UA tenure, and the team exceeded 400 yards in total offense 10 times in Mackovic's 28 games.

    Mackovic earned several major honors during his career prior to his arrival at Arizona -- Walter Camp Foundation National Coach of the Year in 1979 (at Wake Forest) and a four time conference Coach of the Year -- ACC ('79), Big Ten ('88, '89), SWC ('95)Mackovic was one of 32 Division I-A head coaches this year who played quarterback in college (Wake Forest), joining the likes of Bobby Bowden, Lloyd Carr and Pac-10 colleagues Dirk Koetter, Jeff Tedford and Buddy Teevens. .Mackovic was appointed a year ago as the District 9 representative on the Board of Trustees of the American Football Coaches Association.

    The Last Time vs. WSU - Oct. 26, 2003, Tucson
    A good effort by Arizona's defense kept the game in question throughout, but ninth-ranked Washington State used patience and took advantage of some key Arizona miscues to post a 21-13 victory. The Cougars hit the scoreboard first when a sack caused UA quarterback Jason Johnson to fumble through the end zone for a safety late in the first quarter. Otherwise, WSU ran 17 plays for 54 yards on five possessions in the period. The Cats' Carlos Williams blocked a field goal in the second frame and UA took a 3-2 lead three exchanges later on a Bobby Gill career-best 47-yard field goal. After the Cougs answered with a field goal, UA made its best drive of the game, moving 61 yards for a 10-5 halftime lead on Bobby Wade's 27-yard TD catch. To open the second half, WSU marched in 11 plays - five on rushes by Jermaine Green (29-119) -- to pull within two, 10-8, on a field goal. Arizona answered with a season-best 19-play drive - including two nullified punts - for another Gill field goal to make it 13-8. WSU's Jason Gesser rallied his troops and completed four passes on the next possession including a 16-yard TD strike, and WSU held the lead for good. WSU sacked Johnson twice on the Cats' next possession, then five minutes later sacked him a sixth time to force another fumble that WSU recovered for a short-field TD drive to make it 21-13. Johnson threw his second interception two plays later and Green went to work eating clock with some tough rushing. In all, Johnson was sacked seven times for -58 yards, one reason Arizona finished with minus-17 yards rushing. The Cats managed their lowest offensive output of the year, 207 net yards, lost the turnover battle, and squandered some good opportunities. UA's Bobby Wade continued to catch the ball, finishing with nine grabs for 83 yards. UA linebacker Lance Briggs had 14 tackles, returned a fumble nine yards, had a sack and two TFL, plus knocked down two passes in a good defensive effort.

    Bring it On
    The Cats need to keep their pedal to the metal, so to speak, and store any momentum gained in a closely played contest last week. The WSU game will be the fifth consecutive against a team that has been ranked in the Top 20 this year. The Cougars check in at No. 14. Arizona's 2003 schedule was known to be tough ahead of time, and the first half of the season has underscored the notion. The Wildcats will face 10 bowl teams in 2003. Louisiana State, Purdue and TCU were ranked in preseason and Oregon and Purdue made the charts around the time of their games with UA, as has Washington State. Other Pac-10 Conference affiliates USC, Washington and Arizona State also earned preseason Top 25 status in the AP poll. The way Pac-10 teams have played in recent weeks, it's evident that nothing will be easy for Arizona the rest of the way. The Wildcats are planning on making sure nothing's easy for their opponents, too, and made a little demonstration last week against TCU.

    Heave, Ho
    Quarterback Kris Heavner joined five other true freshmen around the country to start for a Division I-A team this year. Kevin Kolb of Houston, Reggie Ball of Georgia Tech, Brady Quinn of Notre Dame, Chris Leak of FLorida and John Beck of BYU also have started games this year. Arizona, with redshirt freshman Ryan O'Hara's start at Purdue Sept. 20, has had two freshman starters this year. Heavner's start against TCU made him the first Wildcat true freshman to start at the position since Ronnie Veal started almost exactly 16 years ago on Oct. 3, 1987, against Bowling Green in Tucson. The last true freshman quarterback to play was Brady Batten in 1993. He played in the season opener, handing off on the final play of the game against UTEP. He later played a couple of series at Illinois, played in six series at Oregon State, four series at UCLA and played on the final drive of UA's victory over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl. A shoulder injury forced him to redshirt in 1994. The last redshirt freshman to start at quarterback was Ortege Jenkins against San Diego State on Oct. 4, 1997, in Tucson. In his initial action, Veal rushed 23 times for 134 yards and three scores, and completed nine of 15 passes for 164 yards. The rushing figure stands as the most ever by a UA signal caller. In his debut, Jenkins completed 17 of 32 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns, plus added 28 rushing yards on 11 totes.

    QB, or not QB...
    Arizona enters the WSU game week with some options under center - true freshman Kris Heavner, sophomore Nic Costa or redshirt freshman Ryan O'Hara. The last time Arizona started three different quarterbacks in a season was in 1997, when Keith Smith and Jenkins shared the role and then-senior Batten started the team's appearance in the Insight.com Bowl. George Malauulu (4), Billy Prickett (2) and Chuck Levy (4) each started regular-season games in 1991. Arizona coaches anticipated that the month of September would be a selection process. If Heavner's full game against TCU was an indication, perhaps they've settled on the youngest of the trio. Costa started the first three games with mixed results. In the opener he was effective passing (6-for-10, 119 yards, 0 INT, 1 TD) and running (3-33, 1 TD), plus led the team on four scoring drives in stewardship of six possessions. Against LSU he struggled, with three completions in 11 attempts, for 21 yards. Against Oregon he completed five passes (in nine attempts) for 33 yards. At Purdue he was the llub's leading rusher, with 47 yards, but 1-for-4 throwing. OHara led the Cats on its other two scoring drives against UTEP including a nifty 79-yard touchdown throw to Lance Relford for O'Hara's first career TD toss. Against the Tigers, O'Hara complete seven throws in 20 attempts (79 yards) and had one intercepted. He led UA on its lone offensive scoring drive. He led the team on its two scoring drives against Oregon, including a season-best 11-play drive helped by a UO roughing-the-passer call. At Purdue, he had his first start and played much of the first half, completing seven of 15 passes for 39 yards. Heavner, in the first action of his career, led the team on its lone scoring drive at Purdue, with modest 5-for-12 throwing and one interception. For the season, Costa has the best efficiency rating, thanks largely to no interceptions and one fumble lost. O'Hara has more than twice as many passing attempts as Costa, 78 to 34, but also four interceptions. In his two appearances Heavner's totals are 41 attempts, 19 completions, four interceptions, 331 yards and two touchdowns. QB of Record in Starts: Costa 1-2 ; O'Hara 0-1; Heavner 0-1.

    Play Calling
    Mike Hankwitz' ascension to head coach on Sunday had one immediate effect - Arizona lost its play caller, John Mackovic. As it's normally a collaborative effort based on planning, strategies and game situations, offensive coordinator Mike Deal said on Monday that coaches would work out Arizona's play-calling communication sometime this week.

    Running Game
    Coaches put considerable focus on improving UA's 43-yards-per-game 2002 rushing attack. So far the Cats are averaging double that, at 88.2 yards per game, but there is plenty of room for improvement. A trio of halfbacks - Clarence Farmer, Mike Bell and Beau Carr - have the talent. Farmer led the Pac-10 in 2001 with 1,229 yards rushing. Bell leads backs this year with a 4.2-yard average per carry. Carr returned to action at Purdue, and started the TCU game after missing the early part of the season attending to schoolwork. UA's front line was expected to be a cohesive group after spring ball, but injuries have made cross-training necessary for that group, with the loss of starter Brandon Phillips and potential starter John Parada. Farmer ran for an average of 7.6 yards on eight carries against LSU. Bell started the first four games. This week the team faces the nation's No. 16 rushing defense, allowing close to what UA averages - 84.6 yards per contest.

    Turnover Tales
    UA is doing a good job with 11 turnovers gained... but rated 85th nationally with 14 lost for a No. 106 rating in turnover margin (-.6.). Interceptions thrown by quarterbacks Kris Heavner (4) and Ryan O'Hara, and holder James Molina (1) and wide receiver Lance Relford (1) have hurt the margin. Against TCU, the Horned Frogs followed a Heavner interception with a 98-yard play - not exactly gift-wrapped points, but 'turnover' points nonetheless, plus Heavner threw another interception in overtime to end UA's possession after only two plays. TCU followed with the game-winning field goal. UA suffered its worst day at Purdue, where four turnovers led to 23 Purdue points. UA scored its lone touchdown after a Tony Wingate interception. Gift-wrapped possessions like a lost fumble at the UA 21 yard-line and an interception at the UA 22 yard-line helped Purdue make a couple of thank-you drives for touchdowns. Oregon also recovered a UA fumble inside the red-zone for a near freebie drive.

    Farmer's Climb
    UA senior halfback Clarence Farmer is 16 yards shy of moving into the No. 6 spot on UA's all-time rushing chart. He has 2,374 career yards, just behind fullback Jim Upchurch (2,389 from 1972-74). Were it not for an injury that kept him out of the final eight games of the 2002 season, Farmer had a chance to be the only Wildcat to lead the Cats in rushing for four consecutive years - assuming he can do so this year. Since 1958, four Wildcat backs have led the club in rushing in three years - Hubert Oliver (1978-80), David Adams (1984-86), Ontiwaun Carter (1992-94) and Trung Canidate (1997-99). All four of those backs are ahead of Farmer on the all-time career rushing chart.


    The WSU game will be produced by Fox Sports Net Northwest for tape-delay showing at 11 a.m. Sunday statewide on FSNA.


    Reggie's Roles
    Offensive guard Reggie Sampay has quietly built up a total of 28 starts at three different positions in the middle of UA's offensive front - five at center and two at left guard as a true freshman in 2000; six at left guard and two at center in 2001; one at center, four at right guard and four at left guard last year; and three at left guard and one at right guard this season. A knee injury against Purdue kept him on the sidelines for the TCU game. Junior center Keoki Fraser gives UA some more continuity, with 19 starts at center, broken as a streak by the season opener a year ago when he was banged up. That gives him 16 consecutive starts.

    The Scoring Zone
    UA opened the year with four touchdown in four pentetrations inside UTEP's 20 yard-line; since then: 3 trips for one TD and one FG. That's a fine TD rate, but pales with the 21 opponents' possessions inside the red zone in the last four losses - and 18 scores. Last year UA made touchdowns only 44 percent of the time in the scoring zone. Oregon was 6-for-6 (4 TDS) and Purdue was 5-for-5 (4 TDs).Arizona: 7 Scoring Zone Possessions - 6 scores (5 TD, 1 FG) = 86% scoring; 71% TDOpponents: 21 Scoring Zone Possessions - 18 scores (13 TD + 5 FG) = 86% scoring; 62% TD1st-and-Goal: Arizona - 2 times, 2 TD. Opponents - 11 times,10 TD + 1 FG.

    The Scoring, Period
    Arizona has given up 186 points this year, putting it in jeopardy of reaching the school-record of 377 points allowed during the 2001 season. The 1999 Cats gave up 364 markers, the No. 2 figure in a century of UA football. The program has allowed opponents to score more than 300 points only five times, but all in the past 12 seasons.

    Third Down
    UA has suffered an 11-for-59 third-down conversion rate in the last four games, including a 1-for-13 evening on third down against LSU - when it didn't convert until the third quarter. Coaches want 42 percent effectiveness on conversion plays and Arizona sits at 25% entering the WSU game. Against UTEP the team had a good night, with eight successful plays in 16 tries. Against Oregon, because of penalties the first two third downs UA faced were 3rd-and-24 and 3rd-and-8. As for opponents on third down, UTEP was modestly successful with 7 conversions in 18 attempts, while LSU was 7-for-12 and Oregon 8-for-17. Purdue was 7-for-16. UA did a good job against TCU, holding it to a 4-for-19 rate, its best defensive effort of the year. The Horned Frogs faced 14 third-and-long plays (5 yards or more).

    QB Sacks
    Arizona and opponents each have 12 sacks. The Cats had five against TCU, its best effort of the year. UA did not get to the QB against Oregon or Purdue, while those teams had three apiece. Against LSU, the club corralled the quarterback three times. Against the Miners in the season opener, UA recorded four sacks and its offensive line did not allow a sack. Against LSU the line did a good job of holding the Tigers to two sacks. Oregon, Purdue had the three each. Offensive coordinator Mike Deal and the entire offensive staff took a part in developing better pass protection by players on each offensive unit. The Cats were No. 7 nationally among I-A teams with 74 quarterback sacks from 2000-2001, but last year slipped to 26 sacks, ninth in the league. On the other side of the ball, the 2002 team was last in the league in allowing 52 sacks by opponents, well above the single-game offensive goal of 1 sack per 20 attempts.

    Best Foot Forward
    Sophomore Danny Baugher and senior James Molina each have punted since about mid way through the 2002 season, possibly an indication that the job isn't exactly settled. Baugher started all five games this year and has enjoyed successive games with good kicking - eight punts for a 47.6 individual figure and 44.3 net punting against TCU. At Purdue he had a 43.4 average on eight kicks. Molina also kicked in the first four games and has the a season figure of 40.8 (to Baugher's 42.6). Arizona has punted 38 times in the past four weeks - 10 vs. LSU, nine vs. Oregon and 11 at Purdue and eight vs. TCU. Arizona's net punting average is improving (36.0). The figure was skewed largely when LSU's Skyler Green took one back 62 yards for a score.. Arizona has caused fumbles on punt returns by UTEP and Oregon.

    Cats in the NFL
    Sixteen Wildcats were on NFL Kickoff Weekend rosters. They included offensive lineman Kevin Barry of Green Bay, linebacker Brant Boyer of Cleveland, linebacker Lance Briggs of Chicago, linebacker Tedy Bruschi of New England, tailback Trung Canidate of Washington, tight end Brandon Manumaleuna of St. Louis, cornerback Chris McAlister of Baltimore, offensive lineman Frank Middleton of Oakland, punter Josh Miller of Pittsburgh, offensive lineman Edwin Mulitalo of Baltimore, receiver Dennis Northcutt of Cleveland, linebacker Antonio Pierce of Washington, linebacker DaShon Polk of Buffalo, linebacker Joe Tafoya of Chicago, receiver Bobby Wade of Chicago and linebacker Ray Wells of Tennessee. Quarterback Jason Johnson was in the Bills' camp until the start of the regular season. Nine-game 2002 starting linebacker Marcus Bell of Seattle also was released prior to opening weekend.

    Notes...

  • True freshman quarterback Kris Heavner's 276 yards passing against TCU was the most by a true freshman since Tom Tunnicliffe threw for 328 yards on a 23-for-38 day at Washington in 1981 (UA lost, 45-22)....
  • Six quarterbacks have torched the Cats in the last four weeks. TCU's Brandon Hassell threw a 98-yard touchdown pass, the longest play ever run against Arizona, near the close of the second quarter. He finished with 246 yards on 12 completions - 21 yards a pop. LSU quarterbacks Matt Mauck and Marcus Randall completed 71 percent of their throws for 11.96 yards per attempt, including a throw each (Mauck, 48 yards; Randall, 55 yards) for scoring bombs. The Ducks' Kellen Clemens and Jason Fife combined for 69 percent completions for 283 yards and scoring tosses of 65 yards (Clemens) and 30 yards (Fife). Purdue's Kyle Orton completed 16 of 28 throws for 261 yards and three scores, including TD darts of 35, 81 and 43 yards. The 81-yard play came with under a minute remaining in the first half and changed the complexion of a 17-0 game. All of those teams had success running the ball - each garnered over 200 yards...
  • Since the start of the 2000 season, Arizona is 1-15 against ranked teams. Its lone victory came against No. 18 USC in Los Angeles in 2000...
  • True freshman receiver Syndric Steptoe has put himself on the field this year, thanks to some speed and verve as a kick returner. He has returned 14 kickoffs for a 19.1-yard average, including a long return of 41 yards against Oregon. Steptoe also has returned five punts for an average of 4.8 yards per return. He was a high school (Bryan, Texas, HS) sprinter and long jumper, and played quarterback, receiver and running back as a prep...
  • UA sophomore receiver Biren Ealy has started quickly in his second year, with 20 receptions for 272 yards, and two scores. The pace puts him in position to break into UA's single-season Top 10 receptions chart, where Richard Dice (56 in 1994) and Jeremy McDaniel and Dennis Northcutt (58 grabs in 1998 and 1997, respectively) sit at Nos. 8-10 on the list. All three of those players had more experience on the field at the quarterback spot than does Ealy. Dan White was a returning junior starter in 1994 and Keith Smith was a returning sophomore starter for McDaniel and Northcutt (who also had Ortege Jenkins under center in his 58-catch year.
  • The 108 passing yards three UA quarterbacks totaled at Purdue was the team's lowest aerial output since the 2000 club had 89 yards passing against Oregon State in Tucson. UA had 113 against the Beavers the following year and 116 last season, the two previous lowest single-game passing totals under John Mackovic...
  • Arizona enjoyed the fourth quarter and overtime to some extent against TCU - the Cats had a chance to win. It was the closest of the four losses. The Purdue scoring margin of 52 points was the eighth biggest lop-sided beating UA has endured. The all-time deficit was a 75-0 loss to Michigan State in 1949. USC beat US by 63 points in 1923 (69-6). Minnesota whipped UA 62-0 in 1939. The Trojans had a 56-0 victory in 1925. Washington won in Seattle, 54-0, in 1991 and Michigan State won by the same margin in East Lansing (61-7) in 1948. Colorado won by 53, 65-12, in 1958. Arizona has given up 173 points this year, and average of 43.2, well ahead of (behind?) the school's toughest year in scoring defense, the 34.3 points per game allowed in 2001...
  • Arizona had its longest possession of the season against TCU, marching for 5 minutes and 11 seconds (10 plays, 68 yards) before missing a field goal. Two other season high-water drive marks came on two scoring drives against Oregon, with an 11-play drive (most plays) for a field goal in the third quarter and a 10-play, 97-yard (most yards) drive using 4:14 for a touchdown in the fourth period...
  • Arizona did not throw an interception against Oregon, its only pick-free game of the year...
  • Arizona's 217-yards rushing in the opener was its most since it ran for 258 yards in a humbling 63-28 loss to Oregon on Oct. 6, 2001. Clarence Farmer had 158 yards on 15 carries in that game... The Cats rushed for a combined 191 yards in the three games since...
  • Arizona's 3-0 mark in season openers under John Mackovic matched the 3-0 mark Jim Young posted from 1973-75. The best in UA history was Tex Oliver's 5-0 record in season openers, from 1933-37... Dick Tomey (5-0 from 1992-96) and Miles Casteel (5-0) in 1942 and 1945-48) also had five-game streaks but not in their first five years...
  • Arizona's five 400-yard passing games in the past two years is the Pac-10's highest total, and the Cats' six 400-yard passing games since 1996 rated No. 9 nationally entering the year...
  • Graphic Impact Players of the Game awards following victories are given by the coaching staff and presented in the post-practice huddle Tuesdays, . Honors for the UTEP game went to halfback Mike Bell on offense, co-defensive winners in linebackers Joe Siofele and Matt Molina, and wide receiver Gary Love on special teams.

    Pac-10 Satellite Feed
    The Pac-10 office will uplink interviews and highlights throughout the season from 11:30 a.m to 12 noon (PT) and 2:30-3 p.m. (PT) every Wednesday until Nov. 20. Coordinates are Telstar 6C, Transponder 24.

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