Cats and Bruins to Open Pac-10 Play
Sept. 15, 2008
Teams: Arizona @ UCLA
Date: Saturday, Sept. 20 Kickoff: Noon PDT
Site: Pasadena, Calif. Stadium: Rose Bowl (91,500)
Television: FSN Commentators: Barry Tompkins, Petros Papadakis, Tom Watson
English Radio: 1290 AM. and 107.5 FM (Brian Jeffries, Lamont Lovett, Pedro Limon)
Spanish Radio: 990 AM ESPN Deportes (Abelardo Oquita, Marco Rincon, Pedro Limon)
Arizona and UCLA - Fast Facts
First Meeting: 1927 - Arizona 16, UCLA 13
Last Meeting: 2007 - Arizona 34, UCLA 27
All-Time Series Record: UCLA leads (19-11-2)
Arizona vs. UCLA All-Time:
The 34th all-time meeting between Arizona and UCLA ...The Bruins hold a 19-11-2 edge in the series and have won five of the last seven meetings between the two, but UA has won two of four contests against UCLA under Mike Stoops ... Arizona snapped a series-high-tying four game losing streak to UCLA when the two schools met in Tucson in 2005 ... UA is seeking its first victory at the Rose Bowl since 1999 and only it's third ever (1990).
Some Game Themes: A match of two teams reeling from recent road trips, at a time -- Pac-10 play -- when it doesn't matter what's happened so far... Last week's action does put a spin on this game; who knows what to expect from either club... Put this down: turnovers -- or their management -- will be a key... The only league game on the docket this week... In the rushing department, Arizona (hurt in the category at New Mexico by 221 yards) takes on the team currently rated last in the FBS in rushing thanks in part to its mere 16 rushing attempts at Provo... If the kicking game and field position have a bearing, two good punters in Keenyn Crier of Arizona and Aaron Perez of UCLA and two good return men in UA's Mike Thomas and Terrence Austin of UCLA will have some say, while placekickers Kai Forbath of UCLA and Jason Bondzio of Arizona also have skill to bear... UA's Mike Stoops, No. 5 in the Pac-10 in tenure, meets new UCLA counterpart Rick Nueheisel... UA tests its No. 16 total-defense unit against the Bruins' usual, if trimmed by injury, array of skill people...
Last Week: A pair of fives helped New Mexico defend its home turf and turn back Arizona, 36-28, sending the Wildcats home from Albuquerque in a state of perplexion. UA turned the ball over five times on two interceptions and three lost fumbles, and Lobo place kicker James Aho kicked five field goals for two defining factors. The first was worst -- the turnovers led to 19 points, and four of them gave the Lobos possession inside UA's 25 yard-line for some short-field scores. The fifth turnover led to Aho's last kick, insurance at the 4th-quarter 5:58 mark to put New Mexico up by 15 points. Given good field position throughout, the Lobos rumbled for 221 rushing yards at an average of 4.7 yards per carry, and made the most of some economical passing (14-for-18, 114 yards) by Donovan Porterie. Rodney Ferguson rushed 26 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns. The Wildcats led 7-0 to start the scoring and held a 14-13 lead for seven minutes in the second quarter but UNM took a 20-14 lead at the break and never trailed thereafter. An 11-play, 69-yard scoring drive by the Cats pulled UA to within six points in the third quarter, 27-21, and a late, quick drive (5-66) pulled UA to within eight at the final margin with 4:33 remaining. UA signal caller Willie Tuitama was intercepted twice and lost two fumbles. He completed 27 of 50 passes for 321 yards and three touchdowns but the turnovers quashed any hint that it was an effective game. UNM's defense held UA to 67 net rushing yards on 24 carries, one reason for the 50 throws. Aho's five FGs were an historical high by an Arizona opponent, topping four in four previous games. UA receiver Mike Thomas came within one of a career high and two of the school single-game record with 12 receptions for 136 yards -- his third career 12-catch game. Cornerback Marquis Hundley had his first career interception for UA while linebacker Sterling Lewis recorded nine tackles to maintain his season team lead at 24 in three games. The Cats had eight tackles for loss including two sacks by Ricky Elmore but New Mexico's general control at the point of attack was telling.
Leading the Pac: UA and its players lead the league in a few individual categories. Here are some... Nic Grigsby is first in the league in rushing (125 ypg), first in scoring (12 ppg) and first in touchdowns (6)... Mike Thomas is first in receptions per game (8.7) and receiving yards per game (100)... UA's 70 points against Idaho was a league high, as were the 10 touchdowns in that game. Willie Tuitama's 77 percent completion rate against Toledo is the league best... Keenyn Crier's 69-yard punt at New Mexico is the longest by a Pac-10 punter... UA's defensive job against Idaho (112 yard in total offense) is the best effort thus far...
Sudden Change, Strong Response: UA's defense has been forced into some difficult situations the last two games due to some untimely turnovers by the offense. Against Toledo, a fumble inside the five-yard line left the Rockets with only three yards to go for the first touchdown allowed by the UA defense in six quarters to start the season. Against New Mexico, turnovers put the UA defense up against the wall on five occasions, but the Wildcat defense allowed only one touchdown off turnovers and limited UNM to four field goals despite the outstanding field position. Here's a look at the sudden change outcomes:
UA Turnover UNM Drive Start UNM Score Plays Yards Time
INT UA 11 24-yard FG 4 5 1:55
Fumble UA 23 43-yard FG 4 2 1:30
Fumble UA 10 10-yard TD Run 1 10 0:06
Fumble UA 24 42-yard FG 4 - 2 1:58
INT UNM 39 46-yard FG 5 32 1:55
No Name Defense: After losing some big-name players like 2007 Thorpe Award winner Antoine Cason, Arizona's defense returned only three starters to begin 2008. This year's 'no-name defense' has surprised some early in the season as it has asserted itself as a steady unit, particularly against the pass. The Wildcats rank No. 5 in the nation and lead the Pac-10 allowing only 110 yards passing per game, and rank No. 14 in the country in pass efficiency defense (91.42). Allowing only 17.3 points per game (an improvement from 26 ppg in 2007), UA's defense also ranks No. 16 nationally in total defense allowing only 230.3 yards per game, a mark that is topped only by USC in the Pac-10. Additionally, the Cats are second in the Conference and No. 22 nationally in tackles for loss, averaging 7.0 TFL per game.
Defensive Firsts: As one might expect with only three returning starters, UA's defensive unit is filled with guys who are racking up career best numbers now that they're seeing complete game action. Against Toledo, LB Sterling Lewis filled in for starter Xavier Kelley, who went down with an injury, and the first-year Cat turned in a game-high 12 tackles. Last week against New Mexico, DE's Ricky Elmore (4) and Brooks Reed (6) set new career highs in tackles, with the former recording the first two sacks of his young but promising career. CB Marquis Hundley, who has taken over for the departed Antoine Cason, hauled in his first career interception early in the game against the Lobos.
TV Takes Time: Arizona played its first two games of the year in 2:54 each, in terms of game duration. Neither was on the telly. The UNM game was no different in terms of run-pass mix, but was televised and took an extra 22 minutes -- 3:16. Still, the wind-the-clock rule appears to quicken the pace some. Last year the average UA game took 3:26 and each was three hours or more.
Red Zona: Arizona is 17 for 17 on red-zone chances this year, tied for best in the nation in percentage and one behind Oklahoma's 18-18 mark. Turnovers a week ago thwarted more chances at getting to the red zone, however, and UA settled for two TDs in two trips. The Cats have scored touchdowns on 15 of the RZ excursions, a solid 88 percent.
TDs on the Move: Here's the latest national compilation of touchdowns drives of two-minutes or less. Arizona had a 5-play, 66-yard march last week at UNM to keep it close to the top:
1. Missouri - 11
2. Oklahoma State - 9
Oklahoma - 9
4. Navy - 8
Arizona - 8
Cal - 8
Baylor - 8
Getting `Ant'-sy: With true freshman Keola Antolin sidelined with a sore ankle, Arizona used four other guys as the deep man on kickoff returns last week -- receiver Mike Thomas (2-40), cornerback Devin Ross (1-16), receiver Bug Wright (1-28) and running back Nic Grigsby (0-0). Wings Nick Booth (3-54) and David Douglas (1-10) also had KORs. Antolin broke out with a Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week effort against Toledo, returning three for 98 yards in his first action. UNM kicked deep, kicked short and kicked away-from at times, and Arizona tried a few options, too. Antolin could be back for the UCLA game.
Spreading it Out: That's what happened at New Mexico. Arizona scored four touchdowns, one in each quarter. In between the first two scoring drives there were two turnovers and a five-and-out, in between the second and third scoring drives there were a three-and-out and a turnover, and between the final two there were a three-and-out, two turnovers and a possession lost on downs. Ouch.
Double D: Sophomore receiver Delashaun Dean posted his first career 100-yard receiving game with a 6-106 effort and a score at Albuqurque last week. His previous high for yards was his debut game at BYU last year with four snares for 88 markers. His single-game high for catches is an 8-for-51 game against Stanford a year ago. He has a reception in each of his 15 career games and a total of 53.
2 X 100: Receivers Mike Thomas (136 yds) and Delashaun Dean (106 yds) each surpassed the 100-yard receiving mark against New Mexico, becoming the first UA receiving duo to accomplish the feat in 2008. The last time two Cats went over the 100-yd mark in the same game came against, interestingly, New Mexico in 2007, when three players tallied 100 yards or more (Mike Thomas 7-137, Terrell Turner 7-109, and Anthony Johnson 3-117).
Four Wide: The Cats' fourth receiver is true freshman Juron Criner, who has a pair of starts this year and snared his first career TD catch (28 yards) at New Mexico. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound target is making it clear he'll potentially be the big-wide feature of the UA passing attack one day.
Laying in Wait: A year ago Arizona's Jason Bondzio became the first Wildcat kicker to score 100 points in a season. This year he's put up 22, but mostly on PAT kicks. He's 2-for-3 on three-pointers, both against Toledo. Arizona didn't need treys against Idaho and also had no tries against UNM. Bondzio was 21 of 26 on the play in his first action as a junior, and can do it when asked.
They're Taking Notice: Antoine Cason won the Jim Thorpe Award last year, now a host of other Wildcats are on the early watch lists for major college football awards. Eight different Wildcats are on pre-season watch lists for awards:
QB Willie Tuitama - Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year)/Davey O'Brien Award (Top QB)
WR Mike Thomas - Maxwell Award (College Player of the Year)
OT Eben Britton - Outland Trophy (Top Interior Lineman), Rotary Lombardi Award (Top Lineman)
P Keenyn Crier - Ray Guy Award (Top Punter)
Jason Bondzio - Lou Groza Award candidate (Top Kicker)
C Blake Kerley - Rimington Trophy (Top Center)
TE Rob Gronkowski - John Mackey Award (Most Outstanding Tight End)
LB Ronnie Palmer - Butkus Award (Top Linebacker)
Mike T and 200: With his 12-catch effort against New Mexico, Mike Thomas became only the third Wildcat to ever catch 200 passes in his career. With 211 receptions to date, Thomas is No. 2 among all active FBS receivers, 16 behind senior Jarrett Dillard of Rice and his 227 grabs. Thomas this year moved inside after playing his true freshman, sophomore and junior seasons as a wide-out. Two weeks ago, he turned in a nine-catch, 138-yard (1 TD) game against Toledo.
Willie in the Pac: Willie Tuitama has not only written his name in the UA record books, his arm and UA's spread offense has helped him etch his name into the Pac-10 records and with a similar season in 2008 to the one he had a year ago, he will find himself among the Conference's best. Tuitama is only 2,411 yards away from jumping 21 spots (currently No. 31 with 6,915 yards) in the all-time passing yards, which would put him in the top-10 of one of the Conference's most prestigious record books. Currently No. 27 all-time in touchdown passes with 52, he needs 15 more to tie UCLA's Drew Olson, who currently stands at No. 10. His 2007 total of 3,520 all-purpose yards ranks him No. 11 all-time in single season total yardage, which includes sacks. If he did not lose yards on sacks and only used his total passing yards as the total offense stat (3,683), Tuitama would move himself into the top-10. As is, his single season passing yards total does rank No. 10 all-time, and his 28 touchdown passes in 2007 place him in a tie for No. 14 in a single season. Add in one more scoring toss and he would again find himself in the top-10 of a category.
One of the Pac-10's Best: Like the other half of the TNT connection (Tuitama and Thomas), 'Money' Mike Thomas is moving up the Pac-10 charts. With 83 receptions in 2007, he ranks No. 15 in single season receptions and his 11 touchdown grabs also place him No. 15 in a single season. Thomas is within striking distance of some career marks, including career receptions. The senior playmaker, who has 211 receptions in three-plus years (currently No. 11 all-time), is only 48 catches away from becoming the Pac-10's all-time receptions leader (Derek Hagen, ASU, 258). And while he currently stands at No. 22 in career receiving yards (2,708), a modest - by his standards - 430 more yards this season will move him into the top-10. Lastly, with five more touchdowns, he will find himself among the top-10 all-time leaders in receiving touchdowns (currently t-No. 25 with 21 TDs).
Doing it All: In addition his duties as a WR, Mike Thomas has also served as a threat as a runner on end-arounds and reverses, and he also has returned punts and kicks throughout his career. In doing so, he has racked up 3,748 all-purpose yards, a mark that is the 11th-best in school history. He should move past Chuck Levy (3,795) to assume the No. 10 spot this week and could move past Derek Hill at No. 9 (3,830). See page six of this week's release for the complete Top-10.
Tuitama's Total Offense: Wille Tuitama's 321 yards passing against New Mexico helped him climb into the No. 3 spot on UA's all-time Total Offense chart. Tuitama currently has compiled 6,536 yards of total offense in his career, and trails only Tom Tunnicliffe (7,336) and Keith Smith (7,049).
A New Leader: With his 27 completions against New Mexico, Tuitama (596) surpassed Tom Tunnicliffe as UA's all-time leader in completions (574).
Gronk-WOW-ski: Arizona expects to gain the services of sophomore tight end Rob Gronkowski, who missed the first three games with illness, this week against the Bruins. A year ago, `Gronk' wasted no time moving up the top performance charts in Arizona history at the tight end position. In his first season, he set the UA single-game receiving yardage record for a tight end with his 4-115 effort against WSU, becoming only the second UA tight end to rack up 100 yards in a single game (Mark Keel had the only other tight end 100-yard game with an even 3-100 effort vs. Stanford in 1982). Gronk totaled 525 yards on 28 snares last year to average a whopping 18.8 yards per reception. He looks to exceed the total catch and yardage numbers in 2008 with a year's worth of experience in the offense and improved route-running abilities.
More Robbie: Although he has only played just 12 career games, Gronkowski is already statistically placing himself among the top TEs in school history. A look at what Gronk has done through 12 games against the career totals of some of the best TEs UA has had to offer over the years:
Player Years Rec Yards TDs
Ron Beyer 75-78 53 811 7
Mark Keel 81-82 59 856 6
Gary Parrish 84-85 28 366 1
Richard Griffith 89-92 35 358 2
Mike Metzler 94-96 34 497 6
Mike Lucky 95-98 43 563 4
Brandon Manumaleuna 97-00 40 544 3
Steve Fleming 01-04 50 584 4
Brad Wood 03-06 41 413 7
Rob Gronkowski 07- 28 525 6
Second-Down Conversions: Never heard of it... Get this: Arizona had 28 first downs against Toledo and was only 4-for-8 on third-down conversions. Why? The Cats made 15 first downs on second-down plays, and they weren't all gimmes. They also had six first-down plays go for more than 10 yards to move the chains. On the season, 30 of UA's 70 non-penalty first downs have come on second down, more than the 17 third conversions.
Short Fuses: Mike Thomas (5-foot-8), Nic Grigsby (5-foot-10) and Keola Antolin (5-foot-8) combined for 414 different kinds of explosive yards against Toledo. Thomas had his 159 all-purpose total built with 138 receiving yards and three punt returns for 21 markers. Grigsby had 135 net rushing yards including a 27-yard change-of-direction TD run. Antolin had 98 yards on three kick returns and 22 rushing yards.
Efficiency Under Center: Arizona's school record for pass efficiency rating is held by Keith Smith, who on UA's last bowl team in 1998 finished with a 174.2 rating. Willie Tuitama checked in a sixth on that single-season list in 2005 (136.9), at 10th last year (134.5) and with a 114.3 mark in his concussion-marred 2006 year. This season he's at 151.85 after three games - good enough for No. 25 in the nation to date.
Rush to Judgment: Okay, there's a boatload of games left and many trends to be determined. But Nic Grigsby's 376 rushing yards after three games would have been No. 2 on the team a year ago. The Cats rushed for 927 net yards in 2007 and have 485 entering the UCLA game. Evidently coaches spent more than lip service on re-invigorating the running game. Obviously opponents factor in the early success and UA did only muster 67 yards against UNM.
Rare Occurrence: Nic Grigsby's fumble lost to begin the second half was a rare on for UA running backs. It was the first fumble by a Wildcat running back since Chris Jennings lost a fumble on the final play of the Stanford game in 2007 as UA attempted to recreate its own version of the Cal-Stanford band play. Grigsby's fumble snapped a streak of 173 carries without losing a fumble, the last being Grigsby's fumble at USC in 2007. Grigsby personally held a streak of 134 carries without a fumble before losing on last week.
Ground Attack: Arizona has had 35 or more points six times in the Mike Stoops era including two weeks ago against Idaho, so it's not surprising the 35 points off five rushing touchdowns against Idaho is a tenure high. The multiple spread used all -- well, not exactly -- its nuances against the Vandals, but kept at the rushing game, sending ball carriers into the fray 49 times compared to a total of 31 passes. A week later against Toledo, UA rushed 33 times compared to 34 passes, and racked up 153 yards on the ground. Through three games, UA is averaging 161.7 yards per game on the ground - a number that may not have been expected by many given UA's passing attack.
Senior Status: Willie Tuitama enters his final campaign at Arizona in elite company on a national level. The Stockton, Calif., native is one of seven quarterbacks across the country that has become a four-year starting quarterback after taking over the starting role in the final four games of his freshman season when he helped UA to wins over Oregon State and a Top-10 UCLA team. Here are the other six four-year starters:
Rudy Carpenter, Arizona State
Curtis Painter, Purdue
Mike Teel, Rutgers
Drew Weatherford, Florida State
Pat White, West Virginia
Drew Willy, Buffalo
Decoys are for Hunting: Senior receiver Mike Thomas has played in 38 games and caught a pass in 37 of them. His one miss - the final game of his freshman year on Nov. 25, 2005, at Arizona State. In that game he wore a soft but cumbersome cast on a hand, courtesy of an injury a couple weeks earlier. No passes went in his direction, but he drew coverage as expected anyway. Otherwise, Thomas could challenge for the Arizona record for consecutive games catching a pass. That's held by Dennis Northcutt, who posted 42 successive games with a grab after he was switched from true-freshman cornerback to receiver in late October of 1996, through his senior year in 1999... Northcutt (223) and Thomas (211) join leader Bobby Wade (230) in the all-time threesome for career pass receiving at UA. Northcutt was on the Arizona squad that posted the top two Wildcat per-game offense averages of 471.9 yards ('99) and 444.9 ('98), Wade was part of John Mackovic's passing makeover of the UA attack, and Thomas is now part of Mike Stoops' and Sonny Dykes' system that topped the historical chart with 308 yards passing per game last year. Thomas should emerge as Arizona's all-time pass receiver with anywhere near his 83 grabs from a year ago (26 to date in '08), and if he can match his 1,000-yard junior season he'll push for the career figure in yardage as well. (See `Charting Some Cats' elsewhere in this release for the numbers.) Clearly, there's little doubt you can say `Mike Thomas' in the same Arizona historical context as Northcutt, Wade or Jon Horton and the late Theopolis T. Bell -- among others: playmakers all.
All Guts, No Glory: One thing Arizona brings on its 10-returning-starters offense is a line with some game experience, but it's a unit that is often overlooked in favor of the gaudy statistics produced by the spread offense when all cylinders are clicking. The guys up front are often the keys to making the system work and guard Joe Longacre (29), tackle Eben Britton (26), center Blake Kerley (26) and guard Colin Baxter (13) are a nice starting point. The left tackle spot, where departed Peter Graniello handled duties for 43 career starts, has been assumed by Adam Grant (2 starts), who was plagued by injuries early in his career. The unit helped pave the way for 265 yards against Idaho and 153 against Toledo and averages 161 yards rushing per game in 2008.
TEP Bill: It's a good thing that Tucson Electric Power is a proud sponsor of Arizona Athletics because the Arizona offense hopes to keep electricians busy by lighting up the home side of the scoreboard with points. Entering 2008, the Arizona spread attack returned 10 starters from a year ago and entered the second year of an offensive system that averaged 28.0 points per game, the highest mark for a UA team in six years (29.1 ppg, 2001). Even more impressive was the offensive output in the Wildcats' five wins in 2007, when the unit tallied totals of 45, 48, 48, 34 and 34 points for an average of 41.8 points per game. However, none of those totals match the 70 points put up against Idaho in Week 1 - the third highest total in program history and the most since 1921.On the season, UA is averaging 46.3 points per game, a mark that ranks No. 11 nationally.
Offense Wins Games: While Head Coach Mike Stoops is known for his defensive prowess as a coach, he has realized the need for a high-scoring offense in the Pac-10. Arizona only needs to look back on its 2007 season to understand the importance of scoring points as the Wildcats were a perfect 5-0 when scoring more than 27 points in a game. Arizona failed to post more than 20 points in six of its seven losses, and mustered only 27 points at Cal in a 45-27 loss in September. Last week UA posted 28 points against UNM, but its five turnovers helped lead to 36 points for the Lobos. One could imagine that had UA reduced its turnovers, it likely would have scored more points and flipped the end results into the win column.
Close Calls: Arizona played six games in 2007 that were ultimately decided by seven points or less, including wins at Washington (48-41) and on Homecoming against UCLA (34-27). Unfortunately, UA was on the losing end of such close ball games twice as many times. The Wildcats dropped heartbreakers to New Mexico (29-27), USC (20-13), Stanford (21-20) and Arizona State (20-17). That is four games lost by a combined 13 points (3.25 points per game). In 2008, UA's lone loss to New Mexico was decided by a touchdown (and a two-point coversion).
Arizona's Aerial Assault: Senior quarterback Willie Tuitama helped UA finish No. 10 nationally in passing by tossing for 3,683 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2007, among his school records. There is no reason he can't continue the assault in 2008 and after three outings doesn't look to have missed a beat. He has thrown for 792 yards on the season to go with eight touchdown tosses and two interceptions.
Bondzio, Jason Bondzio: The man with the gold finger, er, toe, for Arizona is senior kicker Bondzio. In 2008, he has connected on two of three field goals and kicked home all 12 extra point attempts. Last year he knocked home 21 field goals in 26 tries. That .808 percentage is the second best in school history and his total made him only the fourth place kicker in Arizona history to make 20 or more. Max Zendejas (1982-85) had numerous last-second winning kicks (like at Notre Dame in 1982) and built a legend with 20 or more his sophomore through senior years, while his successor, Gary Coston was 21-for-24 in 1986 and Lou Groza Award winner Steve McLaughlin was 23-for-29 in 1994. Coston's .875 mark in '86 is the school record. Bondzio scored 100 points on the nose in 2007 (with 37-for-38 PAT support) to make him the first kicker in school history to reach the century mark and the No. 3 spot overall for season scoring. Zendejas, whose nephew Alex is Bondzio's understudy redshirt freshman, had 99 points in 1983 when he kicked 20 field goals and 39 extra points. Here's a look at the historical Made Field Goals chart for UA:
Steve McLaughlin, 1994 23-29 FG, .793, 26-26 PAT
Gary Coston, 1986 21-24 FG, .875, 34-34 PAT
Max Zendejas, 1985 22-29 FG, .759, 23-23 PAT
Jason Bondzio, 2007 21-26 FG, .808, 37-38 PAT
Max Zendejas, 1984 21-27 FG, .778, 23-24 PAT
The Graduates: Two Arizona players already have received degrees, placekicker Jason Bondzio in finance and offensive lineman James Tretheway in mathematics. J.B.'s working on a master's degree, while Tretheway is taking an additional bachelor's degree program in economics. Three other letterwinning Wildcats are anticipated to graduate in December -- H-back Brandon Lopez, offensive guard Joe Longacre and offensive lineman Bill Wacholz.
Century Mark: With 111 points combined in its first two games, UA has eclipsed 100 combined points in consecutive games for the first time since 1954 and only the sixth time in school history. Here is a look at those games:
Year Total Opponents
1952 119 Points vs. Hawaii (W, 57-7)/New Mexico State (W, 62-12)
1916* 114 Points vs. UTEP (W, 41-0)/New Mexico State (W, 73-0)
1954 112 Points vs. New Mexico State (W, 58-0)/Utah (W, 54-20)
2008 111 Points vs. Idaho (W, 70-0) / vs. Toledo (W, 41-16)
1921 105 points vs. UTEP (W, 74-0)/New Mexico State (W, 31-0)
1920 101 points at UTEP (W, 60-7)/vs. New Mexico St. (W, 41-0)
* UA defeated Phoenix Indians 55-0 in between these two games. Such games against non-major college football programs during this era are not counted for statistical purposes.
Sub-200: Arizona's defensive effort against Idaho was the seventh time in the last 11 seasons that the Cats have held a club under 200 yards. Most recently in 2006 UA had a superlative effort at Stanford and held the Cardinal to 32 plays and a total of 52 yards, the Cats' Pac-10 -game record. That season UA held Stephen F. Austin to 50 plays and 196 yards. In 2005 Arizona held Stanford to 58-195. In 2000 the Cats held San Diego State to 66-196. In 1998, the 12-1 team held Oregon State to 54-167 and Hawaii to 60-176.
Records Check: As one might expect in a 70-0 romp, Arizona broke several school records for offensive scoring output against Idaho. The first record to fall was the 28 year old record for most points scored in a single half (42 points against Pacific in 1980 and against UTEP in 1976) as the Wildcats tallied 49 first-half points.In doing so, UA posted 35 second quarter points, breaking the previous high mark set in 1954 when the Cats scored 29 in the third quarter against New Mexico State.
Cloud 9 - UA scored 10 - yes, 10 - touchdowns against Idaho on Aug. 30. What can be more impressive than scoring 10 touchdowns in a single game? How about nine (9) different players scoring those touchdowns. Nic Grigsby (2), Mike Thomas, Marquis Hundley, Chris Gronkowski, Keola Antolin, Terrell Turner, Matt Scott, Nick Booth and Xavier Smith all found the endzone in what is believed to be the most individual touchdowns in a single game in UA history.
Opening Day Rosters: Arizona had 16 former players suit up for NFL opening-week games as active roster members. They included linebacker Lance Briggs-Bears, Tedy Bruschi-Patriots, defensive lineman Copeland Bryan-Ravens, defensive lineman Lionel Dotson-Dolphins, cornerback Antoine Cason-Chargers, kicker Nick Folk-Dowboys, running back Chris Henry-Titans, safety Michael Johnson-Giants, linebacker Spencer Larsen-Broncos, tight end Brandon Manumaleuna-Chargers, offensive lineman Edwin Mulitalo-Ravens, cornerback Chris McAlister-Ravens, receiver Dennis Northcutt-Jaguars, receiver Syndric Steptoe-Browns and receiver Bobby Wade-Vikings.
MOV: Not that any team can or should expect 70-0 performances to be the norm, but UA's 70-point margin of victory last Saturday was a long time coming. It was the largest MOV since 1921 and the third largest in school history. Here's a look at the Top 5 MOV's in UA history:
Point Margin Opponent Year Score
1. 74 UTEP 1921 74-0
2. 73 New Mexico St. 1916 73-0
3. 70 Idaho 2008 70-0
4. 60 South Dakota St. 1956 60-0
5. 59 Arizona St. 1919 59-0
Fresh Faces: Head coach Mike Stoops wasn't blowing smoke when he noted in his pre-opener news conference that a number of new guys had chances to play. In UA's opener against Idaho, a total of 31 players saw their first official game action as Wildcats.
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