Wildcats Give It A Try In Corvallis

Oct. 27, 2003

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The Game - The University of Arizona Wildcats (1-7, 0-4 in the Pac-10) play a Pacific-10 Conference road game Saturday, Nov. 1, in Corvallis, Ore., against the Oregon State Beavers (5-3, 2-2). Kickoff in 35,362-seat Reser Stadium is set for 1 p.m. PST (2 p.m. MST). Fox Sports Net Northwest will produce the game for tape-delay showing at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, and at 12 noon Monday, Nov. 3, on Fox Sports Net Arizona (and by FSNNW). Rich Cellini and Steve Preece will describe the play for FSNNW. The game will be available tape-delay nationally with DirecTV packages.

Some Game Themes - The Cats re-visit a venue that has witnessed several of their nightmarish games of recent years - twin 38-3 losses in 2001 and 2002... UA tries to snap a four-game losing streak at Reser Stadium... A team battling to avoid a second consecutive last-place finish against an OSU club working to stay in upper-tier league bowl position... UA faces the top league rusher, Steven Jackson, on the heels of facing No. 2 in California's Adimchinobe Echemandu... OSU's faces Clarence Farmer... The Beavs work to bottle up UA halfbacks Mike Bell and Clarence Farmer, a week after holding WSU to 3 net rushing yards... UA works to avoid a school-record consecutive loss mark of 8 games. This year's club and the 1957 team each lost seven...

The Series - Arizona leads, 19-6-1, but the Beavers have won the last four on the heels of a UA six-game winning streak from 1993-98... UA's last team to win vs. OSU was its 12-1 club in 1998... Oregon State has run away from Arizona in the last three years by a 109-15 combined score... Typically not a closely played game: one tie (14-14 in 1992), a 21-17 UA victory in 1978 and a 14-9 UA victory in 1995 are the only one-touchdown margins in the series. The rest of the games were decided by an average score of 32-9... UA holds an 8-5-1 edge in games played in Oregon (the teams split at Portland in '66 and '84)...

The Coaches - Arizona: Mike Hankwitz (Michigan '70), enters his fourth game as UA's interim head coach (0-3), his first head coaching job. Hankwitz was appointed Sept. 28 after John Mackovic was relieved of duties. He is in his second stint at Arizona and 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. Oregon State: Mike Riley (Alabama '74), third year at OSU (13-17). He was head coach at Corvallis in 1997-98 before leading the San Diego Chargers for the past four seasons. Riley is 0-2 against Arizona.

Arizona Last Week - California had some early success running the ball, and decided to keep at it in an eventual 42-14 victory over Arizona in Berkeley. UA threatened first, forcing a Cal three-and-out and taking control at its own 44 yard-line, then driving to the Cal 8 yard-line behind three Heavner passes for 39 combined yards. But on second down, Heavner's pass was picked off by Joe Naningo and returned 51 yards back to the UA 44. After reaching the UA red zone after the second quarter started, Cal ran it five successive times and into the end zone for 7-0 lead. Later, a short UA punt of 2 yards gave Cal a 54-yard field and a 25-yard pass from Aaron Rogers to Geoff McArthur gave Cal a 1st-and-goal. Adimchinobe Echemandu gained eight of his eventual 201 rushing yards (and 3 TDs) for a 14-point lead. UA drove, but missed a field goal. Cal tacked on a third score with runs of 23 and a scoring run of 49 by Echemandu. Toward the end of the half, UA drove again, but missed another field goal. In the second half, the Cats took the opening kickoff and put together a swell drive, keyed by a 45-yard run by Mike Bell and a Heavner toss of 15 yards to Ricky Williams. Heavner hit tight end Steve Fleming for the score. UA held and on the ensuing punt Syndric Steptoe's return to midfield was negated by a penalty, and the Cats deflated. The Bears ended up rushing 33 times in the second half (vs. 6 passes) and finished with 327 rushing yards, the most against UA since 1996. They nearly registered a second 100-yard rusher, as JJ Arrington finished with 92 yards on 11 carries and two scores. Bell added a 49-yard scoring run of his own in the fourth quarter and finished the day with 182 net yards on 19 carries (9.6 per tote). But the mistakes, missed red-zone opportunities and inability to tackle when Cal was bottled up, all came at inopportune moments for a team in quest of momentous momentum in trying to snap a losing streak. The loss tied the club with a 1957 Wildcat unit that lost seven consecutive games.

Noting the Beavers...
Oregon State University, Corvallis ** Enrollment: 19,000 ** Colors: Orange & Black ** Conference: Pacific-10 ** 2002 Record: 8-5

The Beavers had their seven-game Reser Stadium winning streak snapped by Washington Oct. 18. Arizona was part of the early string (2nd) with its loss on Nov. 2 a year ago, 38-3... The Beavs have held up their end of the Northwest Pac-10 teams' success in the decade, checking in with 29 victories since the 2000 season. Oregon (33), WSU (31) and Washington (30) are just ahead... USC also has 29... OSU junior tailback Steven Jackson (6-foot-3, 233 pounds), a Doak Walker Award candidate among other prospects, is the clear favorite to win the Pac-10 rushing crown for a second consecutive year. He rates fourth nationally at 126.4 yards per game. He topped the 1,000-yard mark (1,011) last week vs. Washington State with 85 tough yards. He has rushed for 100 yards or more in 16 career games, including a best of 239 yards against California last season. Beavers' quarterback Derek Anderson seems to be getting him the ball more this year as a receiver out of the backfield, with catches in every game and twin highs of five grabs each against Fresno State and Washington... Anderson, a junior, has a 3,000-yard passing season to his credit a year ago and should hit mark this year as well. He's among league leaders in total offense, and he and Jackson are two big reasons the Beavers rank No. 21 nationally in that category... Anderson averages about 37 throws per game, and has been picked off 16 times, however... His top target is split end James Newson, who has 47 receptions for 844 yards. He has a reception in 32 consecutive games. He has 171 career grabs (No. 1) for 2972 yards (No. 1) and 18 TDs (No. 2), all top OSU career figures... On the other side, OSU also has the nation's fifth-rated pass efficiency defense and is No. 11 in rushing defense nationally and No. 22 in total D... Linebacker Richard Seigler is a maniacal force in the middle for OSU. He leads the club with 58 tackles, including a whopping 14.5 for losses. The Beavs have a nice deal going with the interior of their defense, as linebacker Jonathan Pollard, strong safety Lawrence Turner, linebacker Trent Bray and end Bill Swancutt are their other leading tacklers... Swancutt leads the club with 6.5 sacks... Seigler has some career numbers worthy of note: seven interceptions, 19 pass breakups, 50 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, among other highlights, to his credit... Safety Mitch Meeuwsen had three interceptions against WSU last week and is fourth nationally with .75 per game (6 total)... Senior PK Kirk Yliniemi is good. He's kicked 30 field goals in 34 tries in his three seasons of play. His average make: 37 yards. Average miss: 39 yards. Total yards: 1,085. He's been successful on his last 18 tries, including four against WSU. He's 12-for-14 this year. ... The Beavers have piled up 90 penalties for 917 yards...

Pack The House
UA's athletics marketing office is working to secure a packed house for the Cats' next home game of the year, against Washington Nov. 8. A Homecoming weekend crowd is expected to help the effort. Arizona's largest crowd in 56,002-seat Arizona Stadium this year was a crowd of 46,110 for the Louisiana State game Sept. 6. Tickets for the game range from $10 to 27, or more in priority seating areas.

Injury Report - Oregon State Week
Out: OT Brandon Phillips (knee vs. Oregon), OG John Parada (knee, camp), both out for the year. Questionable: LB Justin Stewart (shoulder, missed TCU/WSU/UCLA/OSU).

Miscellany of Late...

...UA's offensive line has held opponents to one sack in the last three games - an intentionally grounding call against the Cats at California...

...Another scoreless first half at California gave the Cats zero points in that stanza in six games this year...

...Arizona's 200-yard rushing effort against California was its third of the year... UA's 400 yards in total offense helped move it past Stanford and UCLA and out of the league cellar in that category...

...Cornerback Michael Jolivette was held out of the first quarter of the Cal game for a team infraction, giving junior Zeonte Sherman his second start of the season... Sherman chipped in with UA's only two pass breakups in the game, plus six tackles...

...Receiver Ricky Williams' six catches (79 yards) at Cal was a career-high, topping twin five-grab games against TCU and UCLA... Redshirt freshman Mike Jefferson snared a low 14-yard catch at Cal, his second career reception, to set up a 1st down at the Cal 11 yard-line, but Kris Heavner was picked two plays later...

...Williams has the team lead with 15.5 yards per catch, while Biren Ealy leads with 55.6 yards per game...

...Junior tight end Steve Fleming had his second TD catch of the year among his career-best four-reception game... He and redshirt freshman Matt Padron have combined to give the position four scoring grabs among the 10 TD tosses by QBs...

...In the UCLA game, UA's 519 yards in total offense was its most in 20 games, since it put up 578 yards in a 51-37 loss to Stanford on Nov. 10, 2001. The Cats had 510 yards in the season opener against Northern Arizona last year...

...UA's 17 interceptions (2.12 per game ) is 115th in Division I-A... The school 'record' is 26 by the 1949 Wildcats...

...Arizona's only defensive or special teams touchdown of the year is a 2-yard fumble return by cornerback Zeonte Sherman against LSU. He also recovered another fumble in that game... Opponents have scored only four defensive or special teams' TDs vs. UA...

...After two misses at Cal, UA is 2-for-9 on field goal attempts this year, challenging the UA's modern-era low of six in a year (20 attempts, 1999)

Arizona Head Coach Mike Hankwitz
The Wildcat camp felt it made a sensational hire shortly before spring practice when Mike Hankwitz was tabbed to be defensive coordinator. He brought a different defensive approach and helped infuse new energy into the UA unit.

Then, six weeks into the season, Hankwitz was 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 became 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 felt would ensure continuity and give the program its best chances for a rewarding 2003 season, in some fashion. The results have been promising despite the Cats' lack of a break-through game.

The UA has begun 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 will be afforded consideration for the position, Livengood said.

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. Injuries and some other losses of personnel since the conclusion of spring practice have since made it necessary for Hankwitz and the defensive staff to change the scheme to more of a 4-3.

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 linebackers 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 148-70-6 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.

Hankwitz has the task of performing both head coaching duties and his normal workload as defensive coordinator. Some coaches do run their club's defense, but they have a 10th man on the staff. Arizona's mid-year switch from Mackovic to Hankwitz puts a bit of a burden on the latter to go both ways. Hankwitz has given considerable rein to coordinator Mike Deal and the offensive staff, but has spoken of the wider view and how it's an important aspect of his two-job situation. For the record, he remains in his coordinator's quarters and has not moved into the office occupied by UA's previous mentor.

The Last Time vs. Oregon State - Nov. 2, 2002 - Reser Stadium, Corvallis
Oregon State dispensed with the notion that bad luck played a role in 2002 UA football and simply dominated from the onset in a 38-3 victory over the Cats in Corvallis. The score was d�j� vu from 2001, but the performance by the Beavers was even better. OSU took the opening kickoff and moved 65 yards in 11 plays for the first score, and scored two more touchdowns on its next three possessions - the last an 86-yard bomb from Derek Anderson to James Newson - while Arizona struggled offensively. Three of UA's first five possessions were three plays or less, and for negative yardage. The Beavers' ultimate six-sack and seven-tackles-for-loss defensive effort was in evidence early. In all, the Wildcats finished with nine possessions of three plays or less and were hit behind the line enough times to result in negative-23 yards rushing, its first sub-zero game in its Pac-10 history. Too, OSU's swarming defense held UA to a Pac-10 historical low in total offense of 93 yards, worse than the previous record 139 vs. USC in 1980. The Cats were not without some positives - a pair of goal-line stands turned OSU back twice, turnovers did not factor, and time of possession was nearly equal. But the Beavers dominated up front with 193 rushing yards, and 264 passing yards for 457 total, and simply stopped everything Arizona tried. UA ended up with a 1.6 yard average on 58 plays, and punted 12 times. A shutout looked possible until a 29-yard run by UA freshman Beau Carr moved Arizona into OSU territory for only the second time in the game, late in the third quarter. Three short pass completions by Jason Johnson later, Bobby Gill knocked home a 43-yard field goal to put the Cats on the board at 31-3. The rest of the game - and most of it, for that matter - was a blur to the Arizona club.

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Sophomore halfback Mike Bell had his second career 100-yard rushing game against California last week, carrying 19 times for 182 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown run, another run of 45 yards and three more over 10 yards. The 182 yards is his career high, as were the 19 totes. He has 316 rushing yards in his last three games, averaging 8.3 yards per rush in the span, and leads the team overall with a scintillating average of 6.2 yards per attempt.

New Guys Under Center
Arizona has featured less than a dozen freshmen quarterbacks who started or played regularly in the last 25 years. Others such as redshirt freshman Nic Costa in 2002, true freshman Brady Batten in 1992 and redshirt freshman Alfred Jenkins in 1983, were behind established starters and played minimally. Kris Heavner joined the mix as a multiple-game starter this year, plus redshirt freshman Ryan O'Hara also started a game earlier in the season before Heavner's ascension.

Running Game Notes
After successive games over the 200-yard mark in rushing, it's evident UA's dismal 43-yards-per-game rushing attack of 2002 is in the dust. The efforts against Cal (28-201) and UCLA (42-276) give it three games this year over the 200-yard mark (also UTEP in the opener - 43-217). The game against the Bruins was Arizona's best effort in 44 games, against the nation's No. 22-rated rushing defense. Much credit goes to the offensive line. The Cats are averaging a modest 123 yards per game, but that's a world apart from the one dimensional attack of a year ago. Sophomore backup QB Nic Costa leads the club with a 6.7 per carry average, followed by sophomore halfback Mike Bell with a 6.2 per carry average. Both starting QB Kris Heavner and Costa are mobile enough to avoid a plethora of sacks, and that's helped the rushing figure. But emphasis by offensive coordinator Mike Deal and head coach Mike Hankwitz has helped even more.

Sudden Change
UA was in the top 20 with turnovers gained all year until a no-takeaway day at Cal dropped it to 45th, with 17 turnovers gained. Two more mistakes - both of which led to Golden Bears touchdowns - kept it near the bottom with 22 turnovers lost (101st in Division I-A) and 91st in margin (-.63). Opponents have a clear 2-1 ratio in sudden-change scoring, 92 points to 42, and therein lies the age-old truth that the turnover battle is paramount. Against UCLA, one interception (of 4) was returned for the eventual winning score, plus the Bruins had seven other TO points. At WSU, Arizona was effective for most of the game, with three takeaways to none, but two late turnovers in a span of 82 seconds in the fourth quarter changed the complexion of the game. WSU took advantage and scored 14 turnover points. UA suffered its worst day at Purdue, where four turnovers led to 23 Purdue points, but 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.

2003 Turnovers: Arizona 22, Opponents 17
Turnover Points: Arizona 42, Opponents 92

Farmer to Top Five?
UA senior halfback Clarence Farmer has moved into sixth on UA all-time rushing chart with 2,530 career yards. His 122-yard game against UCLA Oct. 18 gave him his 11th career 100-yard game. He's poised to move into the No. 5 spot with 42 more yards. If an injury had not kept him out of the final eight games of the 2002 season, Farmer had a chance to join a select group of runners who led Arizona in rushing for three successive years. He still could lead the team three overall times if he pulled it off this year. Four Wildcat backs have led the club in rushing in three successive years - Hubert Oliver (1978-80), David Adams (1984-86), Ontiwaun Carter (1992-94) and Trung Canidate (1997-99). Art 'The Cactus Comet' Luppino could have but an injury thwarted his chances in 1956. All of those running backs are ahead of Farmer on the all-time Arizona career rushing chart:

Possession is Nine-Tenths
The Wildcats trail in time of possession by an overall margin of 54 minutes and 58 seconds. Three teams enjoyed an edge of more than 10 minutes - LSU (12:29), TCU (10:06) and California (11:36). The obvious common thread - rushing success. LSU ran 56 times for 182 yards, TCU ran 56 times for 206 yards and Cal ran an opponent season-high 59 times for 327 yards. Arizona led in time of possession against UTEP and UCLA, its two best rushing games with 217 and 276 yards, respectively. On the season, opponents average 49 rushing attempts per game (vs. 30 passes). Arizona has averages of 31 rushing attempts and 32 passes per game. Arizona has been economical with its offense - its 18 scoring drives have covered an average of 65 yards and taken 2:10 off the clock. The Cats just need more of them.

O-Line Protection
Arizona's offensive line has jelled in recent week and allowed only one sack - a ruling for intentional grounding at California. Some noted pressure from UCLA and WSU failed to get to UA's quarterbacks. Overall, opponents have been held to 13 sacks, the second-best protection in the league. Not bad for a group that weathered four injuries (Tanner Bell/John Parada pre-season, Brandon Phillips/Reggie Sampay in season) that cost potential starts. The unit has started intact for the past four games. Sampay returned to play at California after missing three games and gives the group a versatile backup, minimally. After last season, when UA was 10th in the league in allowing 52 sacks by opponents, the improved protection has been one of the solid developments in the program. UA's current starting line has a freshman (Keith Jackson), two sophomores (Kili Lefotu and Tanner Bell) and two juniors (Keoki Fraser and Chris Johnson), and would return intact next year.

Sacks
Arizona is on a similar pace to last year when it finished with 26 quarterback sacks, ninth in the league.The Cats had two sacks at California, zero against UCLA and three at WSU in their most recent games. The Cats have a season edge of 17-13, so not a whole lot of getting to the QB goes on in Arizona games. The Cats rank ninth in the league with their 17 sacks. Defensive end Matt Molina leads the club with four, while linebacker Joe Siofele and end Andre Torrey have three each. The Cats had five against TCU, their best effort of the year. Against UTEP in the season opener, UA recorded four sacks. Against LSU, the club corralled the quarterback three times. UA was shut out against Oregon and Purdue. The Cats were No. 7 nationally among I-A teams with 74 quarterback sacks from 2000-2001.

The Scoring Zone
Nothing like wasting a red-zone scoring opportunity to spoil your day. At California, the Cats scored seven points in three such possessions. Meantime, the Bears rushed for four touchdowns in their four forays beyond the Cats' 20 yard-line. That typified what's been happening much of the year: the other team is getting more cracks at it. Arizona has been able to hold opponents to touchdowns only 57 percent of the time they penetrate the zone, but has seen the opposition get 19 more tries at it than the Cats. Some of the better efforts for UA came against Washington State when it held the Cougars to one touchdown in four trips, and against UCLA when it held the Bruins to 17 of 42 potential red-zone points. Offensively, UA opened the year with four touchdowns in four penetrations inside UTEP's 20 yard-line; since then: 11 trips for five TDs and one FG.

When it Rains, it Pours
The Cats have done a bunch of things right in the last month but can't seem to get the goods to translate into a bunch of points. Meantime, opponents have been getting the job done. A three-game splurge by LSU, Oregon and Purdue in September dramatically altered the Cats' scoring defense, likely for the entire year. UA held No. 19 TCU, No. 14 Washington State and UCLA to an average of 23 points, then slipped and Cal scored 42. Currently, UA is allowing an average of 35.2 points per game, slightly more than the school mark for highest opponents scoring average by the 2001 team. Arizona has given up 282 points, putting it in jeopardy of reaching the school-record of 377 points allowed during that 2001 season. 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
Third down has not been friendly to Arizona in 2003. The Cats have converted 27 of 113 attempts for a 24 percent factor. Last week UA converted 2 of 11, after bringing more hope with a modest 6 third-down conversions in 14 tries against UCLA. UA was 0-for-13 on third down conversion attempts at WSU and had a 1-for-13 evening on third down against LSU. Against UTEP the team had a decent night, with eight successful plays in 16 tries. Opponents have a better success rate, converting 56 of 128 for 44 percent success. California had the best success with 10 conversions in 16 tries. 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). UA's defense forced WSU and UCLA to each face 11 plays of 3rd-and-5 or longer.

Jolivette Picks a Spot
Senior cornerback Michael Jolivette intercepted the 12th pass of his career against UCLA, his second in as many weeks. Both thwarted red-zone opportunities by the opponents. Versus the Bruins he picked it off at the 3 yard-line; at Washington State he made the interception in the end zone to help Arizona stop a 1st-and-goal opportunity by an opponent for the only stop against 1st-and-goal in 18 such tries this season. Jolivette had five interceptions as a redshirt freshman, five as a sophomore, then was blanked last year when he missed most of the year with a knee injury. His 12th pick moved him into a tie for ninth on the Arizona career chart. Excluding two players (Ricky Hunley, Tony Bouie) on the chart who had career 'intercepted fumbles' under the old rule (the ball not hitting the ground), he's tied at No. 8. (Those guys had 11 interceptions and two intercepted fumbles.) He needs one more interception to tie for sixth on the list. Jolivette already is Arizona's career leader in passes defensed with 42, four more than former All-American safety Chuck Cecil (who's atop the INT chart with 21).

Season Odds & Ends...

Tough...Five of the seven losses came to teams ranked, or since ranked, in the Top 20. Arizona's 2003 schedule includes 10 bowl teams. 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 did Washington State. Other Pac-10 Conference affiliates USC, Washington and Arizona State also earned preseason Top 25 status in the AP poll, while Oregon State made the polls for a few weeks...

1st Half...Arizona had not scored in the first halves of Games 2-6 this year, then made a statement with 21 first half points (and an 11-point) lead against UCLA, the Pac-10's then top-rated defensive team. In the shutout streak, UA trailed at halftime by an average of 20 points. The Cats hung tougher against TCU and Washington State, facing only 7- and 13-point deficits after two periods. At California, however, UA blew two a pair of first-half red zone opportunities and was held scoreless in the first half again... The combined first-half scoring: Opponents 133, Arizona 56...

Picking on QBs...UA's passers have tossed 15 interceptions, plus holder James Molina threw a pick on a broken field goal attempt and receiver Lance Relford opened the TCU game with an interception throw on a razzle-dazzle try...

Tackling...Senior linebacker Joe Siofele's 11-tackle game at Cal moved him into the team lead with 53, just ahead of sophomore free safety Darrell Brooks (51) and senior rover Clay Hardt (50)... Sophomore strong safety Lamon Means had a career-high 11 tackles and knocked down two passes at Washington State and checks in with 45... The last defensive back to lead Arizona in tackles was sophomore free safety Tony Bouie (a 1994 All-American) with 86 on UA's 4-7 club in 1992... Cornerback Gary Love had nine tackles in the UCLA game... Backup safety Tony Wingate had a career-high nine tackles at California...

WR...Sophomore Biren Ealy's five catches for 100 yards against the Bruins was UA's second 100-yard game of the year. Junior WR Ricky Williams' 135 reception yards on five catches against TCU was the first. Both were individual firsts for the pair, who are developing into a solid twosome. Last year UA had Bobby Wade (93 catches) and Andrae Thurman (61), plus a veteran QB. Williams and Ealy are helping UA's young signal callers...

OL...Redshirt freshman left guard Keith Jackson had his fifth start against Cal, and right tackle Tanner Bell started for the fourth time this year...UA's continuity on the front line has been improved since those two have shown they could take over for Reggie Sampay and Brandon Phillips, respectively...

QB Notes...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 Brady 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. Kris Heavner (4), Ryan O'Hara (1) and Nic Costa (3) have started the 2003 games in that reverse order. The Quarterback-of-Record in Starts: Costa 1-2; O'Hara 0-1; Heavner 0-4... Heavner joinsd six 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, John Beck of BYU and Austin Everson of Ohio also have started games this year. Kolb and Ball are regulars. 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... 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)... ...Arizona did not throw an interception against Oregon, its only pick-free game of the year...

Punting...Sophomore punter Danny Baugher is ranked No. 34 in the nation with his 42.3-yard average this week. He put an end to competition with senior James Molina a few weeks ago after a year-long battle... UA had punted 49 times in five weeks - 10 vs. LSU, nine vs. Oregon, 11 at Purdue, eight vs. TCU and the baker's dozen at Wazzu, before a 500-yard offensive day against UCLA kept it to only two punts... He kicked six times for 42.0 at Cal... The Cats are 60th nationally in net punting... With UA's 0-for-11 third-down conversion mark at WSU, Baugher trotted out and kicked 11 times, just two shy of the individual school record of 13 by three different UA punters four different times... The Cats could top the school mark of 92 punts by the 1967 team. UA has 63 punts...

Rushing...Four opponents ran the ball more than 50 times against Arizona in September, and had success doing do: LSU 56-182, Oregon 56-210, Purdue 52-292, TCU 56-206. The Boilermakers' rushing total was the most against Arizona in the past 14 games (North Texas, 2002, 280 yards), and the most since Arizona State ran for 450 yards in the 1996 season finale...

3&Out...UA had five 3-and-out possessions at California after only two 3-and-out possessions against UCLA. The Cats had 10 three-and-out possessions against TCU... ...Arizona has held opponents to 20 total possessions of three plays or less. Opponents have forced the Cats into 53 total three-and-out possessions...

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.

Top 25...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...

OL Starts...Offensive guard Reggie Sampay had 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 past three games. Junior center Keoki Fraser gives UA some more continuity, with 22 starts at center, broken as a streak by the season opener a year ago when he was banged up. That gives him 19 consecutive starts...

Deficit...The Purdue scoring margin of 52 points was the eighth-biggest lopsided beating UA has endured. The all-time deficit was a 75-0 loss to Michigan State in 1949...

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 OSU game will be shown tape-delay on Fox Sports Net Arizona at 2 p.m. Sunday (Nov 2) and again Monday at 12 noon (MST). One other UA game (at ASU) has been pre-selected for national television and UA partner FSNA may produce additional games. Fox Sports Digital Nets also will distribute games produced by FSN this year.

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 'Mondays in the Huddle,' a public gathering at McMahon's Steakhouse at noon Mondays. 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.

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