Nothing To Lose vs. Everything To Gain
Nov. 11, 2003
The Game - The University of Arizona Wildcats (2-8, 1-5 in the Pac-10) close their home schedule with a nationally televised (TBS) game against the No. 2-ranked Southern California Trojans (8-1, 4-1) on Saturday, Nov. 15. Kickoff in 56,002-seat Arizona Stadium is set for 5:10 p.m. Ron Thulin, Charles Davis, Craig Sager and Erin Andrews will describe the play for Turner Sports.
Some Game Themes - A more confident UA club coming off a needed victory takes on a BCS juggernaut... UA hopes to keep improving while USC fights to keep alive its chances for a shot at the national title game... The Cats play host to the highest-ranked team they've played since facing No. 1 Washington in 1992 (UA 16-13 victory)... The last Wildcat victory over a ranked team came against then No. 15 USC on Oct. 7, 2000, in Los Angeles, 31-15... The Trojans enjoyed an open date last week and come rested and eager for the contest... UA faces its ninth game against a team that's been in the national rankings this year... UA takes a shot at giving USC its first November loss in three years under coach Pete Carroll... The Cats face a team that has won 16 of its last 17 games... UA looks to assuage the sting of early-season back-to-back blowout losses on TBS... ...Since the start of the 2000 season, Arizona is 1-15 against ranked teams - that USC game above...
The Series- Southern California leads 20-6, the most one-sided series UA has against league opponents... Arizona has won two of the last four and five of the last 10 games... USC's victory in the last game played (41-34 in 2001), snapped a two-game Arizona winning streak... USC holds a 7-3 edge in games played in Tucson... The Cats last won in Tucson in 1999 by a score of 31-24...
The Coaches - Arizona: Mike Hankwitz (Michigan '70), enters his fifth game as UA's interim head coach (1-4), his first head coaching job. Hankwitz, who joined the UA staff last spring, 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. Southern California: Pete Carroll (Pacific '73), third year at USC (25-8) and third year overall as a head coach. Carroll left a 16-year NFL coaching career, including four as a head coach, to take the USC job. He is 1-0 against Arizona.
Arizona Last Week - Arizona made the plays when it counted and caused the other team to do the post-game whining about lost opportunities. It could be said that you do or you don't, and this time the Cats did, to put to rest a couple of unsatisfying program marks - snapping school-record eight-game and home-field 13-game league losing streaks in beating the Huskies, 27-22, before a Homecoming crowd of 48,319. Halfback Mike Bell rushed for 222 yards and touchdowns of 69, 67 and 37 yards. His effort - and that by the linemen in front of him - underscored the Cats' improvement over the course of the past months: getting tougher. Naturally, the game's outcome required a similar tack by the UA defense, which acquitted itself well. Washington QB Cody Pickett (351 passing yards) and all-everything receiver Reggie Williams (13-121) put up some numbers that shined, but none of that chemistry directly put one point on the board. The Cats held Washington to 2.9 yards per rush, sacked Pickett four times, and made UW's attack predictable enough at the end to give UA a chance at a welcome victory. UA rover linebacker Clay Hardt checked in with a career-high 14 tackles including 10 solo hits, while safeties Lamon Means and Darrell Brooks had nine apiece. Defensive end Marcus Smith had two of the sacks among three tackles for loss. Arizona trailed at the end of the first quarter, half and third period, but Bell ripped off the 69- and 37-yard touchdown runs half way through the fourth period. Washington had a chance to revive its heroics of three recent years when fourth-quarter comebacks helped beat Arizona. The Huskies cut the lead to 27-16 on Pickett's four-yard touchdown throw to Corey Williams, then held UA and again drove into UA territory with two minutes left. But successive false start penalties pushed the Dawgs back to the UA 39 yard-line. UA linebacker Pat Howard broke up one Pickett pass, the QB was high on another, then Means dove to tip away a fourth-down throw and the Cats got the ball with 1:04 remaining. UA enjoyed taking a knee three times, and the game was over.
Noting the Trojans...
University of Southern California ** Los Angeles ** Enrollment: 28,600 ** Colors: Cardinal & Gold ** Conference: Pacific-10 ** 2002 Record: 11-2
...USC has an outstanding team, and the total package shows on paper. The Trojans rank first nationally in net punting (43.2), third in rushing defense (68.2 ypg), fifth in turnover margin (1.44), sixth in scoring (40.2 ppg), and ninth in passing efficiency (154.18). Opponents have basically been held to one option - throw the ball. But USC has 35 sacks and has intercepted 13 passes - returning four for scores... Punter Tom Malone is averaging 49.2 yards per kick, but the offense is so successful that his 32 attempts don't qualify him for the NCAA rankings, atop which he would sit by a tidy margin if he just had one more punt this year... Sophomore quarterback Matt Leinart is a sizeable lad (6-foot-5, 220) who's having a terrific campaign in 2003. He has 24 touchdown passes, has completed 62 percent of his throws and rates ninth nationally with a 160.05 pass efficiency rating... He tossed seven touchdown passes in the Trojans' last two games (against the Washington schools)... Junior outside linebacker Matt Grootegoed is a semi-finalist for the Butkus and Lombardi Awards. He has 40 tackles in seven games played this year (missed the last two games) and was a first-team All-Pac-10 pick a year ago... Then, too, the Trojans boast a finalist for the Ted Hendricks Award for the nation's top defensive end, in junior Kenechi Udeze. The three-year starter has 10.5 sacks among 16 tackles for loss and 37 total tackles... Then, too -- and maybe as prominent a who's-who player as any on its club -- USC has Biletnikoff Award semifinalist Mike Williams, sophomore receiver. He has 54 catches for 786 yards this year, 135 in his young career, ten 100-yard games to his credit, and 22 touchdowns in 21 games... Naturally, USC has the 'other' receiver, senior flanker Keary Colbert (49-729, 7 TD)... USC has the passing attack, but Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Norm Chow have helped re-establish some 'Tailback U' punch. Freshman LenDale White (571 yards), sophomore Herschel Dennis (518) and freshman Reggie Bush (335) lead a young corps that has averaged 167 yards per game, best in the Pac-10... Bush averages 23 yards on kickoff returns... Junior place kicker Ryan Killeen is one of 20 semi-finalists for the Lou Groza Award. This year he's hit 80 percent of his field goal tries (15-for-19) and 43 of 44 extra-point kicks. He's No. 8 nationally with 9.8 points per game, best in the league, and has kicked 21 touchbacks among 61 kickoffs. Six more PATs gives him a tie for the USC season record held by Mike Rae ('72) and Eric Hipp ('79)... Obviously, that means the Trojans have scored 44 touchdowns - compared to Arizona's 24... Trojan offensive line coach Tim Davis was a graduate assistant at Arizona in 1987 in Dick Tomey's first season at UA...
Arizona in 2003 Statistical Rankings
Category/Figure NCAA Pac-10Rushing/132.0 92 6Passing/172.0 94 9Pass Eff./94.03 110 9Total Offense/304.3 110 9Scoring/17.4 107 10Rush Def./174.6 88 10Pass Def./270.3 107 9Pass Eff. Def./143.41 99 10Total Def./444.9 103 10Scoring Def./35.6 106 10Net Punting/35.2 73 9Punt Ret./5.9 109 9KOR/17.1 111 9Turnover Margin/-.30 76 6Fumbles Lost/5 10 2Fumbles Rec./14 10 3Passes Had Int./19 115 10Passes Intercepted/7 90 9Turnovers Gained/21 35 3Turnovers Lost/24 92 7Individual Top 50:Punting - D. Baugher 42.4 31 5
The team will elect permanent team captains sometime this month. Each Friday throughout the season the coaching staff has named game captains. They are (with repeaters in italics):
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 - LB Joe Siofele, TE Steve Fleming, OLB Andre Torrey.
UCLA: CB Michael Jolivette, CB Luis Nunez, C Keoki Fraser. California: DE Andre Torrey, DT Carl Tuitavuki, LT Chris Johnson.
Oregon State: S Marcus Hollingsworth, CB Gary Love, WR Ricky Williams.
Washington: RB Mike Bell, CB Darrell Brooks, P Danny Baugher
The Last Time vs. Southern California
Oct. 27, 2001, Arizona Stadium, Tucson
Arizona did some things right, but the wrong moves were key in a 42-34 loss to Southern California. Junior quarterback Jason Johnson's afternoon told it: composed rally work to bring the team back, a (then) career-high 311 yards passing, a scoring throw and a touchdown run - and four interceptions, one returned by Trojan cornerback Kris Richard 58 yards for the winning score. Still, fourth-quarter heroics were available for Arizona, and that was a step in the right direction. Johnson's 9-yard run tied the score at 34 apiece with seven minutes remaining, after UA had trailed 31-13 at the half. UA twice had the ball and drove inside USC territory twice inside the five-minute mark. The Trojans mounted a stop the first time, then Richard provided the go-ahead return the second time. The Wildcats opened the scoring minutes into the game with the first of two Sean Keel field goals, too a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter on Michael Jolivette's 60-yard interception return, then floundered as USC scored 28 unanswered points in taking a 31-10 lead. Bobby Wade's 16-yard punt return set up a UA score, and his 17-yard run on a reverse keyed the Cats' next TD drive to make it 31-27 at the end of the third quarter. UA held USC to a field goal before Johnson's tying run. Carson Palmer had two scoring throws and 248 yards for the Trojans, who were held to 64 net rushing yards by the UA defense.
Miscellany of Late...
...UA's defense was kind of 'rope-a-dope' style against Washington. The Huskies had 452 total yards, but also made seven forays into Arizona territory and came away with zero points on those possessions... Washington ran for only 14 yards in the second half, on 13 carries...
...UA's offensive line has held opponents to four sacks in the last five games... Considering injuries that caused personnel shifts from the opening of camp onward, the protection has been a remarkable performance...
...Clay Hardt's 14-tackle performance vs. the Huskies was his third double-digit tackling day of the year. He had 10 against Oregon and 13 against TCU... Safety Darrell Brooks (13 vs. LSU, 10 at Purdue, safety Lamong Means (11 at WSU), linebacker Joe Siofele (11 at Cal, 11 vs. TCU) are other Cats who had 10 or more tackles in games this year...
...UA added another missed field goal last week to continue its amazing frustration when lining up for a trey. Nick Folk (0-2) and Bobby Gill (2-8) have combined to hit 20 percent of their tries....
...Defensive end Marcus Smith joined DE Matt Molina as the two players to have two sacks in a game this year, after his pair against Cody Pickett. Smith had eight tackles including a third for a loss...
...James Sims' block of a Danny Baugher punt last week was Arizona's second blocked punt in as many games. UA has yet to block a kick this year...
...Cornerback Gary Love stripped his third fumble of the year last week and has four in his career. The Cats' single-season record is five, by a pair of All-American inside linebackers - Ricky Hunley in 1983 and Chris Singleton in 1988...
...Life's pleasures often come in small doses. Arizona scored six points in the first quarter and seven in the second quarter last week to give it points in the first half for only the third game this season. UA scored 35 points in the first half of its 42-7 victory over UTEP and 21 points in its 24-21 loss to UCLA. That game against the Bruins was the only game in which UA did not score in the second half this year...
...Arizona's rushing game has improved to an average of 204 yards per game in the past four contests, and exceeded the 200-yard mark in three of those contests... Mike Bell's three rushing touchdowns vs. UW was his first multiple-rushing TD game and the first time a back scored three rushing TDs since Trung Canidate had three at Washington State in a 34-carry, 158-yard game in 1999. The school record is four rushing touchdowns by several players...
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.
Hankwitz helped Arizona break one of its most frustrating episodes in football history - a 13-game home league losing string - with a rousing victory over Washington Nov. 8. The Cats' come-from-behind victory was no small testament to Hankwitz' leadership.
Long appreciated for his defensive success, Hankwitz, 55, has 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 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 149-70-6 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.
No More Streak(s)
UA's victory over Washington snapped a couple of unsatisfying streaks. The loss at Oregon State Nov. 1 gave the team an eighth consecutive loss, snapping the mark set by the 1957 team. That UA team coached by Ed Doherty opened with a tie against Brigham Young, then lost seven games before beating Marquette in the next-to-last game of the year in Tucson. A loss in the season finale made it a 1-8-1 season, one of only two 1-victory years in UA's 105-year history. The other was the 1-1-1 season to start the whole thing in 1899. The Cats also put to rest its streak of home Pac-10 losses, ending that skein at 13. Unfortunately for Arizona, it has to play possibly the best team in the nation this week, because a victory would give Arizona its first back-to-back victories in a season since September 2001. (Although the Cats bridged the 2001-2002 seasons with three successive victories.)
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Sophomore halfback Mike Bell had his fourth career 100-yard rushing game against Washington, carrying a personal-high 26 times for a phenomenal 222 yards and three scores. A week earlier he posted 106 tough yards against the nation's 22nd-rated rushing defense at Oregon State. A week before that he carried 19 times for 182 yards against California. His scores against the Huskies were Trung-esque, referring to former UA tailback Trung Canidate's propensity for big scoring runs (26 career touchdowns on an average run of 43.8 yards). Bell had 69-, 67- and 37-yard TD runs against the Huskies. He had a 49-yard touchdown run at Cal. He has seven career touchdown runs for 257 yards, an average scoring run of 36.7 yards. He also has a scoring reception of 19 yards (last year). In his last four games Bell has rushed for 604 yards on 78 carries, averaging 7.7 yards per tote in the span. For the year he has 811 yards on 129 attempts - a 6.3-yard average. Only three Pac-10 running backs ever have rushed for more yards in a gameagainst Washington than Mike Bell did, and the five overall who have done so put MB in some pretty select company -- DeShaun Foster (305, UCLA, 2001), Charles White (243, USC, 1979), Thurman Thomas (237, Oklahoma State, 1985), O.J. Simpson (235, USC, 1967) and Tyrone Wheatley (235, Michigan, 1993 Rose Bowl).In Arizona's two victories this year Bell has rushed for a combined 341 yards at an 8.7-yard clip. It's doubtless the Trojans' 'Wild Bunch II' has taken note. Perhaps the Cats will have to turn to another weapon.
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. Below are final-season numbers for the top first-year QBs at Arizona, in reverse chronological order, plus Heavner's current stats. The youngster from Johnson City, Texas, is doing a fine job and is gaining solid experience for the future:Arizona Freshman QBs (*true freshman)
Player - Year PA-PC-INT-YDS-TD Pct. Att-Rush-TD Record Other*Kris Heavner, 2003 175-89-11-1120-7 .509 18-(2) 1-5 105.25 PER; 7 G, 6 startsOrtege Jenkins, 1998 235-115-5-1669-19 .489 65-53-2 5-2 131.00 PER; 10 G, 7 starts; Pac-10 frosh record 19 TD throwsKeith Smith, 1996 193-117-6-1450-11 .606 136-546-8 4-5 136.32 PER; 11 G, 9 starts; record %; 418-yard game vs. CalChuck Levy, 1991 52-26-5-315-2 .500 128-505-7 2-2 94.35 PER; 10 G, 4 starts at QB; All-Pac-10 all-purpose, 25.3 KORGeorge Malauulu, 1989 35-19-2-381-4 .543 37-136-2 1-1 172.01 PER; 7 G, 2 starts; best effic rating in league*Ron Veal, 1987 153-75-9-1239-4 .490 161-566-9 3-2-2 113.91 pass effic; team's leading rusher; 10 G, 7 starts*Tom Tunnicliffe, 1980 173-96-9-1204-8 .555 46-(94)-1 3-3 118.70 PER; 7 G, 6 starts; beat No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 2 UCLA*Jim Krohn, 1976 80-44-5-643-6 .550 63-203-0 1-2 9 G, 3 starts
Running Game Back in Gear
After four successive games with rushing success - including three over the 200-yard mark -- it's evident UA's dismal 43-yards-per-game rushing attack of 2002 is in the dust. The efforts against Washington, California and UCLA gave Arizona four games this year over the 200-yard mark (also UTEP in the opener). UA would have out-rushed Oregon State by a 106-93 margin but a fourth-quarter freak play cost it 16 yards when quarterback Nic Costa lost yardage without even being tackled. The game against the Bruins (276 net yards) 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 decent 132 yards per game, fifth in the Pac-10, and that's a world apart from the one dimensional attack of a year ago. 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. Halfback Mike Bell brings the ability to take his lumps on repeated smash-mouth carries, then pop through a crease and be gone -- and that helps, too.
Arizona's offensive line has jelled in recent weeks - despite some mix-and-matching of personnel -- and allowed only four sacks in the last five weeks (including two shutouts, UCLA/WSU, and a ruling for intentional grounding at California). This came against some of the notorious pass rushing clubs in the league. Now comes the USC Trojans and the Wild Bunch II brigade with 35 sacks to rate second in the league. UA is rated the second-best protection unit (16 sacks allowed) in the league behind - who else? - USC, whose front line has held opponents to a paltry 11 sacks. Overall that's a fine job by a UA group that weathered injuries (Tanner Bell/John Parada pre-season, Brandon Phillips/Reggie Sampay/Tanner Bell in-season) that cost potential starts. The unit had started intact for four games, then a starter (Keith Jackson) was ruled ineligible and another (Bell) re-injured his knee and was held out of the last two games. Sophomore walk-on tackle John Abramo earned his first career starts against OSU and Washington and played almost the entire game each time. Sampay returned to play at California after missing three games. He's the versatile guy who can play any of three positions. 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. Left tackle Chris Johnson, center Keoki Fraser and right guard Kili Lefotu have started every game, though Lefotu had to play tackle in one game after Phillips' injury.
A quartet of true freshmen regularly plays -- starting quarterback Kris Heavner, defensive lineman Clifton Stanford, kick returner Syndric Steptoe and strong safety Marcus Hollingsworth. Stanford and Hollingsworth each had their first career starts against UCLA, filling in for Carl Tuitavuki and Clay Hardt, respectively. Steptoe has been the kickoff and punt returner all year. Stanford had a season-high four tackles against UCLA. Hollingsworth plays on special teams also, but missed the UW game with a leg injury. He had a sack at Oregon State and checks in with 18 tackles , including a career-high seven against UCLA. Heavner appears to be the quarterback of the future with all the experience he's acquiring under fire. The Cats also have used true freshman defensive tackle Shawn Pack and halfback Chris Henry, but a leg injury has limited Henry to two brief appearances and he will not be back in action this year. Redshirt freshmen who either have started (x games) or contributed include defensive tackle Paul Philipp (5), tight end Matt Padron (2), place kicker Nick Folk, quarterback Ryan O'Hara (1), linebacker John McKinney (1), linebacker Akin Akinniyi, receiver Ryan Eidson, receiver Mike Jefferson (1), offensive guard Erick Levitre, safety Gary Shepard and quarterback Adam Austin. The Cats also feature sophomore regulars in safeties Darrell Brooks and Lamon Means; offensive linemen Tanner Bell, Kili Lefotu and John Abramo; receiver Biren Ealy; running backs Mike Bell, Beau Carr, Sean Jones and Pedro Limon; defensive ends Copeland Bryan and Marcus Smith; and punter Danny Baugher.
Rushing Defense Improving
Arizona has allowed 97.0 yards per game rushing the past two games, including a contest against the league's top back (Steven Jackson of OSU). USC brings the league's best rushing game and total offense to Tucson this week, so the most severe test is yet on the horizon. But the Cats have made subtle improvement in November and do not plan to stand by idly and marvel at USC's gifted backfield.
UA was in the top 20 with turnovers gained until a no-takeaway day at Cal hurt. The Cats currently are 35th with 21 turnovers gained - but 92nd with 24 of their own, for a margin of -.30 to rate 76th nationally. Washington scored seven points off one turnover, while UA picked up 14 points after two Husky fumbles. The Cats are 10th nationally with 14 fumble recoveries and 10th nationally in limiting their own lost fumbles to 5. Opponents have a near 2-1 ratio in sudden-change scoring, 106 to 61, 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 24, Opponents 21
Turnover Points: Arizona 61, Opponents 106
Miscue Points: Arizona 63, Opponents 115 (includes blocked/botched kick possessions, safeties)
Time... Is on Their Side
The Wildcats trail in time of possession by an overall margin of 64 minutes and 16 seconds. So, UA's defense gets a workout, huh? 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. That theory was supported against Oregon State, who the Cats limited to 93 net rushing yards and saw the time of possession deficit drop to 3:32. Arizona led in time of possession against UTEP and UCLA, two of its best rushing games. On the season, opponents average 46 rushing attempts per game (vs. 33 passes). Arizona has averages of 31 rushing attempts and 31 passes per game.
Why Waste Time
Arizona has been severely economical when it scores. Its 25 scoring drives have covered an average of 63 yards, used 5.3 plays and taken 1:59 off the clock. One reason is that 11 of those scoring drives were capped by scoring plays averaging 50.4 yards - similar to Mike Bell's three scoring runs last week that averaged 58 yards.
The Scoring Zone
Arizona is not your basic red-zone monster, checking in last in the league in red-zone offense and ninth in red-zone defense. It's hurt. The Cats have squandered some chances - and not had a ton of those as it is. Five missed field goals are one factor, two lost possessions on downs and one interception once inside the 20 yard-line are the others. In the last three games, opponents have scored 13 touchdowns in 14 penetrations. Here's another way of looking at it: Arizona has scored 49 percent of its points on scoring zone possessions. Opponents have scored 63 percent of their points in the same fashion. On the year, the other team is getting more cracks at it, with 45 trips to Arizona's 21. 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: 17 trips for eight TDs and one FG.
Arizona: 21 Scoring Zone Possessions - 13 scores (12 TD + 1 FG) = 62% scoring; 57% TD
Opponents: 45 Scoring Zone Possessions - 37 scores (29 TD + 8 FG) = 82% scoring; 64% TD
1st-and-Goal: Arizona - 10 times, 8 TD. Opponents - 26 times, 23 TD + 2 FG.
Getting to the QB
Arizona is matching its pace of a year ago when it finished with 26 quarterback sacks, ninth in the league. This week it faces the Pac-10 leader in quarterback protection - USC has allowed only 11 sacks. The Cats had four sacks against Washington, two sacks at Oregon State, two at California, zero against UCLA and three at WSU in their most recent games. The Cats have a season edge of 23-16, so not a whole lot of getting to the QB goes on in Arizona games. The Cats rank eighth in the league with their 23 sacks. Defensive ends Matt Molina and Marcus Smith and linebacker Joe Siofele lead the club with four each, while end Andre Torrey has three. The Cats had five sacks 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.
Make Your Point
The Cats have shown improvement in the last month but points are a most obvious problem, both ways. 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. UA held No. 19 TCU, No. 14 Washington State and UCLA to an average of 23 points, then slipped and Cal scored 42, then Oregon State piled up 52. Currently, UA is allowing an average of 35.6 points per game, more than the school mark for highest opponents scoring average (34.2 by the 2001 team). Arizona has given up 356 points, the fourth-highest total in school history and within reach of 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. Here are the six years Wildcat opponents have scored more than 300 points:
Year UA Opp Record League2001 254 377 5-6 2-61999 339 364 6-6 3-51991 248 361 4-7 3-52003 174 356 2-8 1-51990 267 311 7-5 5-4, Aloha Bowl2002 227 310 4-8 1-7
Third down has not been friendly to Arizona in 2003. The Cats have converted 38 of 147 attempts for a 26 percent factor. 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 72 of 162 for a 44 percent rate. 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. Against Washington UA did a decent job and held the Huskies to 6-for-17. The Horned Frogs faced 14 third-and-long plays (5 yards or more).
Arizona on third down: 33/131, 25%
Opponents on third down: 66/145, 46%
Arizona faced 3rd-and-long (5+ yards): 118 plays; (73 of at least 3rd-and-8)
Opponent faced 3rd-and-long: 104 plays; (45 of at least 3rd-and-8)
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 Washington 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 on Fox Sports Net. 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.
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.
Weekly Media Gatherings
Mike Hankwitz will meet with the media weekly throughout the season (except for bye weeks) in McKale Center Room 106 at 1:45 p.m. Monday. 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.
Season Odds & Ends...
Rushing ...UA senior halfback Clarence Farmer was dismissed from the team by head coach Mike Hankwitz on Oct. 28. Farmer had 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. 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. That opportunity now rests with sophomore halfback Mike Bell, who led the team last year and is most likely to do so again this year. Four Wildcat backs 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).
Tough ...Five of the eight losses came to teams ranked, once ranked, or since ranked, in the Top 20. Arizona's 2003 schedule included 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... USC will be the highest-ranked opponent this year...
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. Then at California and Oregon State, UA reverted to some earlier form and trailed 21-0 and 35-0, respectively... In the shutout streak, UA trailed at halftime by an average of 20 points. At California, UA blew a pair of first-half red zone opportunities and missed opportunities... The combined first-half scoring: Opponents 182, Arizona 69...
Starts ...Sophomore walk-on offensive tackle John Abramo and redshirt freshman receiver Mike Jefferson had their first starts at Oregon State. Abramo started again vs. the Huskies, filling in for injured Tanner Bell, and has performed well... Jefferson snagged his first career touchdown reception with a catch-and-dive effort against OSU, then had two catches for 42 yards against the Huskies...
Catch ...Receiver Ricky Williams' had five catches at OSU and has four 5-plus games this year including a personal-best six catches (79 yards) at Cal... Williams has the team lead with 15.9 yards per catch, including a personal-best 52-yarder against Washington... Biren Ealy leads with 4.0 receptions per game and 40 total... Junior tight end Steve Fleming's 18 receptions this year are the most by a UA tight end since Brandon Manumaleuna (now of the St. Louis Rams) had 20 in 1999... He and backups Matt Padron (4) and Clarence McRae (1) have combined for the most since Manumaleuna and H-back Eli Wnek (4) had 24 for the position that season... Ealy's five catches for 100 yards against the Bruins was UA's second 100-yard game of the year... 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 with 69 combined receptions...
Offense ...The Cats are 110th in Division I-A in total offense, but don't seem to follow that mold closely. They broke for 519 yards in total offense against UCLA, 402 at California and 401 against Washington in the past month...
Ouch ...Arizona had 1st-and-goal on the 2 yard-line at Oregon State, then suffered a nightmare with a rush for no gain, an incomplete pass, a one-yard run... and then a roll-out with clear sailing for inserted goal-line QB Nic Costa - but he banged the ball off his face mask in windmill fashion while scrambling and fumbled it out of bounds for a 16-yard loss on fourth down. That was one of two red-zone plays that cost the club a chance at more points against the Beavers. The other was a fake field goal in the middle of the second quarter. Quarterback Kris Heavner was sacked on 3rd-and-9 at the OSU 20, then place kicker Nick Folk gained one yard on the subterfuge try from the 24 yard-line.
Picking on QBs: ...UA's passers have tossed 17 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 ...Rover linebacker Clay Hardt's 14 tackles against Washington moved him into the team lead with 72... Safety Darrell Brooks has 67 and linebacker Joe Siofele is right behind with 66... Sophomore strong safety Lamon Means had a career-high 11 tackles and knocked down two passes at Washington State and checks in with 57... Hardt's move to rover from safety could help UA avoid having a DB lead the team in hits. 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...
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 (5), 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 0-5... Heavner joins 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. 31 in the nation with his 42.4-yard average this week. He put an end to competition with senior James Molina in late September after a year-long battle... UA has punted 81 times this year. In one stretch UA 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... The school record for punts in a season is 92 by the 1967 team...
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... California had 59 rushes for a season-best 327 yards against the Cats, one reason UA has given up an average of 174 yards per game on the ground...
Pick ...Senior cornerback Michael Jolivette intercepted the 12th pass of his career against UCLA, his second of the year. 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 an 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 26 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 43, five more than former All-American safety Chuck Cecil (who's atop the INT chart with 21).
3&Out ....The Cats had 10 three-and-out possessions against TCU and nine last week against Washington... Arizona has held opponents to 27 total possessions of three plays or less, while opponents have forced the Cats into a whopping 69 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 has quietly built up a total of 29 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 four at left guard and one at right guard this season. A knee injury against Purdue kept him on the sidelines for three games. Junior center Keoki Fraser gives UA some more continuity, with 23 starts at center, broken as a streak by the season opener a year ago when he was banged up. That gives him 20 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...
John Mackovic UA's 26th head coach completed 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 left the UA job 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 (92-57-2)... Mackovic ended his UA tenure with an overall mark of 95-82-3 (20 years) and 10-18 at UA. The Cats did not win a Pac-10 home game during his tenure in Tucson, where he was 6-11 overall...
QB, Kris Heavner, 6-2, 219, Fr., Johnson City, Texas
True freshman's performance of late has made Arizona's QB battle a one-man race ... Earned his first victory as a starting QB with 151 yards passing on 10-of-20 attempts, including a 10-yard TD pass to Biren Ealy ... Connected on 12-of-28 passes at Oregon Sate for 137 yards and two TDs ... Passed for 186 yards on 17-of-31 passing at California ... Completed 13-of-20 passes for 187 yards and one touchdown, a 39-yard strike to Biren Ealy, but also threw three interceptions vs. UCLA ... Started second consecutive game at No. 14 Washington State and passed for 128 yards on 35 attempts (18 completions) ... Earned his first career start vs. No. 19 TCU and responded with 276 yards, a UA season high, on 14-of-29 passing with one touchdown ... Made first career appearance in the second half at No. 25 Purdue, passing for 55 yards on 5-of-12 attempts ... Directed UA to its only score of the day vs. the Boilermakers, a 36-yard pass to Biren Ealy ... Possess a strong arm and the characteristics to become a real leader on the field.
HB, Mike Bell, 6-0, 211, So., Phoenix, Ariz.
Team's leading rusher ... Has become Arizona's most consistent offensive player ... Averaging better than seven yards per carry over his last four games (604 yards/78 carries) ... Scampered for 222 yards (fifth-best in school history) on 26 carries and three TDs vs. Washington ... The three TD runs came on runs of 67, 69 and 37 yards ... Posted his second straight 100-yard game with 106 yards and a TD at Oregon State on a career high 25 carries ... Tallied a career-high 182 yards (second career 100-yard game) on 19 carries (9.6 ypc) at California to go with a TD and one catch out of the backfield for 13 yards ... Amassed 94 yards on just eight carries vs. UCLA (11.8 ypc) ... Team's leading rusher at No. 14 Washington State with 40 yards on 11 carries (3.6 ypc) ... His 29-yard scamper vs. the Cougars was his second longest of the season ... Played sparingly vs. TCU ... Collected nine yards on five carries at Purdue ... Carried the ball just nine times vs. Oregon and finished with minus-two yards rushing vs. Oregon ... Collected 13 totes for 41 yards (3.2 ypc) vs. No. 13 Louisiana State, while also snaring one pass out of the back field for three yards ... Opened the season vs. Texas-El Paso as the starting running back and responded with the first 100-yard rushing game of his career, a 119-yard effort on 13 carries (9.2 ypc) and a TD ... Also logged a career-long 53-yard run vs. the Miners ... Was Arizona's s leading rusher last season with 341 yards (3.2 ypc), but battled a toe injury for most of the season.Bell Game-By-Game
CB, Michael Jolivette, 5-9, 180, Sr., Houston, Texas
A solid cover guy ... Team leader with two picks ... Tied for ninth place on UA's career interceptions list with 12 ... Tallied seven tackles (six solo) and a fumble recovery vs. Washington ... Notched a season-high eight stops (seven solo) at Oregon State to go with a tackle for loss (-3) and a PBU ... Tallied four solo tackles at California ... Collected five tackles to go with his second straight game with an interception vs. UCLA ... Posted his first PBU since the season opener and his first interception since Oct. 27, 2001, at No. 14 Washington State to go with six tackles (four solos) ... Tallied four tackles, including three solos, vs. No. 19 TCU ... Posted four stops (three solo) at Purdue ... Tallied six tackles, five solo, vs. Oregon ... Collected six stops (five solo) and a fumble recovery (second career) against No. 13 Louisiana State ... Notched two pass break-ups in the season opener vs. Texas-El Paso to break a tie with Chuck Cecil (1984-87) as the school's all-time leader in that category ... Tallied 20 PBUs in 2001 ... Did not play in remainder of 2002 after suffering a left knee injury on Sept. 18 in practice.
FS, Darrell Brooks, 6-1, 202, So., Moreno Valley, Calif.
Ranks second on the UA defense with 67 tackles (47 solo) to go with one interception ... Posted nine tackles (six solos) to go with one tackle for loss (-3) and a pass break-up in the win over Washington ... Tallied seven tackles (five solo) a tackle for loss and two pass break-ups at Oregon State ... Collected three tackles at California ... Tallied five tackles vs. UCLA ... Posted eight tackles (six solo) to go with a PBU at No. 14 Washington State ... DNP vs. No. 19 TCU due to injury ... Finished in double figures for the second time this season with 10 total stops (6 solo) at PurdueNotched seven tackles (four solo) to go with one tackle for loss vs. Oregon ... Tallied a career-high 13 stops (11 solo) vs. No. 13 Louisiana State to go with his first career interception ... It was Brooks' second career double-figure tackle game ... Notched five stops in UA's season-opening win over Texas-El Paso ... Ranked fifth on the team with 50 stops last season ... Earned honorable mention all-Pac-10 honors in 2002 ... Battled back problems a year ago but still started 10 games at corner.
LB, Joe Siofele, 6-2, 245, Sr., Waipahu, Hawaii
Flourishing in Arizona's new 4-3 defense ... Ranks third on the team with 66 stops ... Registered five tackles, including a tackle for loss and a sack, to go with a key forced fumble late in the fourth quarter in the win over Washington ...Tied for the team lead with eight tackles at Oregon State ... Equaled a career high with 11 tackles at California (10 solos) to go with two TFL and one sack ... Collected seven stops (three solos) and a tackle for loss (-1) vs. UCLA ... Totaled five stops (two solo) to go with one TFL, 1 forced fumble, a pass break up and a sack at No. 14 Washington State ... Equaled a career high with 11 tackles (eight solo) vs. No. 19 TCU, including two tackles for loss and one sack ... Tallied five stops at Purdue, including four solos ... Collected five tackles vs. Oregon ... Totaled two tackles vs. No. 13 Louisiana State ... Registered seven stops in season opener vs. Texas-El Paso ... Returns to a traditional linebacker position after essentially playing as a rush end in UA's former double-eagle flex defenseQB, Nic Costa, 5-11, 211, So., Aloha, Ore.
After spending a year as a redshirt and one as a back-up, Costa assumed the role of starting quarterback in 2003 after breaking camp, leading the team onto the field in three of the first four games ...Ranks second with four TD passes ... Rushed for 23 yards, collected a reception, but missed on all four pass attempts vs. Washington ... Passed for five yards on one of three attempts at Oregon State ... Completed I-of-3 pass for 15 yards at California to go with one rush for five yards ... Earned considerable action vs. UCLA, connecting on 4-of-11 passing for 56 yards and two TDs ... Saw action in just one play at No. 14 Washington State, but did throw the team's only TD pass - a five-yard strike to TE Matt Padron ... DNP vs. TCU ... Came off the bench to lead the team in rushing at Purdue (3 carries for 47 yards), but passed for 14 yards on 1-of-4 passing ... Connected on 5-of-9 passes for 33 yards vs. Oregon ... Struggled against No. 13 LSU, connecting on just 3-of-11 attempts for 21 yards passing ... Led the Cats to an efficient two touchdown drives in his first two series under center against Texas-El Paso in the season opener ... Opened the UTEP game with a 27-yard run on the first play from scrimmage and added a TD run later in the contest ... An outstanding physical specimen, Costa is one of the team's strongest and quickest players.
2003 Arizona Football Depth Chart - USC week, Nov. 8
WR 84 Ricky Williams, 6-2, 209, *Jr., 1L, Los Angeles, Calif. (Verbum Dei) 83 Mike Jefferson, 6-1, 205, *Fr., RS, El Paso, Texas (Parkland)LT 59 Chris Johnson, 6-3, 323, *Jr., 1L, Houston, Texas (North Shore)69 John Abramo, 6-4, 294, *So., SQ, Los Altos Hills, Calif. (St. Francis)LG 75 Reggie Sampay, 6-3, 298, Sr., 3L, Houston, Texas (North Shore) 78 Phil Clark, 6-4, 306, Jr., JC, Newbury Park, Calif. (NPHS/Moorpark CC)C 67 Keoki Fraser, 6-3, 301, *Jr., 2L, Kailua, Hawaii (Kailua) 63 Tom Robinson, 6-4, 317, Jr., JC, La Mirada, Calif. (LMHS/Fordham/Cerritos)RG 66 Kili Lefotu, 6-5, 309, So., 1L, Riverside, Calif. (Arlington) 71 Erick Levitre, 6-1, 262, *Fr., RS, Ben Lomond, Calif. (San Lorenzo Valley)RT 69 John Abramo, 6-4, 294, *So., SQ, Los Altos Hills, Calif. (St. Francis) 72 Tanner Bell, 6-8, 314, So., 1L, Castroville, Calif. (North Monterey County)TE 87 Steve Fleming, 6-6, 260, *Jr., 2L, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral) 46 Matt Padron, 6-5, 265, *Fr., RS, San Antonio, Texas (Clark) 88 Clarence McRae, 6-2, 235, *Jr., JC, Deltona, Fla. (Pueblo/Arizona WesternWR 82 Biren Ealy, 6-2, 175, So., 1L, Houston, Texas (Cypress Falls) 1 Syndric Steptoe, 5-9, 179, Fr., HS, Bryan, Texas (Bryan)QB 12 Kris Heavner, 6-2, 219, Fr., HS, Johnson City, Texas (Lyndon B. Johnson) 7 Nic Costa, 5-11, 211, *So., 1L, Aloha, Ore. (Aloha)HB 11 Mike Bell, 6-0, 210, *So., 1L, Phoenix, Ariz. (Tolleson) 21 Beau Carr, 5-10, 205, So., 1L, Spring, Texas (Westfield)FB 35 Sean Jones, 5-11, 230, So., 1L, Houston , Texas (North Shore)48 Pedro Limon, 6-0, 244, *So., SQ, Douglas, Ariz. (Douglas)
LE 51 Copeland Bryan, 6-4, 242, *So., 1L, San Jose, Calif. (Bellarmine Prep) 56 Andre Torrey, 6-4, 237, *Jr., RS, Alameda, Calif. (Alameda/Laney CC)DT 92 Carlos Williams, 6-4, 298, Jr., 2L, Denver, Colo. (Montbello) or 94 Paul Philipp, 6-3, 290, *Fr., RS, San Bernardino, Calif., San Bernardino)DT 90 Carl Tuitavuki, 6-3, 325, Sr., 1L, Oakland, Calif. (San Leandro/Ricks CC) 62 Clifton Stanford, 6-4, 277, Fr., HS, Los Angeles, Calif. (Thomas Jefferson) 93 Shawn Pack, 6-3, 287, Fr., SQ, Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton)RE 55 Marcus Smith, 6-6, 235, So., 1L, San Diego, Calif. (Mission Bay or 49 Matt Molina, 6-1, 237, *Sr., 3L, Scottsdale, Ariz. (Chaparral)MLB 42 Joe Siofele, 6-2, 245, *Sr., 3L, Waipahu, Hawaii (St. Louis) 40 John McKinney, 6-0, 223, *Fr., RS, Copperas Cove, Texas (Copperas Cove)WLB 44 Patrick Howard, , 5-11, 228, *Jr., 2L, La Marque, Texas (La Marque) or 25 Kirk Johnson, 6-1, 223, Jr., 2L, Oakland, Calif. (Skyline)ROV 33 Clay Hardt, 6-1, 199, *Sr., 3L, Marana, Ariz. (Marana) 24 Marcus Hollingsworth, 5-10, 198, Fr., HS, San Diego, Calif. (San Diego)CB 9 Gary Love, 5-9, 175, *Sr., 3L, Los Angeles, Calif. (Thomas Jefferson) 10 Zeonte Sherman, 5-11, 192, Jr., JC, St. Petersburg, Fla. (Pinellas/Ariz.WesternSS 19 Lamon Means, 6-3, 196, So., 1L, Galena Park, Texas (Galena Park) 24 Marcus Hollingsworth, 5-10, 198, Fr., HS, San Diego, Calif. (San Diego)FS 6 Darrell Brooks, 61, 202, *So., Moreno Valley, (Moreno Valley) 30 Tony Wingate, 6-1, 210, *Jr., 1L, Tucson, Ariz. (Sahuaro)CB 8 Michael Jolivette, 5-9, 180, *Sr., 3L, Houston, Texas (North Shore)17 Gary Shepard, 5-11, 202, *Fr., RS, Spring, Texas (Westfield)PK
PK 16 Nicholas Folk, 6-2, 203, *Fr., RS, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (Notre Dame) 28 Bobby Gill, 5-11, 190, *Sr., 1L, Phoenix, Ariz. (Brophy Prep)KO 16 Nicholas Folk, 6-2, 203, *Fr., RS, Sherman Oaks, Calif. (Notre Dame) 20 James Molina, 5-10, 206, Sr., 1L, Tucson, Ariz. (Pueblo/East Los Angeles CC)P 43 Danny Baugher, 5-10, 200, So., 1L, Phoenix, Ariz. (Mountain Pointe) 20 James Molina, 5-10, 206, Sr., 1L, Tucson, Ariz. (Pueblo/East Los Angeles CC)Holder 20 James MolinaSnappers 53 Tom Robinson, 42 Joe SiofeleReturns 1 Syndric Steptoe, 83 Biren Ealy, 4 Marcus Hollingsworth