Winning In the 1990s
Arizona closed the millennium as the second-winningest Pac-10 Conference team in the 1990s. The Cats were one of three league teams to win 10 or more games twice during the decade.
The Pac-10 in the 1990s Team W L T Pct. Bowl Record Washington 82 35 1 .699 3-5 Arizona 41 46 1 .606 3-3 UCLA 70 45 0 .608 2-3 Oregon 70 48 0 .593 2-5 USC 68 49 3 .579 3-3 ASU 61 51 0 .545 1-2 Stanford 60 54 2 .526 2-3 California 55 59 1 .483 3-1 WSU 52 61 0 .460 2-1 OSU 29 81 1 .266 0-1
1999 Offensive Prowess
Arizona set a Pac-10 record by accumulating 5,663 yards in 1999, eclipsing the mark posted by Washington State in 1997 (5,524). UA was No. 3 in the nation and first in the Pac-10 with 472 yards per game. The Cats had a balanced attack and ranked 15th nationally in rushing (219) and 26th in passing (253).
Arizona had the league rushing champion in senior tailback Trung Canidate, who set a school mark with 1602 yards and set the UA career record with 3,824 yards. He was No. 7 nationally in rushing per game. His career total is the fifth best in Pac-10 history and his season mark was the seventh best in league annals. Senior wide receiver Dennis Northcutt led the league in receptions with 88, in catches per game at 7.33, in all-purpose yardage at 187 ypg and in punt returns at 18.96. The punt return figure led the nation. The all-purpose figure was no. 2 nationally and his 119 receiving yards per game was third in the country and second in the league. Northcutt set a league record by catching a pass in 42 consecutive games. He became the No. 2 receiver in Pac-10 history with 223 catches. (Leader Troy Walters of Stanford has 247.) Senior linebacker Marcus Bell led the Pac-10 with 124 tackles, including 20 in his final game at Arizona State. He was the league leader for the second consecutive season, the first Wildcat to do so since LB Byron Evans in 1985-86.
In 1999, Dennis Northcutt had an 80-yard run for a touchdown, an 80-yard reception for a touchdown and an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown. The catch and return came in his final game, at Arizona State. Trung Canidate had an 80-yard run for a touchdown. For the latter, it was his third career rush over the 80 mark. He also had four other TD runs over 50 yards in 1999 and on 26 career touchdowns amassed 1,139 yards that's 43.8 yards per score.
Dick Tomey (DePauw '64) completed his 13th year at Tucson (90-58-4) and 23rd overall (153-104-7). He is 13th among active Division 1-A coaches in victories in the 1990s. He is the winningest coach at both Arizona and Hawai'i. Tomey has coached teams to winning records in 16 seasons during his career. Winningest Pac-10 Coaches (league victories only):
1. Terry Donahue, UCLA (1976-95) 98-51-5 2. Don James, Washington (1975-92) 97-38-2 3. John McKay, USC (1960-75) 70-17-3 4. Howard Jones, USC (1925-40) 65-23-12 5. O.E. Hollingberry, WSU (1926-42) 64-43-10 6. John Robinson (USC, 1976-82, 1993-97) 63-23-10 7. Larry Smith (UA 1980-86, USC 1987-92) 63-34-4 8. Dick Tomey (Arizona 1987-) 57-44-4All-America Wildcats
Senior wide receiver Dennis Northcutt earned several first-team All-America honors by the Associated Press (return specialist), Burger King/American Football Coaches Association (WR) and the Football Writers Association of America (return specialist). The two selections as return specialist give him consensus All-America at that position. Northcutt earned second-team All-America honors from The Sporting News and third-team honors from Football News. Popular online service CBS SportsLine named Dennis to its All-America second team and named him to its All-American super 11 "both ways" team. Senior tailback Trung Canidate was a second-team pick by CBS SportsLine, a second-team selection by ABC Bowl Championship Series Online and a third-team selection of Football News and the Associated Press.
Arizona had seven players make the 1999 All-Pacific-10 Conference Football Team, including first-team offense selections in senior running back Trung Canidate and senior wide receiver Dennis Northcutt. Northcutt was one of five unanimous picks. Five Wildcats earned second-team honors junior tight end Brandon Manumaleuna, junior center Bruce Wiggins, sophomore guard Steven Grace, senior inside linebacker Marcus Bell and junior defensive tackle Joe Tafoya. The Cats had three seniors earn honorable mention strong safety Greg Payne, outside linebacker DaShon Polk and quarterback Keith Smith. Northcutt (Sept. 4), Canidate (Oct. 16) and Bell (Oct. 9) earned Pac-10 Player of the Week honors during the season.
Pac-10 All-Academic Honors
Three UA players earned honorable mention for the 1999 league all-scholar team junior H-back Eli Wnek, sophomore receiver Malosi Leonard and redshirt freshman safety Jarvie Worcester.
1999 Arizona Record Setters
Here are some of the school records set by Arizona football in 1999: *Career Rushing 3,824 Trung Canidate, 1996-99 (604 atts)
*Career Receptions 223 Dennis Northcutt, 1996-99
*Career Receiving Yards 3,252 Dennis Northcutt, 1996-99 (24 TD)
*Career All-Purpose Yardage 5,392 Dennis Northcutt, 1996-99 (368 plays)
*Season All-Purpose Yardage 2,249 Dennis Northcutt, 1999 (134 plays)
*Average Gain Per Play, All-Purpose, Season 16.8 Dennis Northcutt 1999 (134-2,249)
*Total Offense, Average Gain Per Play, Season 7.4 Keith Smith 1999 (279-2054
*Total Offense, Average Gain Per Play, Career (min.2000 yards) 6.9 Keith Smith (1021-7049)
*Most Rushes, Game 34 Trung Canidate (tie) at WSU 1999 (158 yards)
*Rushing Yards, Season 1,602 Trung Canidate 1999 (253 atts)
*Games Gaining 100 Rushing yards, Consecutive 10, Trung Canidate, 1999
*Games 100 yards, Season 10 Trung Canidate, 1999
*Games Gaining 100 Yards, Career 18 Trung Canidate 1996-99
*Highest Completion Percentage, Game (15 comps) 80.95% Keith Smith (17-21) at Penn State 1999
*Highest Completion Percentage, Game (20 atts) 80.95% Keith Smith (17-21) at Penn State 1999
*Highest Completion Percentage, Season (200 atts) 57.46% Keith Smith 1999 (121-228)
*Highest Completion Percentage, Career 59.78% Keith Smith (434-726)
*Fewest Passes Had Intercepted, Career 3.72% Keith Smith (27 in 726 att)
*Yards Gained Per Pass Attempt, Season (min. 200) 8.3 Keith Smith (228 for 1,903)
*Career Pass Yards Per Attempt (min. 500) 8.2 Keith Smith (726-5,972)
*Career Pass Efficiency Rating 140.52 Keith Smith 1996-99)
*Most Passes Caught, Season 88 Dennis Northcutt (1,422 yds)
*Most Passes Caught, Career, Per Game 4.7 Dennis Northcutt (223 in 47)
*Most Receiving Yards, Season 1,422 Dennis Northcutt (88 receptions)
*Most Consecutive Games Catching a Pass 42 Dennis Northcutt (Pac-10 Record)
*Highest Average Per Punt Return, Season 18.96 Dennis Norhcutt (23-436) NATIONAL LEADER
*Most Punt Return Yards Gained, Career 903 Dennis Northcutt (67 returns)
*Yards Gained Per Game 471.9 (5,663 in 12)
*Average Gain Per Play 6.5
*Total Yards (5,663) (Pac-10 season record)
*Games Exceeding 500 yards 6
*Consecutive 500-yard games 5 (Pac-10 record)
*Consecutive Games TD Pass Thrown, Season 11
*Consecutive Home Games Scored in 200 (1964 to present)
*Penalties per Game 9.6
*Penalty Yards 930
*Opponents Penalties, Game 16 @TCU (98 yards)
*Average Gain Per Play Allowed 5.44 (833 for 4533)
*Games Exceeding 500 Yards Allowed 3
*Opponents Pass Percentage Intercepted By .013 (5 in 373)
*Opponents' TD Passes Per Game 1.75 (21 in 12)
*Safeties allowed single game 2; safeties allowed season 3
*Opponents Turnovers, Fewest 11
*Opponents Field Goals Made, Game 4 Oregon
*Opponents First Downs by Penalty, Game 6 Middle Tennessee
1999 Cats on Career or Season All-Time Top 10 Charts:
Career Total Offense Keith Smith 7,049 No. 2
Career All-Purpose Running Trung Canidate 4,378 No. 4
Career TD Passes Keith Smith 42 No. 4
Career Passing Yards Keith Smith 5,972 No. 3
Career Scoring Dennis Northcutt 162 points No. 8
Season Total Offense Keith Smith 2,054 No. 6
Season Passing Yards Keith Smith 1,903 No. 6
Season Pass Efficiency Rating Ortege Jenkins 144.72 No. 3; Keith Smith 135.02 No. 7
Season Pass Completions 121 Keith Smith No. 9
Season Completion Percentage -- .603 Ortege Jenkins No. 3; .575 Keith Smith No. 5
Single-game Rushing 221 yards at OSU, Canidate No. 5
Single-game Rushing 202 yards vs. UTEP, Canidate No. 8
Single-game All-Purpose 314 at TCU, Northcutt No. 3
Single-game Rec. Yds 257 at TCU, Northcutt No. 2
Single-game receptions 10 at TCU, Northcutt No. 5, tie
Cats In All-Star Games
A number of Arizona seniors were selected to play in post-season all-star games.
WR Dennis Northcutt Senior Bowl TB Trung Canidate Hula Bowl QB Keith Smith East-West Shrine Bowl LB Marcus Bell Hula Bowl OT Manuia Savea Hula Bowl SS Greg Payne Hula Bowl OLB DaShon Polk Blue-Gray Classic
Team Award Winners
Senior WR Dennis Northcutt was named 1999 MVP at football banquet ceremonies following the season. Northcutt also was honored with a Captains Award (elected), the Wildcat of the Year (most winning performances) and shared Bronko Nagurski Award (two-way player). Sophomore h-back/tight end/defensive end Eli Wnek shared the Nagurski Award with Northcutt, while senior QB Keith Smith, senior LB Marcus Bell and senior OLB DaShon Polk shared the Captains Award. Juniors Bruce Wiggins and Joe Tafoya (DE) were named winners of the Martin Gentry Awards for outstanding linemen. Champion Awards for outstanding scout team players went to freshman Gary Love (offense) and redshirt sophomore Brandon Nash (defense). Redshirt freshman QB Jason Johnson and senior DB Luis Campos won the team's undergraduate scholarship and Jim Ewing Awrard, respectively, for the team's best grade averages. Senior DB Derek Hall was named winner of the Ball Hawk Award for the fourth consecutive year. Players selected to the Bear Down Club included: OffenseTB Trung Canidate, OG Steven Grace, TE Brandon Manumaleuna, WR Dennis Northcutt, C Bruce Wiggins and QB Keith Smith. DefenseLB Marcus Bell, SS Greg Payne, DT Joe Tafoya. Special TeamsLB Adrian Koch, WR Peter Hansen, LB Antonio Pierce, LB Scooter Sprotte, FS Jarvie Worcester and HB Eli Wnek.
Cats in the Polls
UA entered the season ranked No. 4 by AP and No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The Cats dropped from the polls Sept. 20, after 20 consecutive periods. Preseason-No. 4. Aug. 30-No. 15, Sept. 6-No. 19, Sept. 13-No. 19; ESPN/USA Today: 3/3/15/17.
How the Cats Measured Nationally
Here are some high national (and Pac-10) statistical rankings for Arizona:
Category (figure) NCAA Pac-10 Team Punt Ret (17.6) 2nd 1st Total Offense (471.9) 3rd 1st Team Rushing (218.8) 15th 1st Team Passing (253.1) 26th 5th Dennis Northcutt: Punt Ret (18.96) 1st 1st Rec PG (7.33) 11th 1st Rec YPG (118.50) 3rd 2nd All-Purp (187.42) 2nd 1st Trung Canidate(133.5) 7th 1st rushing Trung Canidate(154.6) 13th 3rd All-purpose running Keith Smith (135.0) 25th 2nd pass efficiencyInjury Report
Arizona had three players who suffered injuries which kept them out of action in 1999, but otherwise enjoyed a pretty good year in terms of the injury factor. Starting wide receiver Brad Brennan aggravated a hamstring injury against Stanford and had limited play in only two games. (He had missed the TCU and MT games.) LB Scooter Sprotte had a back injury which caused him to miss the final four games of the year. Backup WR Malosi Leonard had orthoscopic knee surgery Sept. 3 and missed TCU/MT but returned for the SU game. Juco transfer OL Kevin Barry had surgery Sept. 15 on his right foot and subsequently redshirted. Redshirt freshman cornerback David Hinton had shoulder surgery Aug. 26 and missed the season.
Lost starts due to injury: (12): OG Marques McFadden at OSU; FS Rafell Jones at TCU/MT; WR Brad Brennan at TCU/MT; SS Greg Payne at PSU; FB Jim Wendler at TCU; QB Keith Smith vs. MT; CB Leland Gayles vs. MT/SU; DT Keoni Fraser vs. MT; DT Idris Haroon vs. MT.
Arizona Coach Dick Tomey:
Dick Tomey is the dean of Pac-10 coaches and has seen 25 head coaches paraded at the other conference schools during his tenure. Tomey completed his 13th season at Arizona in 1999 and has coached the Wildcats to a 90-58-7 record. Overall in 23 years as a head coach he carries a 153-104-7 mark, making him No. 9 among active Division 1-A coaches in victories. His Pac-10 record is 57-44-4, making him No. 8 on the all-time list of winningest Pac-10 coaches by conference victories. He has a 59-23-2 slate at Arizona Stadium and a 31-34-2 road record. A member of the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees, Tomey has led Arizona to seven bowls in his tenure -- more than any active Pac-10 coach, and No. 5 on the list of all-time conference coaches. He was 13th among active Division 1-A coaches in victories during the decade of the 1990s. He led Arizona to 18 victories in the last two years of the millennium, best in the Pacific-10 Conference. While leading Arizona to its best record in history 12-1 in 1998 Tomey was a national Coach of the Year finalist of the Football Writer's Association of America and Football News. UA became only the fourth team in 83 seasons of Pac-10 football to win 12 games. Beyond that, he received a University of Arizona 1998 Provost's Award for outstanding accomplishment in teaching, the first coach in Arizona history to receive the honor. He is the winningest coach at both Arizona and Hawaii (63-46-3), making him only the third coach in history to achieve the mark at two schools (Bear Bryant at Alabama and Kentucky, George Welsh at Virginia and Navy). His 23-year career has seen only four losing seasons. Tomey's 7-1 league mark in 1998 and his 6-2 slates in 1993 and 1994 are Arizona's top three Pac-10 season records. Under Tomey, Arizona players have won six major national awards B the 1990 Thorpe Award (Darryll Lewis), the 1993 Outland Trophy/FWAA Bronko Nagurski/UPI Lineman of the Year (Rob Waldrop), the 1994 Lou Groza Award (Steve McLaughlin) and the 1998 Mosi Tatupu Special Teams Player of the Year (Chris McAlister). Under his guidance the Wildcats have achieved national rankings during 11 of his seasons, including stretches of 33 consecutive weeks in 1993-94 and 20 weeks in 1998-99.
Arizona split things evenly and was 3-3 at home and 3-3 on the road in 1999.
Red-Zone Offense and Defense:
The Cats' last game of 1999 was somewhat indicative of the season overall 468 total yards and only one possession inside the opponents' 20 yard-line. Arizona scored on big plays of 80, 80 and 81 yards, and punched it in once from the 12. Arizona had bundles of big plays throughout the year and also was effective in first-and-goal opportunities
Arizona in the Red Zone: 44 trips, 23 TD, 5 FG (64% scoring, 52% TD) 1st-and-Goal: 18 (14 TD, 1 FG) (83% scoring) Opponents in the Zone: 41 trips, 26 TD /6 FG (78% scoring, 63% TD) 1st-and-Goal: 21 (15 TD, 1 FG) (76% scoring)Turnover Ratio:
Probably as key to the season as any statistics, Arizona suffered in the turnover area. Not so much from its own miscues (1.9 per game), but because the fact the Cats were able to intercept only five passes and recover six fumbles, less than one takeaway per game. UA finished the year 110th out of 114 Division 1-A clubs with a turnover margin of 1.09.
1999 Turnovers: Arizona 23, Opponents 11, Season ratio: -12 1999 Miscue points: Arizona 44, Opponents 85 (Includes turnover-, safeties, blocked kicks- possessions)Cats Made Yardage In Chunks
The Cats had outstanding offensive firepower. At 472 yards per game the Cats set an Arizona record and ranked 3rd nationally. UA's rate of 6.5 yards per play was a school record, eclipsing the 6.43 mark of the 1961 Arizona team. One reason Arizona had 74 scrimmage plays of 20 yards or more during the season, accounting for more than 1,700 yards.
WR/kick returner/sometime cornerback Dennis Northcutt demonstrated it was worth it over four seasons to get him the ball. He is the UA's all-time leading receiver (223), single-season leader (88), career receiving yardage leader (3,252), single-season receiving yardage leader (1,422), career all-purpose yardage leader (5,392) and the single-season all-purpose yardage leader. (2,249. He's the second all-time (tie) leading receiver in Pac-10 history. Dennis' 88 catches in 1999 led the league and his 18.96 yard per punt return led the nation.
In 134 touches in 1999 he averaged 16.8 yards per play. He had an 80-yard run for a score, punt returns of 80 and 81 yards for scores and an 80-yard pass reception for a score. He had more than 200 all-purpose yards in five games. He set a Pac-10 record with pass receptions in 42 consecutive games. No wonder he was a consensus first-team All-America return man.
Trung's TD Legacy
Senior tailback Trung Canidate did something in his three years as regular running back which might be difficult to measure. He averaged 43.8 yards on career touchdown runs alone. He gained 1,139 yards rushing on 26 career TD runs. Needless to say, his home-run hitting ability may be hard to duplicate. He leaves Arizona as the career rushing leader (3,824), the single-season rushing leader (1,602), the single-game rushing leader (288), the 100-yard games in a season leader (10), and the career 100-yard games leader (18). He averaged 6.33 yards on 604 career attempts. Like Northcutt, Canidate's season and career figures have surpassed those of one of the University of Arizona's legendary football figures B Art AThe Cactus Comet@ Luppino (1953-56). Trung is No. 5 in Pac-10 career rushing, ahead of a bunch of outstanding runners and trailing only Charles White, Marcus Allen, Darrin Nelson and Napolean Kaufman.
Marcus Rang Some Bells
Senior linebacker Marcus Bell notched 20 tackles in his final game to take the Pac-10 tackles crown for the second consecutive year. He finished with 124 hits. In his career, Bell recorded 405 tackles. His season average in 1999 was 10.3 per game.
Blocking Kicks in the 1990s
Reserve WR Peter Hansen blocked his fifth career kick with a total of three in 1999 (FG at OSU, PAT vs. Washington, FG at UCLA). The Cats blocked six kicks during the year and 14 in the last two years. The team was credited with one of 1999's blocks when Oregon's placekicker hit a low liner awry on a FG attempt. UA blocked a field goal (Joe Tafoya) and a PAT kick (J.J. Joppru) against Middle Tennessee. Joppru had a FG block against Stanford negated by a penalty. Last year, UA blocked eight kicks including two against Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. Including bowl games, in the 1990s since 1990 Arizona blocked 35 punts, field goals or PAT tries.
Arizona Football On TV/Radio
Arizona football games were shown on network television 17 times in the past two years and 60 times in the 1990s. Eight Arizona games were televised by networks under the Pac-10's ABC/Fox Sports Net contracts, with the remaining four shown in Arizona markets by UA partner Fox Sports Net. The Penn State was national and the ASU game was a split national telecast. KNST Radio (790 AM) is the flagship station for the Wildcat sports network, with award-winning play-by-play announcer Brian Jeffries and Les Josephson as analyst. Dick Tomey's weekly radio show, aired on KNST and The Dick Tomey TV show aired weekly on KTTU-TV.
The Cats were penalized 115 times for 930 yards in 1999, both historical highs. By the same token, the 12-1 team in 1998 also was penalized a lot for 881 yards. Still, the 9.6 penalties per game also is a school record. UA had three games with more than 100 yards in penalties Oregon State (16-156), Middle Tennessee (14-126) and UCLA (10-110), but won two of those games. One buzzword in preparations for the 2000 season will be improved discipline.
The Last Time Arizona...
Returned a punt for a TD: Dennis Northcutt vs. Arizona State (81 yards), 1999
Returned a blocked punt for a TD: Trung Canidate vs. Wash. State 1996, (Canidate block)
Returned a kickoff for TD: Chris McAlister (100 yards) at Hawaii, 1998, (also vs. UCLA '96)
Returned an interception for a TD (last 2): Greg Payne (24 yards) vs. UTEP, 1999; Chris McAlister (68 yards) vs. Washington State, 1998.
Scored a safety: at Washington State (forced fumble by Austin Uku), 1999
Did not score: at Washington, 1991 (UW 54-0)
Did not score a touchdown: at Oregon, 1994, (UO 10-9)
A back ran for 100 yards (last 3): Trung Canidate (18-158 vs. ASU 1999; (11-105) vs. UW 1999; (25-148) at UCLA 1999; (20-104)
A back ran for 200 yards (last 2): Trung Canidate (33-221) at OSU 1999; Canidate (27-202) vs. UTEP 1999
Blocked a punt (last 3): Brandon Nash vs. Nebraska; Chris McAlister vs. ASU, >98; Chris McAlister at Cal, '98
Blocked a field goal (last 3): Peter Hansen at OSU 1999; Hansen at UCLA 1999; Team vs. Oregon 1999;
Blocked a PAT kick (last 3): Peter Hansen vs. Washington 1999; J.J. Joppru vs. MSTU 1999; Hansen at Washington 1998
Scored a 2-pt. conversion (last 2): Ortege Jenkins to B. Manumaleuna vs. UW 1999; Keith Smith to Manumaleuna at WSU, 1999
Missed a PAT kick: Sean Keel vs. ASU 1999
Recovered a fumble for a TD (last 2): Kelvin Hunter (24 yds) vs. USC, 1999; Scooter Sprotte (12 yards) vs. ASU, 1998
Beat a ranked team (last 3): 31-24 USC (No. 22), 1999; 23-20, Nebraska (No. 14), 1998; 38-3, Oregon (No. 12), 1998
Lost to a ranked team (last 2): 7-41 at Penn State (No. 3), '99; 28-52 vs. UCLA (No. 3), '98
Beat an unranked team: 33-7 at UCLA, 1999
Lost to an unranked team: 27-42 at Arizona State 1999
Won as a ranked team: 34-19 vs. Middle Tennessee, 1999 (Arizona No. 19)
Won as an unranked team: 33-7 at UCLA, 1999
Lost as a ranked team: 22-50 vs. Stanford (UA No. 19), 1999
Lost as an unranked team: 27-42 at Arizona State 1999
Played in tie-breaker game: 41-38 vs. California, '98
The last time an Opponent...
Returned a punt for a TD: Eric Guliford (68 yards), at Ariz State '91
Recovered a blocked punt for a TD: Frank Primus, Stanford '97
Returned a kickoff for TD (last 2): JaWarren Hooker (89), Washington '97; Saladin McCullough (93), Oregon '97
Returned an interception for a TD: Anthony Vontoure (29 yards), Washington 1999
Scored a safety: vs. Oregon (Jenkins' lateral into endzone), 1999; at TCU 1999, twice
Did not score: Illinois, '96 (UA 41-0)
Did not score a touchdown: Oregon, >98 (UA 38-3); previous: Illinois, '96
A back ran for 100 yards (last 2): J.R. Redmond (23-112) at ASU 1999; Ken Simonton (21-149) at Oregon State 1999
A back ran for 200 yards (last 2): Reuben Droughns (45-202) vs. Oregon, 1999; Saladin McCullough (25-223) at Oregon 1996
Blocked a punt (last 2): Eric Sturdifen, Penn State '99; Pat Tillman, ASU '97
Blocked a field goal: Terrance Carrole, Oregon State '97
Blocked a PAT kick: Duane Clemons, Andy Jacobs, Regan Upshaw (3, California), '95
Scored a 2-pt. conversion: QB Feeley rush vs. Oregon 1999, RB Droughns rush vs. Oregon 1999
Recovered a fumble for a TD: Antuan Simmons (44 yds), Southern California, 1999
A Few Notes
UA had a balanced offensive attack in 1999 averaging 253 yards per game passing and 219 yards per game rushing. The rushing average is the fourth-best in Dick Tomey's tenure and the passing figure is his best and the No. 2 season figure in Arizona history. Dick Tomey's Arizona clubs have recorded five of the top 10 single-season passing totals in UA history
...UA's offensive line deserves a bundle of credit for the Cats' offensive firepower in 1999. One notable reason is the six men across the front have started all but one game together (OSU) B Manu Savea (RT), Marques McFadden (RG), Bruce Wiggins (C), Steven Grace (LG), Makoa Freitas (LT) and Brandon Manumaleuna (TE). Senior Ega Usu filled in for Freitas, who switched to right guard for McFadden (concussion) at OSU... That was a whole lot of continuity when it comes to a reasonably young offensive front...
... Junior QB Ortege Jenkins, the clear expected leader at the position in 2000 after sharing duty for two seasons, is 9-5 in his 13 career starts... Jenkins did a superb job in improving his percentage, to .603 after a sophomore year mark of .493. Jenkins finished with a passing efficiency rating of 144.72, the third-best mark in Arizona history Jenkins had nine touchdown throws in 131 attempts one for every 14 passes Jenkins also caught six passes in 1998 something he understandably prefers to not embellish in the future
Dennis Northcutt capped his career with his school-record eighth 100-yard receiving game of the season (8-127) in the final game, for his school-record 13th career 100-yard game
Trung Canidate capped his career with his school-record 10th 100-yard rushing game of the season (18-153) in the final game, for his school-record 18th career 100-yard game
...Sophomore tight end Brandon Manumaleuna had 20 receptions for 316 yards and two touchdowns, plus two other catches for two-point conversions. The latter ties Arizona records (along with Ortege Jenkins' two rushing 2-pointers) for most two-point conversions in a season and most two-point conversions in a career. The last Arizona tight end to catch more passes in a season was Mike Metzler (23-291) in 1996...
...Trung Canidate's had a number of long runs this year (a nice list of his TD runs alone can be found elsewhere in this release), but the Cats had some big inside runs from true freshman Lance Briggs, who ripped of a 34-yard burst at Oregon State and a 48-yard scoring run at UCLA...
...After a debut game with two-for-two field goal kicking at UCLA (31, 33 yards), walk-on freshman Sean Keel was one for three against Washington (30-yard make, 47 and 31 misses). He was 2-for-2 at Oregon State and missed one in the final game to finish at 5-8 on the year The Cats will look to improve: the team made six of 19 field goal attempts. Mark McDonald was 1-for-10 and punter Chris Palic had one missed attempt
...The Cats finished the year with eight sacks in the last two games to give the team 36 for the year, fourth best in the Pac-10 UA had a school-record-tying 9 sacks against UCLA. Senior to-be Joe Tafoya led the team with 10 sacks, largely from interior tackle spots
...Arizona's victory over UCLA Oct. 30 gave Arizona its second season in which it has beaten the two L.A. schools. But, the victory by Oregon State meant Arizona lost to both Oregon schools for the first time in a season in its history... The Cats swept the Los Angeles schools on the road in 1990, sweeping 28-21 at Pasadena and 35-26 in the Coliseum. The L.A. schools aren't exactly having banner seasons this year, but no sense in just standing by and letting other teams get in on the action...
...The Cats opened a game with a safety (by the bad guys) on the first scrimmage play twice during the season -- when Ortege Jenkins' lateral was behind Trung Canidate against Oregon and Trung had to fall on the ball in the endzone, and Scooter Sprotte was tackled on the first play of the game at TCU, when he opened at fullback in a power set
...Freshman receiver Bobby Wade earned Freshman All-Pac-10 honors from the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Wade was second on the club with 30 receptions for 454 yareds and four TDs in his true freshman season That represents the best total among freshman in UA's record books. A couple of other noted Arizona 4-year receivers during their freshman season: Theopolis Bell (22 in 1972), Terry Vaughn (22 in 1990), Vance Johnson as a tailback (22 in 1981), Derek Hill (12 in 1985), Richard Dice (12 in 1993), Dennis Northcutt (8 in 1996). Wade caught the game-winning pass from Keith Smith on the last play of action at WSU , a 42-yard bomb against the wind and triple coverage... He had his best career day at WSU, with 5 balls for 100 yards...
...Arizona used a mid-season splurge (and kept going) to move up some big rungs in the nation's Top 25 in total offense with its five consecutive 500-yard games. (Which ended with 417 against Washington). The club added a sixth game of 500+ at OSUThe 500-yard spree was a school and Pac-10 record, and sets an Arizona single-season mark for most 500-yard games in a season... The team total of 5,663 yards in total offense was the most in a season by a Pac-10 team ever, breaking the mark of 5524 by the Ryan Leaf-led 1997 WSU Cougar attack...
...The Cats had some double duty by several players during the 1999 season. Against USC, sophomore Eli Wnek started at H-back, as is normal, and also started and played extensively at defensive end, a position at which he had eight starts in 1998. Also against the Trojans, WR Dennis Northcutt ended up with nearly 85 plays as he spent double duty as a cover corner. In the season opener, inside linebacker Scooter Sprotte opened the game at strong safety and in the offensive backfield at fullback when the Cats were pinned down at their own goal-line -- and was tackled for a safety... Northcutt pulled cover duty in games against USC and UTEP Tight end Brandon Manumaleuna was in at defensive tackle in a goal-line package against Oregon.
...UA opponents' average rushing yardage B 143 yards B seems like a misprint for many who remember Desert Swarm of the early to mid->90s. But that's down from 196 per game at mid season UA held Southern California to -20 yards and held UCLA to -31 against UCLA on Oct. 30... But those two games were the only contests in 1999 in which opponents had less than 100 team rushing yards. The Cats allowed three games of more than 200 rushing yards, led by Penn State's 262. Arizona allowed only three individual century-mark outings and a 200-yard day. Reuben Droughns of Oregon netted 202 on 45 carries, LaDainian Tomlinson carried 28 times for 170 yards at TCU, Chafie Fields carried three times and popped for 110 yards at Penn State, and J.R. Redman had 23 carries for 112 yards at Arizona State