Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcat Football Postseason Awards Candidates
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: November 09, 1999
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Senior Wide Receiver/All-Purpose Dennis Northcutt
Northcutt has shattered Arizona's career receiving and all-purpose records this season and is among the top five in the nation in several statistical categories. Through 10 games, Northcutt has caught 72 passes (7.2 rpg, 4th nationally/1st Pac-10) for 1,199 yards (119.9 ypg, 3rd/2nd ) and seven touchdowns. He leads the Pac-10 and is No. 4 in the nation with a 16.5 punt return average (21-346, TD). With 197 rushing yards on end-arounds, he has amassed 1,862 all-purpose yards (186.2 ypg, 3rd/1st ). Northcutt is now the school record holder in career receptions (207), receiving yards (3,029) and all-purpose yards (5,005). He also set a Pac-10 record this season for consecutive games catching a pass, a streak which is currently at 40. Northcutt also has played cornerback -- the position where he started his Arizona career -- this season, most notably against USC's R. Jay Soward. Northcutt caught 10 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns against Texas Christian, for which he earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week laurels. He has seven 100+ yard games this season and five 120+ games.

Senior Tailback Trung Canidate
Canidate stands in line to be the next to break an Arizona record this season, as he closes in on the career rushing mark. Through 10 games, Canidate has run 208 times for 1,223 yards and nine touchdowns. He also has an active streak of eight consecutive 100-yard games. Canidate ranks 12th in the nation with his 122.3 ypg and is second in the Pac-10 in that category. Canidate has 3,445 career rushing yards and is 56 yards short of the career rushing mark. He has a flair for the big play on his touchdown runs. Thirteen of his 24 career touchdown runs have been for longer than 45 yards. This season, Canidate rushed for 202 yards against UTEP and 194 against USC. He also rolled up 158 at Washington State and 148 at UCLA. Canidate also has caught 25 passes this season for 235 yards and a touchdown.

Senior Linebacker Marcus Bell
Bell is the steady force in the middle of the Arizona defense. Through 10 games this season, Bell has 100 tackles, 57 solo. His total is 40 more than the No. 2 tackler on the Wildcat defense. He is third on the team with nine tackles for loss and also has a -sack. Bell was named the Pacific-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week against USC following his nine tackle, one interception performance. Against Washington, Bell had a game-high 18 tackles, 12 solo, the third-highest performance of his career. He 21 tackle performances against Arizona State and the Huskies in 1998. Bell's 18 tackles this year against Washington pushed him to the century mark for the second straight season. Last year, he led the Pac-10 with 139 stops.

Senior quarterback Keith Smith
The leader of the Arizona offense that has busted into the top five in the nation in total offense. Smith split time early in the season with the other part of the Wildcats' "two-headed monster," Ortege Jenkins, because of injuries. He missed one complete game and most of two others because of injuries. Smith has completed 97-of-167 passes for 1,447 yards and eight touchdowns. His 138.29 quarterback rating is tops in the conference among starting quarterbacks. Smith, an All-Pac-10 second team member last season, also has rushed for 156 yards this season. He averages 177.2 yards of total offense a game. Arizona is 5-1 in games that Smith starts this season. He is a career 1,000-yard rusher and has 6,598 yards of total offense in his career, No. 2 on UA's all-time list.

Senior right tackle Manuia Savea
The senior leader on the Arizona offensive line that has aided Arizona's rise into the top five in total offense this season. Through 10 games, the Wildcats have averaged 469.5 yards of total offense a game. Savea has also keyed Arizona's rushing attack this season, which averages 219.4 a game to lead the conference. Arizona had a string of five straight games racking up 500+ yards of total offense snapped against Washington when they gained "only" 417 yards.

Junior tight end Brandon Manumaleuna
Has perhaps the softest hands on the team including the receivers but is also a tenacious blocker. Manumaleuna has caught 16 passes for 230 yards, marks that are both fourth on the team. He has two touchdown grabs and has also caught two two-point conversions this season. Manumaleuna is also a key blocker in the Wildcats' running game, which leads the Pac-10 with 219.4 ypg.

Junior defensive lineman Joe Tafoya
Through 10 games this season, Tafoya has 41 tackles and leads the Wildcats with seven sacks. His sack numbers would have likely been higher if not for making a move from end to tackle for the betterment of the team's run defense. Tafoya also has 11 tackles for loss this season and had forced two fumbles. Against UCLA, Tafoya sacked Bruin quarterbacks three times. He also blocked a field goal attempt against Middle Tennessee.

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