Some Game Themes: ...Two old friends renew a desert rivalry... UTEP looks to earn its first road victory of the year... Two teams which have allowed opponents more than 30 points per game... A pair of two-QB systems meet...
The Series: Arizona leads the series, 36-11-2, and has a nine-game winning streak dating to 1971, including the last contest, 23-3, in Tucson in 1996... In its 100 years of football, Arizona has played only Arizona State (72) and New Mexico (64) more times than it has played UTEP, a former WAC, independent and Border Conference rival. UA is 19-6-1in games played in Tucson.
The Coaches: Arizona--Dick Tomey (DePauw '64) is in his 13th year at Arizona (88-54-4) and 23rd overall (151-100-7). He is the winningest coach at both Arizona and Hawaii. Tomey is 10-1overall vs. UTEP including 8-1 while at Hawaii. Texas-El Paso-Charlie Bailey (Tampa '62), seventh year at UTEP (15-45-1), 10th year overall (27-66-2). It will be Bailey's first outing against Arizona as a head coach, though he was defensive coordinator at UTEP when the 1993 Wildcats beat the Miners, 24-6, in both teams' season openers.
Last Outing: Arizona used a balanced offensive attack, a renewed pass rush and a game-turning defensive play to send Southern California to 0-2 in Pac-10 play, beating the Trojans, 31-24. Tailback Trung Canidate rushed 31 times for 194 yards, the second-best total in his career. Keith Smith, going most of the way at quarterback, passed for 243 yards and a touchdown and ran the ball nine times for 87 yards and a touchdown -- the latter a 57-yard scamper to give UA a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Cats ran for 307 yards, their season high, and totaled 550 yards against the club which entered the game leading the conference in every defensive category. But a big story was UA's defense, which sacked the Trojan quarterback seven times (two each by DaShon Polk and Idris Haroon) to equal the entire sack output for the team entering the game. USC ended up with 29 rushing attempts for -20 net yards, the Cats' best effort since holding Illinois to -27 in 1993 and not far off the school mark of -33 against Stanford in 1992. Even as a one-dimensional team, though, USC had a 17-10 lead until the final moments of the third quarter when Smith rainbowed a 17-yard TD pass to Dennis Northcutt to tie. Five minutes later Arizona used an 8-play, 80-yard drive to take the lead at 24-17. Most of the fourth quarter was give-and-take until a poor snap eluded Trojan QB Mike Van Raaphorst and Wildcat corner Kelvin Hunter scooped and scored from 24 yards out with just under two minutes left in the game. The Trojans made it appear closer with a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive but it wasn't enough. Northcutt's 121 receiving yards (eight catches) made him Arizona's all-time leader in that category. Northcutt spent some time at cornerback during the game. Eli Wnek started at DE and H-back. UA linebacker Marcus Bell finished with a team-high nine tackles, broke up a pass and tipped one to himself for an INT, to earn Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week. DT Joe Tafoya was a big key with six tackles, three for losses.
More on the Match Up; Miners Notes...
The teams renew the rivalry after a five-year hiatus... Senior halfback Paul Smith rushed 23 times for 141 yards and three TD in the Miners' 42-28 comeback victory over Southern Methodist on Saturday. He's averaging 116 yards per game with a fine 5.2 per carry mark and eight touchdowns. One of his scores was an 80-yarder, a career best... A two-quarterback system won't be odd for UTEP to face; it employs its own. Junior Rocky Perez and senior Jay Stuckey matched each other vs. SMU. Perez completed 14 of 21 passes for 151 yards and Stuckey 12 of 13 for 182 yards. Neither was intercepted... The Miners' 3-3 record ties it best half-way mark under Charlie Bailey, whose 1994 club won twice near the turn for an early October 3-3 record... UTEP would seem to have more of a sure thing in three-pointers. All-WAC junior Ricky Bishop has made six of seven field goal tries, missing only a 52-yarder at Oregon. UA's Mark McDonald is 1-for-9... Senior defensive end Brian Young, another All-WAC pick in 1998, leads the Miners with 11 tackles for loss, including 5 sacks. His 55 tackles trail team leader Rob Weathers (ILB) by two...
Nearly 100 former Wildcats will be on the field at halftime in celebration of the UA's Football Centennial. Some to be introduced include: 1993 Outland Trophy winner DT Rob Waldrop, 1980s linebacking twins, All-American linebacker Chris Singleton and brother Kevin; NCAA Top Six Award winner and All-American safety Chuck Cecil; 1970s All-WAC and two-time 1,000-yard rusher Jim Upchurch; 1947 All-American, national total offense leader and UA namesake Fred Enke; 1939-40 All-Border Conference and two-way performer John Black; "Blue Brigade" bruising 1930s fullback Walter "Hoss" Nielsen; the "Touchdown Twins" of 1961, Bobby Lee "The General" Thompson and "Jackrabhit" Joe Hernandez; Dr. Robert Dicus, in behalf of the late Waldo Dicus, a record-setting WR from the 1920s; All-American and WAC Lineman of the Year DE Tom Nelson (1968); and UA grad Bob Suarez, in behalf of his grandfather, Benito Suarez, one of the players in the UA lineup in 1899, the first year.
Arizona Coach Dick Tomey:
Tomey, a member of the American Football Coaches Association Board of Trustees, has led Arizona to 20 victories in its last 23 games. A 1998 national Coach of the Year finalist of the Football Writer's Association of America and Football News, Dick Tomey led Arizona to its best record in history, competing the year 12-1 and ranked No. 4 in the polls. UA became only the fourth team in 83 seasons of Pac-10 football to win 12 games. Beyond that, a more important honor was receiving a University of Arizona Provost's Award for outstanding accomplishment in teaching. He is the first coach in Arizona history to receive the honor, which are garnered by a special few and always in the interest of academic and personal excellence. Tomey is the dean of Pac-10 coaches and has seen 25 head coaches paraded at the other conference schools during his tenure. In his 13th year in Tucson he carries an 88-54-4 record and in his 23rd year overall he is 151-100-7. He has a 58-21-2 slate at Arizona Stadium and a 30-32-2 road record. His Pac-10 record is 56-40-4, making him No. 8 on the all-time list of winningest Pac-10 coaches by conference victories. He is the winningest coach at both Arizona and Hawaii, 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). 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 - 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 were ranked in the polls for 20 consecutive periods until Sept, 20.
Winningest Pac-10 Coaches (league victories only): 6. John Robinson (USC, 1976-82, 1993-97) 63-43-10 7. Larry Smith (UA 1980-86, USC 1987-92) 63-34-4 8. Dick Tomey (Arizona 1987-) 56-40-4 Rich Brooks (Oregon 1977-94) 56-79-2
Cats in the Polls
UA entered the season ranked No. 4 by Associated Press and No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. The Cats dropped from the polls Sept. 20, after 20 consecutive periods as a ranked team. This year's opening ranking was the Cats' second highest. The 1983 team was No. 3 in both polls in the first week of September. Arizona's two final top 10 rankings from 1993-1998 are the most for any Pac-10 team. This week UA received enough votes to climb to 27th in AP and 29th in the ESPN/USA Today polls.
Poll Pre A30 S6 S13 S20 S27 O4 O10 AP 4 15 19 19 - - - - ESPN/USA Today 3 3 15 17 - - - -
Arizona should be in good shape for the UTEP game. Starting wide receiver Brad Brennan aggravated a hamstring injury against Stanford and is a candidate for a medical hardship season, with limited play in only two games. He had missed the TCU and MT games. 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 will redshirt. Redshirt freshman cornerback David Hinton had shoulder surgery Aug. 26 and will miss the season. Lost starts due to injury: (11): (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.
Offensive/Defensive Game-by-Game Team Totals
|Game||Rushing||Passing||Total||Opp Rush||Opp Pass||Opp Total||TO's/Opp TO's|
|vs. Midd Tenn||46-265-3||17-24-235-0-2||70-400-4^||31-228-2||26-37-276-0-2||68-304-3||0/1|
(*plus one defensive TD and two safeties; ^plus one P
ret TD; +plus one safety; ++plus 1 fum ret TD)
Arizona Game-by-Game Starters
|at PSU||Northcutt||Makoa Freitas||Grace||Wiggins||McFadden||Savea||Manumale.||Smith||Canidate||Wendler||Wnek (H) (Brennan-WR)|
|at TCU||Northcutt||Makoa Freitas||Grace||Wiggins||McFadden||Savea||Manumale.||Smith||Canidate||Sprotte||Hugo (TE) (Wade-WR)|
|M.Tenn||Northcutt||Makoa Freitas||Grace||Wiggins||McFadden||Savea||Manumale.||Jenkins||Canidate||Wendler||Wnek (HB) (Brown-WR)|
|Stanford||Northcutt||Makoa Freitas||Grace||Wiggins||McFadden||Savea||Manumale.||Jenkins||Canidate||Wendler||Wnek (HB) (Brennan WR)|
|at WSU||Northcutt||Makoa Freitas||Grace||Wiggins||McFadden||Savea||Manumale.||Jenkins||Canidate||Wnek (H)||Wade|
|vs. USC||Northcutt||Makoa Freitas||Grace||Wiggins||McFadden||Savea||Manumale.||Smith||Canidate||Briggs||Wnek (HB) (Wade-WR)|
How the Cats Measure Nationally Here are some top 25 national (and Pac-10) statistical rankings for Arizona:
Category (figure) NCAA Pac-10 Team Punt Ret (17.9) 3rd 1st Total Offense (430.8) 21st 3rd Dennis Northcutt: Punt Ret (20.2) 2nd 1st Rec PG (7.3) 12th 2nd Rec YPG (125.0) 4th 2nd All-Purp (189.5) 4th 2nd Keith Smith (146.4) 13th 1st pass efficiency
Red-Zone Offense and Defense: The Cats have mixed success in the red zone but have shown tendencies to score from anywhere on the field. Against USC, Arizona had two touchdowns, a missed FG and a failed fourth-down try on four trips inside the 20 yard-line. (The Cats were tough on defense and allowed only one USC penetration, for a TD). At WSU, Arizona lost two of five red-zone scoring chances with missed field goals. (WSU made good with two touchdowns on its two penetrations.) UA lost two red-zone scoring chances among its three ventures inside Stanford's 20 yard-line. (Stanford was 6-for-6 with 5 touchdowns and a field goal). UA scored three TD on three trips inside Middle Tennessee's 20 yard-line. (MT was 2-for-3 with 2 TD). Arizona scored from outside the red zone four times at TCU and was successful on its lone trip inside the 20. (TCU was 2-for-2 with touchdowns on both possessions). At Penn State the Cats had three possessions inside the Lions' 20 yard-line and came up with one touchdown. (On PSU's four red zone possessions it came away with a field goal and two touchdowns).
Arizona in the Red Zone: 21 trips, 13 TD 1st-and-Goal: 11 (9 TD) Opponents in the Zone: 18 trips, 14 TD / 2 FG 1st-and-Goal: 8 (6 TD, 1 FG)Sudden-Change Possessions...
UA is working to create more turnovers and in the last two games have only one by its offense. Against the Trojans, UA scored on a fumble return, but so did USC, and the Cats picked off a pass but could not score points. Arizona did not create a turnover against either Washington State or Stanford, but UA defensive end Austin Uku stripped a Cougar ball carrier to cause a safety. UA did not turn the ball over against the Cougs, its second error-free game of the year (MTSU). The Cardinal scored 14 points after two of its three interceptions against the Wildcats. UA blocked a field goal but had the play negated by penalty and the Cardinal made the ensuing FG try. Arizona scored a touchdown after recovering a fumble vs. Middle Tennessee -- the lone turnover in the game. The Cats had a disastrous ratio at TCU, allowing 21 turnover points including two safeties. The Cats had three lost fumbles and suffered an interception, leading to 17 points by TCU. UA did score a TD after recovering the Horns' fumble. UA managed the only turnover points in the game at Penn State -- its lone touchdown came following a mid-field fumble recovery. However, the Nittany Lions blocked a punt on the first play of the second quarter to get superb field position at the UA 16 yard-line and subsequently kicked a field goal.
1999 Turnovers: Arizona 9, Opponents 7 1999 Miscue points: Arizona 30, Opponents 45 (Includes turnover-, safeties, blocked kicks- possessions)
WR Dennis Northcutt has caught a pass in 36 consecutive games dating to the Oregon State game in his 1996 freshman season. That's a school record and one shy of the Pacific-10 Conference mark of 37 set by John Jackson of Southern California from 1986-89... He notched 208 all-purpose yards against WSU, his third 200+ game of the year. He had 242 all-purpose yards against Stanford in a decent individual duel with SU standout Troy Walters (208)... Dennis had an 80-yard punt return for a score against MTSU and had another one of 71 yards negated by penalty. Northcutt's 314 all-purpose yards at TCU (257 receiving, 13 rushing, 44 returns) is the third best in UA history and gave him 21 yards every time he touched the ball. (More on Northcutt's weekly exploits can be checked at the Biletnikoff Award web site (biletnikoff.com).
Arizona 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, Arizona blocked eight kicks including two against Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. Including bowl games, since 1990 Arizona has blocked 33 punts, field goals or PAT tries. Penn State blocked an Arizona punt earlier this year, giving it field position at the UA 16 yard-line to set up a field goal a few moments later.
Wildcats Climbing the Charts
Arizona Career Receiving Yardage List Arizona Career Rushing Yards List 1. 2,580 Dennis Northcutt, 1996- (179 rec/22 tds) 1. 3,501 Ontiwaun Carter, 1991-94 2. 2,509 "T" Bell, 1972-75 (153 rec/30 tds) 2. 3,371 Art Luppino, 1953-56 3. 2,415 Jo n Horton, 1983-86 (136 rec/16 tds) 3. 3,096 Hubie Oliver, 1977-80 4. 1,957 Richard Dice, 1993-96 (119 rec/17 tds) 4. 2,959 Trung Canidate, 1996- 5. 1,925 Derek Hill, 1985-88 (112 rec/14 tds) 5. 2,571 David Adams, 1984-86 Arizona Career Reception List Arizona Career Passing Yards List 1. 179 Dennis Northcutt, 1996- (2,580 yds/22 tds) 1. 7,618 Tom Tunnicliffe, 1980-83 2. 153 "T" Bell, 1972-75 (2,509 yds/30 tds) 2. 6,016 Alfred Jenkins, 1983-86 3. 136 Jon Horton, 1983-86 (2,415 yds/16 tds) 3. 5,723 Dan White, 1993-95 4. 119 Richard Dice, 1993-96 (1,957 yds/17 tds) 4. 5,090 Bruce Hill, 1973-75 5. 4,884 Keith Smith, 1996- Arizona Career Total Offense Leaders Arizona Career All-Purpose Yardage List 1. 7,336 Tom Tunnicliffe, 1980-83 1. 4,963 Art Luppino, 1953-56 2. 6,307 Alfred Jenkins, 1983-86 2. 4,943 Theopolis "T" Bell, 1972-75 3. 6,054 Bruce Hill, 1973-75 3. 4,343 Vance Johnson, 1981-84 4. 5,918 Keith Smith, 1996- 4. 4,280 Dennis Northcutt, 1996- 5. 5,312 Dan White, 1993-95 5. 4,023 Ontiwaun Carter, 1991-94A Few Notes ...The Cats had a second double-double against the Trojans, but the first real such tour of duty. 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...
...Keith Smith's 243-yard passing effort against Southern California was the second highest total in his career, trailing the phenomenal 418 he had at California in triple overtime in 1996... That was the game in which he set an NCAA freshman total offense mark of 502 yards...
...Keith Smith became a 1,000-yard rusher with his 87 yards on 9 carries against Southern California - career, that is. For a QB, that's not too bad. A quick look at Arizona's career record for modern quarterback rushing (not kept faithfully over the years) turned up Ronnie Veal (1988-91) with 1,405 yards as the leader. Smith passed Jim Krohn (987 yards from 1976 to 1979) with his output against USC... Smith, by the way, had 23 rushes for 184 yards in his two career games against the Trojans - an average of 8.0 per tote... A quick look by the Pac-10 office shows OSU quarterbacks Tim Alexander (1,405) and Terry Baker (1,503) likely other conference rushing QBs of note...
...Fourth down may not be what it used to be. In six games opponents have gone for it 13 times against the Cats, making nine for a superb 69%. UA, meantime, has converted two of six 4th-down tries... The Cats have stopped opponents 60 times on third down (24-84)... UA has made 37 of 94 conversions, a 39% rate...
...UA's seven sacks against USC is its best since the believed school record of nine against Northeast Louisiana last year... DaShon Polk and Idris Haroon each had two against the Trojans and helped double the team output to 15 for the year...
...Arizona has moved into the nation's Top 25 in total offense with its back-to-back 500-yard games. The team is averaging 430 yards per contest and ranks 21st nationally...
...Keith Smith is 12-1 as the quarterback of record in his last 13 starts... Overall in his four seasons he is 17-9 as the first guy out there under center... Ortege Jenkins is 9-4 in his 13 career starts... Jenkins has done a good job in improving his percentage, to a team-best .641 after last year's final mark of .493. Smith's current .638 percentage is better than his career mark of .608, which if stands would be a school record...
...Trung Canidate's 110.7 yards per game rushing matches his 1998 figure which led the Pac-10 -- 110.9... Stiff competition appears up north where Ken Simonton carries a 158-yard average for Oregon State... Canidate has a better per-carry figure (5.6) than Simonton (5.2)...
...Soph WR Malosi Leonard made two big receptions of 38 and 44 yards against USC. Said coach Dick Tomey: "There are all these Mach 2 receivers out there, and Malosi, a big guy, makes the two longest catches of the game..." Leonard caught one on first down and the longer one on 3rd-and-8 to heat up a scoring drive...
...As has been the trend, UA linebacker Marcus Bell leads the team in tackles (51), considerably ahead of the next guy, whip linebacker DaShon Polk (30)... Polk's the team leader with eight tackles for loss...
...UA's quarterbacks and offensive linemen have allowed the Cats' signal caller to be sacked 20 times, compared to 21 last year and 25 the year before. Coaches have credited (or dis-) the QBs themselves on a number of occasions for simply not getting rid of the ball... ...Freshman WR Bobby 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, with 5 balls for 100 yards...
...Coach Dick Tomey benched two starters for team discipline reasons against Washington State -- linebacker Scooter Sprotte and free safety Rafell Jones. They haven't won back their starting positions...
...UA opponents' average rushing yardage - 160 yards - seems like a misprint for many who remember Desert Swarm of the early to mid-'90s. But that's down from 196 per game the previous week, thanks to the -20 job UA did against Tailback U on Oct. 9. The Trojans suffered 13 tackles for losses -- seven of those sacks. All running backs and receivers had negative plays. UA tackle Joe Tafoya led the way with three tackles for loss (1 sacks)... That was the first game opponents had less than 100 team rushing yards. The Cats have allowed three games of more than 200 rushing yards, led by Penn State's 262. In all its games, Arizona has allowed opponents 100 yards rushing -- and two individual century-mark outings. Chafie Fields carried three times and popped for 110 yards at Penn State, while LaDainian Tomlinson carried the ball 28 times for 170 yards at Texas Christian...
...Sophomore tight end Brandon Manumaleuna has 12 receptions for 151 yards and a touchdown (his career first, vs. Middle Tennessee), plus another catch for a two-point conversion. Last year the Cats' leading tight end, Mike Lucky, had 11 receptions for 142 yards...
...The two safeties TCU recorded against Arizona - tackling RB Sprotte on the game's second play and later sacking QB Ortege Jenkins early in the third quarter - is believed to be an opponents record... ...Keith Smith set a school record (minimum 20 attempts) by posting an .810 completion percentage mark against Penn State (17-21), besting a Tom Tunnicliffe performance (21-27, .780) against Pacific in 1982...
...H-back/fullback Jim Wendler was awarded a medical-hardship final year of eligibility after a series of appeals to the NCAA (based on an illness he had during his first year at the Air Force Academy)...
... One reason for the UA running game's somewhat modest start this year is the loss of five guys who played a huge role: guard Yusuf Scott, tackle Edwin Mulitalo, tight end Mike Lucky and backs Paul Shields and Kelvin Eafon. All but Eafon survived final NFL cuts...
Pac-10 Standings: Pac Overall This week Oct. 23 opponent Stanford 3-0 3-2 Oregon State at USC Washington 2-0 3-2 Arizona State at California Arizona 2-1 4-2 Texas-El Paso Oregon Arizona State 1-1 2-3 at Washington WSU California 1-1 2-3 at UCLA Washington USC 1-2 3-2 at Notre Dame Stanford Oregon 1-2 3-3 - at Arizona UCLA 1-2 3-3 California at Oregon State Washington St. 1-2 2-4 - at Arizona State Oregon State 0-2 3-2 at Stanford UCLAThe Last Time Arizona...
|Returned a punt for a TD:||Dennis Northcutt vs.Middle Tennessee (80 yards), 1999|
|Returned a blocked punt for a TD:||Trung Canidatevs. Wash. State 1996, (Canidate block)|
|Returned a kickoff for TD:||Chris McAlister (100yards) at Hawaii, 1998, (also vs. UCLA '96)|
|Returned an interception for a TD:||Chris McAlister(68 yards) vs. Washington State, 1998.|
|Scored a safety:||at Washington State (forced fumbleby 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 2):||Trung Canidate (31-294)vs. USC, 1999; Canidate (34-258) at WSU, 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 2):||Joe Tafoya vs.MTSU, 1999; Peter Hansen vs. Nebraska, 1998|
|Blocked a PAT kick (last 2):||J.J. Joppru vs. MSTU,1999; Peter Hansen at Washington 1998|
|Scored a 2-pt. conversion (last 2):||Keith Smithto B. Manumaleuna pass at WSU, 1999; Ortege Jenkins run vs. Stanford 1999|
|Recovered a fumble for a TD (last 2):||KelvinHunter (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:||30-24 at Washington State,1999|
|Lost to an unranked team:||50-22 vs. Stanford,1999|
|Won as a ranked team:||34-29 vs. Middle Tennessee,1999 (Arizona No. 19)|
|Won as an unranked team:||vs. Southern California,31-24, 1999|
|Lost as a ranked team:||22-50 vs. Stanford (UA No. 19),1999|
|Lost as an unranked team:||Washington State, 35-34 (OT),'97|
|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:||Jermaine Smith(91), Washington '97|
|Scored a safety:||at TCU 1999, twice: (Sprotteby Shannon Brazzell and Chad Bayer; Jenkins by Aaron Schobel)|
|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):||LaDainian Tomlinson(28-270), TCU 1999; Chafie Fields (3-210), Penn State '99.|
|A back ran for 200 yards:||Saladin McCullough (25-223),at Oregon 1996|
|Blocked a punt (last 2):||Eric Sturdifen, PennState '99; Pat Tillman, ASU '97|
|Blocked a field goal:||Terrance Carrole, OregonState '97|
|Blocked a PAT kick:||Duane Clemons, Andy Jacobs,Regan Upshaw (3, California), '95|
|Scored a 2-pt. conversion:||QB Marques Tuiasosoporun, Washington '98|
|Recovered a fumble for a TD:||Antuan Simmons(44 yds), Southern California, 1999|
Some Arizona Honors Candidates
Dennis the Menace
* Wide Receiver Dennis Northcutt - A Biletnikoff Award an All-American candidate, this senior who began his career as a running back and defensive back, is Arizona's all-time reception leader with 179 catches and the UA's all-time receiving yardage leader with 2,580 yards... In the past four games, he has caught 36 passes for 693 yards and five touchdowns... Overall on the year, he has 44 receptions for 750 yards and six touchdowns (125 ypg)... He has caught a pass in a school record 36 consecutive games, dating back to the Oregon State game in 1996... The Pac-10 record is 37 straight games held by John Jackson of USC from 1986-89... He also has a punt return for a TD this year -- an 80-yarder against Middle Tennessee... That is tied for the ninth-longest punt return in school history and it's the longest punt return at the UA since 1980... Only moments earlier, he had a 71-yard punt return for a score called back because Arizona was flagged for roughing the punter... One of the top all-purpose men in the country as well, he averages 189.5 all purpose yards per game... On the UA career all-purpose yardage list, he ranks No. 5 with 4,290 yards... In the Washington State win, he had 208 all-purpose yards (107 receiving, 86 in punts and 15 rushing yards)... Northcutt had a career-game against TCU, catching 10 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns... The yardage total was the second best in Arizona history and tied for sixth on the Pac-10's single game charts... Included in the three scores were receptions of 38, 59 and 30 yards -- the latter of which was the game-winner with 2:10 left to go... On the night, he had 314 all purpose yards and was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week for the performance... Had 121 yards on eight receptions in the 31-24 win and his TD tied the game at 17-17... Hauled in a game-high eight passes for 86 yards at Penn State... In his career, he has 22 receiving touchdowns (also has one rushing TD and one punt return for a TD) to go with 2,580 receiving yards and is the only player in UA history to score a TD four different ways (pass reception, run, punt return and interception return)... His 922 receiving yards last season are No. 4 on the single season chart and his 63 receptions are No. 2... He caught 58 passes as a sophomore, a total that is No. 4 on the single season list... Was the Pac-10's all-purpose yardage leader last season with 1,647 yards... He returned 38 punts for 437 yards and 11 kickoffs for 219 yards... As a redshirt freshman in 1996, he had two interceptions against Illinois, which was one pick short of a freshman record... Took one of the interceptions back for a 63-yard touchdown... That season also saw him go on to haul in a touchdown reception at California, making him the first Arizona player to score both an offensive and defensive touchdown in the same year since 1975.
Dennis Northcutt's Top Receiving Outputs
9-6-99 at TCU 10-257 yds 3 TD
9-12-98 at Stanford 5-160 yds 1 TD
9-19-98 Iowa 5-157 yds 1 TD
9-18-99 Stanford 8-139 yds 2 TD
10-18-97 Washington 10-135 yds 0 TD
10-4-97 San Diego State 6-121 yds 2 TD
10-9-99 USC 8-121 yds 1 TD
* Running Back Trung Canidate - A preseason Doak Walker Award candidate, this speedster enters the UTEP game with four consecutive 100-yard games, upping his career 100-yard games to 12... In this span, he has run for 577 yards (144.25 ypg)... Against USC, he rushed for 194 rushing yards, which was the second-highest single game total in his career (288 vs. ASU in 1998)... Prior to that outing, he ran for 158 yards against Washington State... He carried the ball a career-high 34 times and tied a career-best with three touchdowns... His second of 1999 came in the Stanford game, as he rushed for 123 yards on 14 carries... That output was aided by a season-long 73-yard carry... On the year, he has carried the ball 119 times for 783 yards (130.5 ypg)... Last season, he led the nation in rushing yards per attempt, averaging a whopping 7.3 yards per carry and this year he is at 5.6 ypc... Became just the third 1,000-yard rusher in the 83-year history of Pacific-10 Conference football to average more than seven yards per carry... Against Middle Tennessee State, he had his first 100-yard game of 1999... Ran for 102 yards on 16 carries (6.4 ypc)... His 19 career touchdown runs have averaged 41.7 yards per carry... Before the Washington State game this season when he scored on runs of 4, 2 and 1 yards, his TD average was at 51.7 ypc...Ran for a UA record 288 yards on just 18 carries (16.0 ypc) in last year's regular season finale against Arizona State... After missing last season's opener at Hawaii, he still managed to finish as the Pac-10's rushing champion with 1,220 yards... He is the fourth all-time leading rusher in school history with 2,959 yards and needs 137 yards to surpass Hubie Oliver (1977-80), who is No. 3 at 3,096... Ontiwaun Carter (1991-94) is the school's all-time leading rusher with 3,501 career rushing yards and is 542 yards ahead of Canidate... He needs to average 90.3 ypg over the course of the Cats' final six games to become the UA career rushing leader... First career touchdown was as a redshirt freshman when he blocked a punt and recovered it for a score against Washington State.
Trung Canidate's Career Touchdown Runs (19)
Yards Opponent Year
96 San Diego State(UA rec) 1997
80 Arizona State 1998
75 Washington State 1998
71 Oregon 1998
67 UCLA 1998
66 Arizona State 1998
66 Alabama-Birmingham 1997
54 California 1998
48 Arizona State 1998
45 Washington State 1998
38 Iowa 1998
37 Washington 1998
28 California 1997
11 USC 1999
4 Washington State 1999
3 New Mexico 1997
2 Washington State 1999
1 Washington State 1999
1 Iowa 1998
* Linebacker Marcus Bell - A Butkus Award candidate, he led the Pac-10 Conference in tackles last year after racking up 139 hits... Against USC he had a great game with nine tackles to help limit the Trojans to their lowest rushing total, -20, in their Pac-10 history... This season, he has a team-high 51 tackles and has six tackles for a loss and 29 solo hits... His game-high 13 tackles against Stanford tied for the third-highest single game total of his career... Team high-nine tackles against TCU and eight versus Middle Tennessee... Only had six tackles against Penn State, as his time in the second half was limited after injuring his left ankle (he missed the entire fourth quarter)... His tackle total last season (139) was the most for an Arizona defender during the Dick Tomey-era, surpassing the 136 tackles All-American safety Chuck Cecil had in 1987... Had 83 solo stops and was a first team All-Pac-10 selection... Broke up six passes, forced two fumbles and led the team in tackles for a loss with 14... Had a double-digit tackle output in nine of the UA's 13 games... Had 21 tackles in a game twice last season - against Washington and Arizona State... His 139 tackles in 1998 were twice as many as Arizona's second-leading tackler (59)... A two-time Pac-10 Conference Player of the Week selection (Washington and Iowa games)... An extremely hard worker, UA head coach Dick Tomey calls him the best inside linebacker he has coached...Started every game but one over the last two seasons (at WSU as a sophomore)... Has 331 total tackles in his career (219 solos/112 assists)... Football News 1999 preseason All-America first team.
Marcus Bell's Top Tackle Games
21 Arizona State (11-27-98)
21 at Washington (10-3-98)
13 Stanford (9-18-99)
13 at San Diego St. (9-24-98)
12 at Arizona State (11-28-97)
11 7 times, last vs. WSU (11-7-98)
* Quarterback Keith Smith - The senior part of the Arizona two-headed quarterback rotation with Ortege Jenkins, Keith Smith entered the season after setting Arizona completion records in two of the past three years... He looks like he is on target to do it again this season, as he is 60-of-94 (63.8%)... He has thrown for 815 yards and four touchdowns... He had his best game of the season in the 31-24 win over USC, going 15-of-23 for 243 yards and one touchdown... The passing yardage total was the second highest in his career, trailing the 418 he passed for in the triple overtime loss at California as a freshman in 1996... He is the Arizona quarterback who you see on the highlight reels after his 42-yard "Hail Mary" pass on the last play of the game at Washington State was caught by freshman Bobby Wade, giving the Cats a 30-24 win -- it was named the Compaq Collegiate Play of the Week... He finished the day 12-of-25 for 190 yards and one TD to go with 54 rushing yards on 13 carries... He sat out the Middle Tennessee win after re-aggravating an ankle sprain against TCU -- he injured the ankle during the second half of the season opener at Penn State, but practiced the entire following week and started against the Horned Frogs... In the TCU win, he was 12-of-16 for 174 and two touchdowns, including the gamewinner -- a 30-yarder to Dennis Northcutt with 2:10 left in the contest... Against Penn State, he started and was on target throughout the day, completing 17-of-21 passes for 128 yards... He completed his first nine passes in a row... Against Stanford, he was 4-of-9 for 80 yards, as Jenkins got the start and the majority of the work... He completed a school-best 68.5% of his passes last season (113-of-165) and during his sophomore campaign, he completed passes 60.6% of the time (117-of-193)... His pass efficiency rating of 174.17 last year is also a school record - and if he would have had just 15 more attempts, that would have been the nation's No. 2 mark... He is the UA's No. 3 career leader for total offense (5,918 yards) and No. 5 for passing yards (4,884)... A second team All-Pac-10 pick last year... Pin-point passer and elusive rusher as well... Has rushed for 947 yards in his career and scored 13 touchdowns on the ground... Offensive MVP of the 1998 Holiday Bowl, as he completed 11-of-19 passes for 147 yards and one TD, while rushing for 25 yards.
* Quarterback Ortege Jenkins - Arizona's other quarterback in the UA two-man rotation, he has started three games this season... On the year, he is 50-of-78 for 646 yards and seven touchdowns... He was the man in the TCU win after guiding the Cats out of a 25-7 third quarter deficit... He engineered three quick scoring drives that resulted in 21 points in six plays, giving Arizona a 28-25 lead in the middle of the third stanza... In the game, he completed 5-of-9 passes -- three of which were for touchdowns - and finished with 163 yards... He also saw time at receiver and caught two passes, while his improvisational skills on the ground helped Arizona keep the chains moving... In the game-winning final drive, he was used as a wide receiver to keep the TCU defense from double-teaming Dennis Northcutt, who in turn, ended up catching the game-winning pass... At Washington State, he started before giving way to Keith Smith... On the day he was 6-of-8 for 61 yards and was in the three-receiver set that went up for the ball on the last second "Hail Mary" completion that won the game... He jumped for it, but it went through his arms and into Bobby Wade's for the game winner... He played the majority of the Middle Tennessee game (Keith Smith was held out due to an injury), before giving way to third-stringer Jason Johnson late in the game... Jenkins went 16-of-23 for 118 yards and one touchdown and ran the ball four times for 21 yards, scoring on an 8-yard run that put Arizona up 20-0... Against Stanford, he was 15-of-23 for 200 yards and three touchdowns... O.J. directed Arizona on its only scoring drive of the Penn State game and ended up completing 8-of-14 passes for 104 yards... He also carried the ball 11 times (but his rushing total was only 16 yards because of sacks)... Threw for 1,011 yards last year and five touchdowns, but was probably best remembered around the nation for his leap and flip into the endzone over three defenders to beat Washington with four seconds left in the game... Top game of 1998 was against UCLA, when he passed for 260 yards and one touchdown... The starting QB in three games last season, while starting another at slot receiver... Worked on his game in the offseason with former Arizona offensive coordinator Homer Smith... Spent 13 days in Smith's hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and worked on the mechanics and techniques that Smith helped develop during Jenkins' first year as the Arizona quarterback (1997)... That season, he began the year as a wide receiver and No. 3 quarterback, but injuries to both Keith Smith and Brady Batten gave him the starting QB nod... Went on to pass for 1,669 yards and 19 touchdowns that season... The 19 touchdowns are the second-best single season total in UA history and a Pac-10 freshman record... Has 31 touchdown passes in 28 career games and has been intercepted just 12 times in 463 career attempts... Thirteen of his 31 career TD strikes have been 26 yards or longer... In his first career start, he completed 17-of-25 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns against San Diego State... Rallied the team from a 21-0 deficit for a 31-28 win... Played on the Arizona basketball team during its 1997-98 Elite Eight campaign.
Keith Smith's Top-Five Passing Performances
11-2-96 at California (3 OT) 25-35, 418 yds 3 TD
10-9-99 USC 15-23, 243 yards 1 TD
9-21-96 Washington 16-29, 228 yds 2 TD
9-3-98 at Hawaii 17-22, 218 yds 2 TD
9-20-97 at Ohio State 18-37, 210 yds 2 TD
Keith Smith's Top-Five Rushing Performances
9-14-96 Illinois 9-143 yds 1 TD
10-12-96 at USC 14-97 yds 0 TD
10-5-96 Washington State 18-95 yds 2 TD
11-7-98 Washington State 6-90 yds 0 TD
10-9-99 USC 9-87 yds 1 TD
* Linebacker DaShon Polk - Along with Marcus Bell, this senior LB is also on the Butkus Award watch list...Has 30 tackles this season and a team-high eight for a loss... Turned in his best game of the season versus USC, recording five tackles -- three of which were for a loss and two quarterback sacks... Had a game-high three tackles for a loss in the TCU win and accounted for seven tackles on the evening... Was in on six tackles versus Middle Tennessee State... His time against Penn State was limited after missing a portion of the game due to dehydration (he had three tackles)... The flex linebacker in the UA's Double-Eagle flex defensive scheme, he has a tremendous physical presence with great speed on the outside... In the UA's scheme, it is his job to funnel the action to the core of the defense... A second team All-Pac-10 pick last year as a junior, 23% of his tackles were for a loss... Had 56 tackles overall, 13 of which were for a loss... Had 4.5 sacks... Has started the last 29 games in a row and 139 career tackles.
* Offensive Linemen Manuia Savea & Bruce Wiggins - Savea, the senior offensive right tackle, and Wiggins, the junior center, are the two anchors of the Arizona offensive line... Two of the major players in an ever-improving line, Savea, Wiggins and their mates helped the Wildcats rush for a season-best 307 yards against a USC that was giving up only 83.5 rushing yards per game... Last year, the duo was a big part of an offense that averaged 444.9 yards of total offense per game, which was a school record and the 18th best mark in the land for 1998... This season, they have helped Trung Canidate get four consecutive 100-yard rushing days as the Cats go into the UTEP battle... In the WSU win, they help Arizona run for 279 yards and were on the field for 93 plays, while helping establish a time of possession margin of 38:26-to-21:34...The Middle Tennessee game saw the Arizona gameplan focus on establishing the run, and they did just that, running for a season-high 265 yards on 46 carries... The offensive line did not give up any sacks as well... The Cats rushing total of 113 yards against Stanford could have been higher, if not for the minus-63 yards quarterback Ortege Jenkins suffered, mostly on six sacks... They helped open holes for the Pac-10's leading rusher in 1998 -- Canidate -- who averaged 110.9 yards per game and the nation's best 7.3 yards per carry average... Head coach Dick Tomey has heaped a ton of praise on this duo and they have been looked to for upper class leadership throughout 1999 to make up for the loss of a some of key parts of the blocking from 1998 who are all playing in the NFL this year -- guard Yusuf Scott (Arizona Cardinals), tackle Edwin Mulitalo (Baltimore Ravens), tight end Mike Lucky (Dallas Cowboys) -- and blocking back Paul Shields, was released from the Indianapolis Colts in mid September, picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles for their practice squad, then re-acquired by the Colts.