Some Game Themes
The Wildcats look to continue the balanced offensive attack and physical defensive play it showed against a ranked team last Saturday... UA is, in the parlance, getting close, but can it cross the hump in a venue where it's struggled for several years?
A handful of big plays by the opposition proved too much for a showcase game by
Quick Hits From
- The Wildcats established a season-high for longest run twice in the game (20 yards, 50 yards).
- WR Syndric Steptoe paid for it, but he extended his streak to 14 straight games with at least one reception. Step was forced from the game after taking a vicious blow after hauling in the pass in the first quarter.
- Travis Bell and Brandon Lopez made their first career catches, the former for the Cats' first touchdown.
- Lopez made his first career start at fullback after switching over from LB.
- WR Mike Thomas tied his season high with eight catches. The true frosh has at least three receptions in all seven games this season.
- Mike Bell’s 50-yard TD run in the second quarter was the third-longest scoring run in his four year career (67 and 69 yards TD rushes vs. Washington in 2003).
The Cats and The Beavers ?- The All-Time Series
Arizona leads the all-time series 19-8-1 that dates back to 1966, but has lost the six straight to the Beavers ... The Wildcats hold a 7-5-1 advantage at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, but have not won there since 1998, four straight losses ... 2005 will mark the fourth time in the past five seasons Arizona will have traveled to Corvallis to take on the Beavers.
Oregon State won its second straight game at Arizona Stadium with a 28-14 victory over the Wildcats on Oct. 30, 2005 ... Despite out-gaining the Beavers 331-310 in total offense, the Wildcats couldn’t overcome self-inflicted errors in the loss ... OSU scored 14 points (the difference in the contest) off of four Arizona turnovers (2 Int, 2 fumbles) ... Departed QB Derek Anderson threw for 249 yards and two scores and rushed for another TD in the win ... The Arizona defense limited OSU to just 61 yards rushing the game
Noting the Beavers
Oregon State hosts Arizona in newly renovated Reser Stadium for the fourth time in the last five years ... Oregon State enters the contest 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the Pac-10 ... The Beavers favor a pass-oriented attack, coming into the weekend ranked ninth in the nation is passing offense (323.0 ypg) ... OSU is averaging 31 points per game this year ... QB Matt Moore is 22nd in the NCAA in total offense (276.6 ypg) ... WR Mike Haas is a favored target, averaging 8.3 receptions per game, third-best in the NCAA this year ... Defensively, OSU gives up an average of 451.4 yards per game and are surrendering 35.7 points per contest.
Freshmen Under Center
Willie Tuitama became just the sixth true freshman quarterback in the last 30 years to play in a regular season game when he made his
A look at how
Stats (Att-Comp-Int) Marc Lunsford
First game stats are unavailable, but finished the 1974 season 19-2-0, 15 yards Jim Krohn
9/18/76 at UCLA (L, 37-9)
5-2-1, 10 yards Tom Tunnicliffe
10/18/80 vs Washington State (L, 38-14)
20-11-2, 122 yards, Rush TD Alfred Jenkins ^
9/17/83 vs Washington State (W, 45-6)
6-4-0, 81 yards, TD Ron Veal
9/19/87 vs. New Mexico (W, 20-9)
10-4-0, 96 yards George Malauulu ^
9/2/89 vs. Stanford (W,19-3)
3-1-0, 16 yards Chuck Levy ^#
9/28/91 vs. Long Beach State (W, 45-21)
7-1-1, 50 yards, 13 rushes, 93 yards, 2 TDs Keith Smith ^
8/31/96 vs. UTEP (W, 23-3)
5-3-0, 24 yards Ortege Jenkins ^
9/27/97 at UCLA (L, 40-27)
15-9-0, 96 yards, TD Nic Costa ^
8/31/02 vs. NAU (W, 37-3)
5-3-0, 26 yards Ryan O'Hara ^
8/30/03 vs. UTEP (W, 42-7)
16-8-2, 119 yards, TD Kris Heavner
9/20/03 at Purdue (L, 59-7)
12-5-1, 55 yards, TD Richard Kovalcheck ^
10/16/04 at Oregon (L 28-14)
10-5-1, 77 yards, TD Willie Tuitama
10/23/05 vs. Oregon (L, 28-21)
34-18-1, 182 yards, 2 TD ^ indicates redshirt freshman / # Levy had played RB prior to his first QB appearance
Gaining Experience Now for the Future
One of coaching's cherished dictums is that an experienced upper classman at quarterback can be a guy around whom hopes can flourish. The corollary, of course, is that you have to use a young guy in order to get him the experience. The playing of youngsters early has been
The Freshman Connection
The freshman class got together to post some fine numbers against
Finding The Open Guy
QB Willie Tuitama did an excellent job of utilizing all the receivers at his disposal. The first-year signal caller hit eight different teammates for completions, including three players (Travis Bell, Ryan Kilpatrick and Brandon Lopez) for their first career receptions.
After a slow start, the
After having played three of the current top five offensive squads in the Pac-10 (USC,
Stopping the Run
After experiencing the breadth of USC's running game (337 yards),
The Wildcat defense is looking for someone to step up in the tackles department. Despite missing three games due to injury, LB Dane Krogstad remains second on the team in total tackles for the year with 38. Two players that has stepped up in the hits department have been JC transfer Michael Johnson and senor Copeland Bryan. Johnson, a physical SS, has 17 of his 29 total tackles in UA’s last three games, while DE Bryan has his season-total of 22 tackles in UA’s last four games, including a nine-tackle game against USC and a game-high seven stops against Oregon.
Double Duty For Folk?
With the injury to punter Danny Baugher, PK Nick Folk appears to be next in line for the punting duties. After Baugher went down against
Running Game Getting Its Legs
Mostly absent for the first five games of the year, the
Hitting The Century Mark
Including a 158-yard effort against Oregon last Saturday, senior running back Mike Bell has rushed for 100 or more yards in a game nine times in his career. When doing so, he has amassed 1,306 rushing yards, 10 TDs and averaged 6.3 yards per carry.
Mike Bell’s 100-yard Games
Avg. Aug. 30, 2003
UTEP (W, 42-7)
at Cal (L, 42-14)
9.6 Nov. 1, 2003
at Oregon State (L, 52-23)
4.2 Nov. 8, 2003
Washington (W, 27-22)
8.5 Sept. 4, 2004
Northern Arizona (W, 21-3)
4.1 Oct. 9, 2004
at UCLA (L, 31-17)
6.4 Nov. 26, 2004
Arizona State (W, 34-27)
6 Sept. 10, 2005
Northern Arizona (W, 31-12)
5.1 Oct. 22, 2005
Oregon (L, 28-21)
Dial M for Mike
Freshman wide receiver Mike Thomas had a career-best eight catches for the second consecutive game last week, and pushed his team-best season totals to 39 grabs for 460 yards. He's Arizona's all-time freshman receiver and with his 5.6 catches per game would hit the single-season receptions chart, peopled at No. 14 and No. 15 by Hank Stanton (50-820 in 1941) and Ron Gardin (48-892 in 1968), respectively. He passed Bobby Wade (30-454) for the freshman single-season lead a few games back. His two eight-grab games are just shy of the top 15 in that category.
It's on the edge of play. Senior defensive end Copeland Bryan notched his fifth sack of the year against a very mobile dude (Kellen Clemens) last week. With two more he'll have the most in this Millenium by a Wildcat, topping the 6.5 by linebacker Lance Briggs in 2001. He's also knocked down four passes, recovered and forced fumbles. All in four games played. He injured a leg on the first series of the season opener and missed NAU-Purdue.
Get the Bulbs Illuminated
Arizona's pass coverage against Oregon was improved enough to hold the Ducks to nearly 20 throws under their average outing, and give front line defenders time to make some tackles. On 28 attempts, the Cats broke up five passes and intercepted two others -- rendering 25% of the action ineffective. With throw-happy
Paying the Price
For the second straight week the
A season removed from leading the nation in fumbles recovered, the Wildcats have found their affair with the takeaway much different in 2005. Heading into the
Hang on to the Pigskin
UA's five turnovers against Stanford were its most since it had five against
Mike Bell (2,819 career rushing yards) has quietly moved his way into the top five rushers in school history. In his final five regular season games this year he needs 278 more yards to move past Hubie Oliver and into fourth on UA’s all-time rushing yards list.
Trung Canidate (1996-99)
3,824 yards (604 att.) 2
Ontiwaun Carter (1991-94)
3,501 yards (805 att.) 3
Art Luppino (1953-56)
3,371 yards (513 att.) 4
Hubie Oliver (1977-80)
3,096 yards (649 att.) 5
Mike Bell (2002-Present)
2,819 yards (604 att.)
Tossing to Thomas
Freshman wide receiver Mike Thomas had a career-best eight catches for a second straight week to extend his team-best season totals to 39 grabs for 460 yards. That also improved his freshman catch record to 39 for the year.
Here are the top freshman pass catchers in UA annals.