Radio: Wildcat Sports Properties/Host Communications (Flagship - KCUB, 1290 AM,
The radio broadcast will also be heard by military personnel in 177 countries and naval ships at sea via Armed Forces Radio.
Television: TBS - Ron Thulin, Charles Daivs, Craig Sager
Game Time: 4 p.m. (PDT).
Location: Memorial Stadium (Berkeley, Calif.)
Some Game Themes
UA faces a second consecutive top 15 team and gets a tough league opener in the form of a road contest against the 12th-ranked Golden Bears, winners of 11 of their last 12 games and owners of a nine-game home winning streak in Strawberry Canyon ... Cal has all the trappings of the contender it was considered in preseason, with top 20 ratings in total offense, rushing, scoring, defense, punt returns, etc. ... The Cats are sick of being this close against quality teams and need to get over the proverbial hump ... UA comes off a bye week that might have helped it get some key people on defense healed enough to contribute -- UA started five backups at end and linebacker vs. Purdue on Sept. 17th and hopes to get a couple of them back for league play ... California's opponents to date have played to a record of 3-13, so a resurgent Arizona program could give the Bears an updated view of where they stand.
Last Time Out
Quick Hits From Purdue
- P Danny Baugher helped break the Pac-10 single game team average punting record. The senior booted seven kicks for 403 yards and a 57.6 average. Baugher had punts of 68, 63, 61 and 51 yards in addition to a career-long 76-yarder.
- QB Richard Kovalcheck passed for 283 yards against Purdue, marking the fourth straight game he has bettered or equaled his single game high.
- TE Brad Wood grabbed a pair of TD passes, his third straight game with at least one score.
- Marcus Hollingsworth picked off a Brandon Kirsch pass in the third quarter, the first interception of the year for
- The 283 yards through the air marked the third straight game UA has passed for more yards than its opponent this year.
- WR Syndric Steptoe caught two passes against the Boilermakers, his 10th straight game with at least one reception.
Pac-10 Opener For
Saturday’s game against the Golden Bears marks the opening of the conference season for UA. The Wildcats are 16-11 in Pac-10 openers since joining the conference in 1978 and 7-4 in conference openers on the road.
Something has got to give as the Wildcats and Golden Bears will be playing for the 25th time in an all-square 11-11-2 all-time series ... Not only has the series itself been close, but the scoring has been tight as well ?- Total points scored against each other all-time - UA: 567, Cal: 583 ... 13 of 24 all-time meetings have been decided by less than seven points and two have been forced to go into overtime ... In a series that has seen winning streaks from both schools, the Golden Bears have enjoyed the most recent success in winning the last two (2003, ’04) ... Previous to Cal’s most recent streak, Arizona boasted a four-game winning run from 1997-2002, its longest ever against Cal ... Last year’s 38-0 Cal victory marked the first shutout win for either team in the all-time series.
Led by an efficient and effective outing from QB Aaron Rogers, the Cal offense racked 459 yards of total offense in a 38-0 blanking of Arizona in Tucson last season ... The now-departed signal caller for the Golden Bears completed 20 of his 27 pass attempts for 235 yards and three scores ... Paced by 135 yards and a TD by JJ Arrington, the Cal ground game balanced the attack with 192 rushing yards in the contest ... The Wildcat offense came up with 245 yards, but couldn’t find pay dirt in its only shutout loss of the year ... UA’s lone scoring opportunity, a 45 yard FG attempt by Nick Folk, was blocked in the second quarter ... Arizona QB Richard Kovalcheck made his first career start in the game after taking over from Kris Heavner the previous week at Oregon ... Kovalcheck passed for 159 yards on 13 of 32 passing ... UA running back Mike Bell posted 99 yards on 17 carries, an average of 5.8 yards per tote.
Noting the Bears
The Golden Bears enter the week of play ranked 12th in the AP poll, the second No. 12 team Arizona will have faced this season (Purdue) ... Cal boasts a potent high caliber offense that ranks 10th nationally in total offense, sixth in rushing and 13th in scoring ... Individually Justin Forsett is seventh in the nation in rushing (127.75 ypg) after filling in for injured starter Marshawn Lynch. Forsett ripped off 235 yards on 31 carries in his last start against New Mexico State ... QB Joe Ayoob has over come a rough start to rank 29th nationally in passing efficiency ... Defensively, the Golden Bears are giving up an average of 309 yards per contest this season, the 28th-best mark in the country ... Special teams could factor in with the fourth-best punt returner, Cal’s Tim Mixon, squaring off against the nation’s leading punter, Arizona’s Danny Baugher.
Keep On Truckin’
Four or Less
As is often the case,
Loose, But No Cigar
If you build it, they will come
A program with promise, that is. In two games,
Carpe Diem DB
Junior safety Marcus Hollingsworth works in the logjam where Darrell Brooks, Lamon Means and Michael Johnson have a pretty good hold on the bulk of the PT. But he's taken advantage of coaches' use of other formations to notch starting assignments in each of the first three games as a nickel back. Part of the push was injuries to most of the linebackers, but Hollingsworth has come through with some good outings, including five tackles, a sack, two tackles for loss and an interception against Purdue. He also had five tackles against
Richard Kovalcheck has been just that in his last four games. Dating back to the Arizona State game last November, the sophomore QB has completed 80 of his last 139 pass attempts for 1,032 yards and 10 TDs. Additionally, in each of his last four contests Kovalcheck has either broken or equaled his career game-high for passing yards.
Kovalcheck’s Last Four Games
TDs Nov. 26, 2004
No. 18 Arizona State
3* Sept. 2, 2005
2 Sept. 10, 2005
2 Sept. 17, 2005
No. 12 Purdue
Upping the Ante
With seven touchdown passes in just three games this season, QB Richard Kovalcheck has already surpassed his six-game total of six TD passes from last year and is just 87 yards and four completions away from last year’s totals heading into UA’s fourth game this season. Modest though it may be, RK is on a pace to pass the UA season touchdown passes record of 20 set by Marc Reed nearly a half century ago in 1966.
Junior tight end Brad Wood has gotten off to a spectacular start this season, catching 12 balls for 180 yards in UA’s first three games. The first-year starter is averaging a team-high 15 yards per catch and leads all receivers with four TD grabs, including a pair against No. 12 Purdue on Sept. 17. With five career scores on just 19 all-time receptions, Wood is averaging a TD once every fourth catch. Despite playing in just 14 career games (11 in 2004, 3 in 2005) he is already approaching the numbers of some of the top tight ends in school history.
Brad Wood vs. Arizona Tight Ends Past
TD Ron Beyer
7 Mark Keel
6 Gary Parrish
1 Richard Griffith
2 Mike Metzler
6 Mike Lucky
4 B. Manumaleuna
3 Steve Fleming
4 Brad Wood
Moving the Chains
Junior Brad Wood and true freshman Mike Thomas might want to start a moving company. The pair has combined to move the chains on 19 of
Bootin’ Danny Baugher
Senior Danny Baugher enters the week of play against
Through the Endzone
Place kicker Nick Folk has not been kind to the opposing kick returners this season. The sophomore has kicked off 17 times this year, 12 of which have been unreturnable touchbacks. The special teams coverage of his returnable kicks has been impressive as well with the opposition’s average starting spot after kick off coming at their own 18.
UA kickoff returners Syndric Steptoe (23.3) and B.J. Dennard (32.0) are two of the swiftest, shiftiest guys on the squad -- given the chance. Opponents have kicked off 15 times and those two have been able to take it out only four times. Nine kicks have been touchbacks, another was a fair catch and one was a short kick returned nine yards by fullback Pedro Limon.
Nick Can Kick
Junior place kicker Nick Folk has righted
Hitting The Century Mark
Senior running back Mike Bell has rushed for 100 or more yards in a game eight times in his career. When doing so, he has helped lead UA to a 5-3 record while amassing 1,148 rushing yards, nine TDs and averaging 6.3 yards per carry.
Putting on the Hits
Senior safety Darrell Brooks is moving closer to UA's top 20 chart for career tackles making a team-high 24 stops in UA’s first three games this year. Brooks has 231 total tackles in his four-year career. No. 20 on the list is nose guard John Sanguinetti (1974-77) with 270. Two defensive backs are on the chart -- safeties Chuck Cecil (7th with 392) and Jeff Hammerschmidt (19th with 279). The leader is former middle linebacker Ricky Hunley with 566 -- an average of 12.9 per game over his four year career from 1980-83. Brooks has averaged 75 tackles in his last two seasons and with that production this year he would surpass former linebacker Chris Singleton with 282 for the 17th-best career total in UA history.
In The Second Year
Mike Stoops is looking to join predecessors Larry Smith and Dick Tomey as the two
Mike Stoops 1977* - 5-7, 3-4
1980 - 5-6, 3-4
1987 - 4-4-3, 2-3-3
2001 - 5-6, 2-6
2004 - 3-8, 2-6 1978 - 5-6, 3-4
1981 - 6-5, 4-4
1988 - 7-4, 5-3
2002 - 4-8, 1-7
2005 - 1-2, 0-0 * In Tony Mason’s first year Arizona was a member of the Western Athletic Conference
Start Me Up
The Wildcats have a number of players on both sides of the ball with considerable starting experience on the resumes. Led by senior free safety Darrell Brooks’ 33 starts, the UA defense has six different players with 14 or more career starts (SS Lamon Means 29, DE Copeland Bryan 14, DT Paul Philipp 14, CB Antoine Cason 14 and CB Wilrey Fontenot 14). On offense, lineman Kili Lefotu paces the Cats with 32 career starts, including 10 in 2004. Others with significant starting experience include RB Mike Bell (28), OL Peter Graniello (13), WR Syndric Steptoe (13) and OL John Abramo (12).
Run-G.M.C. Season Totals
Player Att Yards TDs Avg. Rec Yards TDs Avg.
Bell 56 264 1 4.7 7 50 0 7.1
Henry 11 33 0 3.0 0 0 0 0
Harris 13 21 2 1.6 7 48 0 6.9
Combined 80 318 3 4.0 14 98 0 7.0