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2007-11-12 Oregon Notes
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/12/2007
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Arizona Game Notes as a PDF

Opponent: Oregon
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Site: Tucson, Ariz. - Arizona Stadium (57,400)
Television: ESPN (Chris Fowler, Doug Flutie, Craig James, Erin Andrews)
English Radio: 1290 AM The Source (Brian Jeffries, Lamont Lovett, Pedro Limon)
Spanish Radio: 990 AM ESPN Deportes (Francisco Romero, Marco Rincon, Pedro Limon)
Please see Page 3 of the notes for Arizonaˇ?s radio affiliates.

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Some Game Themes
On someone's piece of paper it's a match of the Haves and the Have-Nots, with an 8-1 BCS contender visiting a club sitting on a 4-6 campaign... Arizona, fresh off its first week of rest all year, and coming off consecutive victories, has plenty at stake despite those goals not in the same atmosphere as Oregon's dreams of Jan. 7 action... Still, the more loose squad may well be wearing red and working off the home side of Arizona Stadium... The Ducks had the week off as well, so they'll be ready... The Cats try to solve the perplexity offered by Ducks quarterback Dennis Dixon, a Davey O'Brien Award finalist and player whose name has been mentioned with the 'H' word of late... Despite that, the nation's No. 8 man in passing yardage per game, Willie Tuitama, takes on an Oregon defense rated 104th in stopping the same... Then, too, UO puts its high-powered top five scoring, rushing and total offense package to work against a UA defense that's been knocked around some -- but improving of late in the bottom line: stopping teams when it counts at the end of the contest... The Pac-10 standard bearer for the power game, Oregon running back Jonathan Stewart, against some guys coached by a man whose heart beats a defensive cadence... The Pac-10's leading tackler, Arizona LB Spencer Larsen (100) gets a whack at the league's best bringing it at him... Stewart (196 yards per game, 8.3 yards per play) and Arizona's Mike Thomas (137/13.7) stage a mini-contest in all-purpose proficiency... UA's offensive line takes on the league's best pass rush, led by Nick Reed (11 sacks), whereas no one sacks Dixon (13) because they can't catch him... Both QBs spread it around -- 30 different guys have pass receptions, with 16 wearing green and yellow trim... Last year means nothing, but Tuitama played four series and went 8-for-9 for 120 yards and two scores, and Dixon threw three picks before both watched from the sidelines in UA's 37-10 victory in Eugene... Arizona closes its home schedule, with another long respite ahead prior to the road game at ASU Dec. 1...

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Bring on November
There isnˇ?t a group that likes to see Halloween come-and-go like Mike Stoops and the Arizona Wildcats. Since arriving in 2004, Stoopsˇ? Troops have enjoyed the majority of their success in November, posting a 7-4 overall record, including a 4-1 mark against teams ranked in the top 25. Arizona has dashed some lofty postseason hopes late in the year by knocking off No. 18 Arizona State 34-27 in 2004, No. 7 UCLA 52-14 in 2005 and No. 25 Washington State (27-17) and No. 8 Cal (24-20) last season.

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Last Week
Arizona had its first open week of the season Nov. 10 after playing 10 consecutive weeks... In Tucson on Nov. 3, Arizona trailed UCLA 14-10 with six minutes left in the first quarter, and then turned on its jets for 24 unanswered points while its defense held UCLA to seven consecutive scoreless possessions to take a commanding 34-14 lead. The Cats struck first with three of eventual Pac-10 special teams player of the week Jason Bondzio's 10 points (39-yard FG), but then UCLA kick returner Matt Slater looked pretty special with a 100-yard return to make it 7-3. UA answered right back with a quick three-play drive ending with a 60-yard TD run by Nic Grigsby. UCLA answered with a nine-play drive. So it went until that aforementioned moment when UA forced six three-and-outs and a short UCLA drive in sequence. Meantime, Bondzio notched his sixth consecutive two field goal game, Willie Tuitama was building his 341-yard passing day with touchdown throws of 55 yards to back Chris Jennings, eight yards to receiver Terrell Turner and 27 yards to tight end Robbie Gronkowski, and Grigsby was building the third 100-yard game (20-124) of his young career. The Cats hit a bit of a wall in the late third and fourth quarters, but maintained enough field position and poise to thwart the new threat of shifty UCLA quarterback Osaar Rasshan -- a former Bruin receiver pressed into duty. At the end, Keenyn Crier's 34-yard punt purposefully bounced out of bounds at the UCLA 11 yard-line and gave the Bruins an 89-yard field with 2:49 remaining. Rasshan rushed for four yards but threw three incomplete passes in a mere 42 seconds of clock. The Cats ran the ball a couple of times, took advantage of a late hit, and took a knee three times. Arizona ended up holding UCLA to 288 yards, piled up the second-most of the year against the Bruins (469) and continued its quick-strike trend with all six scoring drives consuming less than 2:40 including three under two minutes. Tuitama was sacked four times but had evasiveness to scramble for 24 yards and finish in positive territory. He had a nifty 9.5 yards per attempt (21-36). Gronkowski had a game-high six grabs for 94 yards. UA watched itself, with 40 inconsequential penalty yards, none leading to first downs. There were no turnovers in the 3:29 game, played before a regional ABC audience.

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Notes from UCLA
QB Willie Tuitama took over the top spot on the UA pass attempts chart in the contest and pulled within 183 yards of the single season yardage mark ... The Wildcats improved to 2-0 at home against the Bruins under Mike Stoops ... UA won its third straight homecoming game ... The 27 points scored by Arizona in the first half were the most for a UA club since posting 31 points in the first 30 minutes of a 52-14 upset of No. 8 UCLA in 2005 ... TE Rob Gronkowski caught a career-high six passes in the win ... RB Nic Grigsbyˇ?s 60-yard TD run in the first quarter was the longest rush from scrimmage by the Wildcats this season ... RB Chris Jenningsˇ? 55-yard TD reception was the longest in his UA career ... PK Jason Bondzio extended his two-field goal streak to eight straight games ... Bondzio moved into 10th all-time in season scoring with 10 points against the Bruins ... Matt Slaterˇ?s 100-yard kickoff return for UCLA tied for the longest surrendered by an Arizona squad (Jack Brognan, Loyola, 1932) ...

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National Awards Come Calling
With the dawn of November comes the whittling down of the national award lists and a number of Wildcats have been recognized for their play throughout the first 10 weeks of the season. Senior CB Antoine Cason has been named a semifinalist for both the Jim Thorpe (top DB) and Chuck Bednarik (top defensive player) Awards. Classmate Spencer Larsen is a semifinalist for the Danny Wuerffle Trophy, which is presented to the college football player who best combines exemplary community service with outstanding academic and athletic achievement. Finally, redshirt freshman Keenyn Crier is the lone underclassman represented on the Ray Guy Award (top punter) semifinalist list. Not too shabby for a punter kicking for the first time on the Division I level. Surprisingly, junior Jason Bondzio was not named to the Lou Groza Award list despite turning in one of the most solid kicking jobs in the nation this season. The first-year place kicker is 18-for-22 on field goal tries this year, including a very impressive 7-for-7 from 40-to-49 yards.

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Oregon and Arizona Fast Facts
First Meeting: 1927 (Arizona 21 - Oregon 7 in Tucson, Ariz.)
Last Meeting : 2006 (Arizona 37 - Oregon 10 in Eugene, Ore.)
All-Time Series Record: Oregon leads 19-13
Arizona vs. Oregon All-Time
The 33rd all-time meeting between Arizona and Oregon dating back to the first game in 1927 ... UO holds a 19-13 edge in the all-time series, but the Wildcats snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Ducks with a 37-10 win in Eugene last year ... After dominating the series in the 80ˇ?s and early 90ˇ?s (UA 7-3 from 1981-1993), the Cats have struggled against the Ducks (UO 11-2 from 1994-2006) Oregon holds a 9-8 lead in the 17 games played in Arizona Stadium in Tucson and has won the last five meetings here dating back to 1999 ...

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Arizona-Oregon - The Last Time Out
The Wildcats snapped a seven-game losing streak and a 20-year drought in Eugene with a 37-10 win over the Ducks last season ... Departed running back Chris Henry rushed for a career-high 191 yards and two TDs on 29 carries and also caught a 21-yard TD pass from 212 all-purpose yards in the game ... UA QB Willie Tuitama was 8-for-9 for 120 yards passing and two TDs before being lifted as a precautionary measure in the second quarter ... After Tuitamaˇ?s departure, the Wildcats attempted just five more passes the rest of the game and finished the contest with 45 rushing attempts for 230 net yards ... The Wildcats posted 363 yards of total offense, the most against a Pac-10 opponent all season ... Prior to the victory, Arizona had not won in Autzen Stadium since 1986.

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Noting the Ducks
The red-hot Ducks, the No. 2 team in the current BCS standings, enter the Nov. 15 game against the Wildcats with an 8-1 overall record and a 5-1 Pac-10 mark ... UO has won four-straight games after dropping a 31-24 decision to Cal back in late September ... Offensively, Oregon is averaging 42.8 points, 271.4 yards rushing, 239.1 yards passing and 510.6 yards of total offense per game this season ... Defensively, the Ducks are allowing 22.0 points, 134.7 yards rushing, 269.9 yards passing and 404.6 yards to the opposition thus far ... Do-it-all QB Dennis Dixon has thrown from 1,074 yards and 20 TDs while also rushing for 549 yards and eight more scores ... Running back Jonathan Stewart has gained 1,177 yards on the ground (126.9 per game) and has scored 10 TDs ... Defensively LB Patrick Chung is second in the Pac-10 behind UAˇ?s Spencer Larsen in total tackles with 88 stops on the year ... DL Nick Reed has terrorized opposing QBs with 11 sacks this year.

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Straight Cash

ˇ®Moneyˇ? Mike Thomasˇ? 338 all-purpose yards against Washington on Oct. 27 were the third-most by a single player in school history. Had UA tossed in one or two of Mikeˇ?s patented end arounds - good for 15 yards a pop - he could have displaced UAˇ?s ˇ®Cactus Cometˇ? Art Luppino as the top all-purpose runner for a single game.

Single Game All-Purpose Yards
1????????? Art Luppino??????? 1954???? New Mexico State????????? 8 plays, 359 yards
2????????? Derek Hill????????? 1987???? Stanford?????????????????????????15 plays, 340 yards
3????????? Mike Thomas???? 2007???? Washington ????????????????? 16 plays, 338 yards

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The Big Four-Oh
Forty seems to be the magical number for the Wildcats this season. As would be expected, when scoring 40 or more points, Arizona is a perfect 3-0 this year. Excluding this year, UA has scored 40 or more points in a game three times in a season only four times since joining the Pac-10 in 1978 (1982, 1983, 1988 and 1998) and has not had four games of 40 or more points since 1954. Including this season, Arizona is 103-3 all-time when scoring 40 or more points, with the three loses coming in a 1999, 44-41, defeat to Oregon, a 56-55 triple overtime game at Cal in 1996 and a 48-41 loss to USC in Tucson in 1982.

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What's the Point?
The leading Pac-10 defense on paper (USC) gives up 268 yards per game. Next is 302 by Oregon State. The Cats' season figure in yardage allowed per game is 366 yards, fifth best in the circuit. In the past four contests that mark is slightly better, 353, despite a 1,000-yard donnybrook in the victory at Washington. Whatever. It's clear the conference is in a full-out score-more-than-the-other-guy mode this year, and points mean more than yards any day. In league games Arizona has hit 40 points twice (2-0), Oregon three times (3-0), ASU three times (3-0), UCLA three times (3-0), Cal once (1-0), USC once (1-0) and Washington once (0-1). That's why the challenge for Arizona in this game is big: the Ducks lead in scoring at 43 points per game, and lead in scoring margin at +21 (385-198). Arizona has a slim 285-278 scoring margin.

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Willie Tuitama and the Yardage Factory
Junior quarterback Willie Tuitama's 517 yards in total offense at Washington on Oct. 27 is tops in the Pac-10 this year, Dennis Dixon and Jake Locker notwithstanding. Matter of fact, Willie's number is the No. 3 figure in Pac-10 history behind Jeff Van Raaphorst's 532 yards in a loss against Florida State in Tempe in 1984 and Pat Barnesˇ? 528 yards posted in a three overtime game against the Cats in 1996. The 510 passing yards Tuitama put up against the Huskies -- helped by a 247.6 pass efficiency rating in the fourth quarter alone -- gave him the No. 5 single-game passing yardage in Pac-10 history. You're talking about matching his effort against a boatload of guys with revered names and jerseys at some schools of note.

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It Came Close
The shoot-out between Arizonaˇ?s Willie Tuitama (517 yards of offense) and Washingtonˇ?s Jake Locker (493) in Seattle on Oct. 27 came up just 20 yards shy of breaking UAˇ?s all-time duel. In a contest at Cal in 1996 UAˇ?s Keith Smith came up with 502 yards of total offense and Berkeleyˇ?s Pat Barnes had 528 for 1,030 combined yards between the two. Tuitama and Lockerˇ?s total? 1,010 yards of total offense. The difference? Well besides the 20 yards, Tui and Locker did it in a regulation 60 minutes, while Smith and Barnes had the benefit of three overtime periods.

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Gronk-WOW-ski
Freshman tight end Rob Gronkowski already owns the UA single-game receiving yardage record for a tight end with his 4-115 effort against WSU this year. Now he's put himself in reach of the UA's top spot for season tight-end yardage. Mark Keel has the record with 513 yards on 32 catches as a junior in 1980. He had 343 yards on 27 catches his senior year in 1981, now the No. 3 spot. Steve Fleming posted 332 yards on 23 catches as a senior in 2004. Gronk has 423 yards on 21 snares this campaign. Keel had the only other tight end 100-yard game with an even 3-100 effort vs. Stanford in 1982. Keel also owns the single-game receptions mark for a tight end with seven catches for 88 yards vs. Washington State in 1981. Gronk set a personal high for receptions with six against UCLA on Nov. 3 ... He is currently sixth nationally with a 23.8 yards per TD reception average.

Single-Season TE Receiving List
Mark Keel??????? ??????????? 32-513, 1980 junior
Rob Gronkowski?????????? 21-423, 2007 freshman
Mark Keel??????? ??????????? 27-343, 1981 senior
Steve Fleming?????????????? 23-332, 2004 senior
B. Manumaleuna?????????? 20-316, 1999 junior

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Getting Up Field
Arizonaˇ?s six primary receivers - Mike Thomas (12.0), Terrell Turner (12.0), Anthony Johnson (11.6), Delashaun Dean (11.8), Terrell Reese (10.1) and Rob Gronkowski (20.1) - are all averaging better than 10 yards per catch this season. In an offense that relies heavily on the short passing game, the Wildcatsˇ? ability to turn up field and pick up YAC has been impressive.

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Quick Six
Against UCLA, Arizona had six scoring drives. Average number of plays involved -- five. Average length of drive -- 61 yards. Average duration of drive -- 1 minute, 52 seconds. Such was said to be the nature of the spread offense when Mike Stoops lured Sonny Dykes away from Texas Tech last winter. So far this year the Cats have 14 touchdown drives taking less than two minutes. As the season has progressed, junior quarterback Willie Tuitama has seemed more capable of finding a big-play opening in opponents' defense -- like the back-to-back 46-yard pass to Mike Thomas and 55-yard TD swing pass to running back Chris Jennings, or the play-fake and wide-open middle route for a 27-yard TD by tight end Rob Gronkowski, both against the Bruins.

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Newbies Make Impact
Arizona has seven newcomers starting in key roles, and each has been a success. At the top of the list are true freshmen in tight end Rob Gronkowski and running back Nic Grigsby. Gronk has 21 catches, five of those for scores (24%). He could set an Arizona tight end season yardage record with 91 more yards. Grigsby took over the starting job in the fourth game and is approaching an Arizona freshman rushing record. Redshirt freshman punter Keenyn Crier is one of 12 national semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award as the nation's top punter. He's averaging 44.8 yards and his highwater marks are noted here elsewhere. Junior place kicker Jason Bondzio never had a game kick until this year. Now he's 18 of 22 in field goals and was Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week Nov. 3. He's 7-for-7 from 40 to 49 yards, so his question-mark leg (prior to the year) has answered the call. Redshirt freshman guard Colin Baxter took over the starting job in the second game and has not let go. The feature he brings is tough-guy play, according to coaches. Redshirt freshman inside receiver Delashaun Dean has taken to the spread and posted 32 catches for a solid 11.8 yards per catch and a score. Redshirt freshman Terrell Reese has contributed 20 catches in four starts. He's also a physical player like Robbie G. and Baxter. Juco redshirt free safety Nate Ness has done an admirable job filling in for injured Dominic Patrick in the last five games. He's second to Antoine Cason with three interceptions, has knocked down a pair of passes and recovered a fumble. Assuming starting roles after lettering as true freshmen a year ago are sophomore receiver Terrell Turner (40 receptions, 4 TDs) and sophomore strong safety Cam Nelson (57 tackles, 4 TFL).

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When Will Willie?
It appears evident the new offensive style will take junior quarterback Willie Tuitama to the top of the Arizona charts. When? Stay tuned.
--Has the single-game pass attempts (61) and completions (42) records (at Cal)
--Has the No. 1 single-game passing yards total with 510 (at Washington)
--Is No. 1 in single-season pass completions (278)
--Is No. 1 in single-season TD passes (24)
--Is No. 1 in single-season passing attempts (433)
--Is No. 2 in single-season passing yards (3,145)
--Is No. 3 in career completions (478)
--Is No. 4 in career passing attempts (787)
--Is No. 6 in career touchdown passes (40)
--Is No. 6 in career passing yards (5,585)

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Itˇ?s Becoming the Norm
Arizonaˇ?s spread offense has made what once was a rare occurrence at Arizona almost commonplace. Used to be that a 300-yard passing game at UA was a once or twice a season treat - a 370-yard day by Dan White in 1994 still remains the No. 10 single-game effort. Junior Willie Tuitama has five of them this season alone, tying him with Jason Johnson for the single-season school record (2002). Multi-TD pass games? Again a rarity in previous years. This season Tuitama would have owned the school single-season record in just five games (He has three five-TD games and two three-TD games this year). A 10-or-more catch game? Well itˇ?s happened three times in a season only once previous to this year when Bobby Wade did so in 2002. Mike Thomas has matched that record with two 12-grab games and one 10-catch game.

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Spencer for Hire
All-American candidate Spencer Larsen, the heart and soul of the linebacking corps, has turned up an already impressive game the last four weeks. Against USC, Stanford, Washington and UCLA the senior has posted 51 total tackles, including 36 solo stops and 7.5 for losses, and he has recorded his first sack of the year, forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles and picked off a pass - his second career INT. Larsen currently leads Arizona in both tackles (100 TT - 62 ST, 38 AT) and tackles for loss (9.5). His 10.0 tackles per game average thus far leads the Pac-10 and his projected 120 tackle-year would make him the first Wildcat defender to reach 120 tackles for a season since Marcus Bell posted 124 total stops in 1999 ... Larsenˇ?s 12 tackles at Washington on Oct. 27 helped him eclipse his previous career season-high of 89 tackles established last year.

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The L-Train Line
Senior tackle Lionel Dotson has more sacks, 5.5, than any interior defensive lineman at Arizona since eventual edge-rusher Joe Tafoya played inside as a junior in 1999 and notched 10. Since then, no tackle had more than four. The L-Train's overall 35 tackles are a career season-best for him, eclipsing the 31 he notched a year ago. Dotson had a career-high nine hits against Stanford on Oct. 20, with two tackles for loss and a sack. That came on the heels of his then career-high of seven at USC on Oct. 13. Lionel's season total of 39 tackles is the most by a DT since Carlos Williams notched 34 in 11 games in 2004. The most recent higher number came from Joe Salave'a in 1997, with 46 and 11.5 sacks. Joe earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors that year as a fifth-year senior.

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Loch Ness
Redshirt junior Nate Ness has done a nice job in filling in for injured Dominic Patrick. He's second to Antoine Cason (4) with three interceptions and has 21 tackles in the last four games, including a career-high 10 against Washington on Oct. 27. Patrick, one of the team's top hitters, has a torn MCL and is available on a limited basis.

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Going the Distance
Arizona has been provided very few gimme TDs this season. Save for a short 30-yard drive against Washington on Oct. 27, UA has had to earn the majority of its points this year. The Wildcats, who are averaging 66.4 yards per TD drive this season, have had to move the ball 60 or more yards on 23 of their 31 touchdowns.

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Money Mike Notes
Junior WR ˇ®Moneyˇ? Mike Thomas is quickly making his way up both the single-season and career receiving charts... First in the Pac-10 in receptions per game (6.70) and is second in the conference in receiving yards per game (80.4) ... Is third in the Pac-10 in all-purpose yards (137.4) ... Has caught nine TD passes this season to surpass his previous career high of five set in 2005 ... Has already caught a career season-high 67 passes this year ... Has passed his previous single-season high for reception yards (771 in 2005) with 804 this year ... He recorded back-to-back 100-yard receiving games against New Mexico and Cal earlier this season and recorded his career-best third 100-yard game at Washington on Oct. 27 (10 for 165 yards) ... He caught at least one TD in four straight games (NAU-WSU) ... Tied the school record for TD receptions in a single game with three at Washington on Oct. 27 and has twice caught two TD passes in a game (NAU and WSU) ... Has at least one reception in each of the last 22 games played ... Has caught at least one pass in 42 of 43 career games, with the one no-catch game coming against Arizona State in 2005 when he had a full cast on his left hand and served the entire game as a decoy ... If he stays on his current pace of 6.7 receptions, 80.4 yards and 0.9 TD per game, heˇ?ll wrap up the 12-game regular season with 80 catches for 965 yards and 11 scores ... He has 2,880 career all-purpose yards largely on the strength of pass receiving. He's never been the featured kick or punt returner but has chipped in a few yards there plus 244 rushing yards to get to the figure. He should end up in the Arizona career Top 10 all-purpose leaders at his current pace. He needs 915 yards to supplant Chuck Levy at No. 10 (3,795 from 1991-93).?

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G-Man Chasing C-Farm's High
True freshman Nic Grigsby has 629 net rushing yards, with a solid 4.8 yards per carry figure (132 tries). That puts him in stead for a run at former UA back Clarence Farmer's all-time freshman rushing mark of 666 yards (138 carries) in 2000 when he earned Freshman All-America honors from The Sporting News. With a 124-yard performance against UCLA on Nov. 3, Grigsby joined Farmer and Ontiwaun Carter as Arizona's only true freshmen to have three 100-yard rushing games as first-year players. Carter ran for 606 yards on 113 carries in a rushing-dominated offense (528 runs, 198 passes) in 1991.

Top True Freshman Running Seasons at Arizona
Clarence Farmer??????????? 2000???? 138-666, 5 TD???
Vance Johnson????????????? 1981???? 123-654, 6 TD
Nic Grigsby ???????????????????????? 2007???? 132-629, 2 TD
Ontiwaun Carter?????????????1991???? 113-606, 4 TD
Hubie Oliver?????????????????? 1977???? 95-519,? 1 TD

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Nic the Quick
True frosh Nic Grigsby etched his name into the lore of Arizona history with 186 rushing yards on 30 carries (6.2 ypc) against Washington State on Sept. 29. The ground-pounding total equaled the true freshman rushing mark posted by former UA great Hubie Oliver in 1977. Oliver, who broke on to the scene when he rushed for 141 yards on 21 carries against New Mexico, followed up? with 186 yards on 29 carries (6.4 ypc) a week later against UTEP.
Top True Freshman Rushing Performances at Arizona
Hubie Oliver????????????????????????????? UTEP, 1977?????????????????????????????? 29-186, TD
Nic Grigsby????????????????????????????? Washington State, 2007???????????? 30-186, (Rec. TD)
Vance Johnson???????????????????????? Fresno State, 1981??????????????????? 24-183
Ontiwaun Carter???????????????????????? Oregon State, 1991???????????????????15-160, 3 TD
Clarence Farmer??????????????????????? at USC, 2000???????????????????????????? 22-134, TD

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Staring-at-the-Stats Notes
The Wildcats have scored 285 points in 10 games thus far, which has already far surpassed the 12-game total of 199 last year and is the most for a UA squad since putting up 320 points in 2001 ... Three of Arizonaˇ?s six losses this season are by a touchdown or less, including a two-point loss to New Mexico and a one-point defeat to Stanford ... The spread offense has made changes to UA's program. One hidden effect is punting. Through 10 games last year Arizona had punted 64 times. Through the same number of contests this year -- 46 ... The spread also has the clear effect: plenty of receivers with solid totals. UA already has four players with 30 or more catches and by year's end could have as many as eight based on per-game numbers. Mike Thomas (67-804, 9 TD) and Terrell Turner (40-481, 4 TD) have the duo look going, well above last year's rate by Syndric Steptoe (55-568) and Thomas (50-597).

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Cason for the Defense
Senior cornerback Antoine Cason continues to show why he's been rated among the top defenders at his position nationally. He has 14 career interceptions, tied for fourth on the UA career Top 10 chart, and is tied for 10th in PBUs on UA's career chart with 24 passes destroyed. Including a game-clinching pick in the waning seconds at Washington on Oct. 27, Cason has picked off a pass in three of UAˇ?s last five games. Additionally, he returned an interception 60 yards for a score at Oregon State this year, second-longest in the conference thus far, to mark his second career scoring return after a game-winning 39-yard return against No. 8 Cal last year.
All-Time Interception leaders
1.???????? 21 Chuck Cecil, 1984-87
2.???????? 20 Jackie Wallace, 1970-72
3.???????? 18 Chris McAlister, 1996-98
4.???????? 14 Darryll Lewis, 1987-90
??????????? 14 Allan Durden, 1982-85
??????????? 14 Antoine Cason, 2004-07

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Youˇ?re Going the Wrong Way
On a 27-yard pickoff return against USC on Oct. 13? Thorpe Award candidate Antoine Cason not only moved into the top six all-time in career interceptions, but he also took over the top spot in career interception return yardage. The fourth-year starter has now racked up 307 yards on 14 career interceptions to move him past former all-time leader Darryll Lewis (252 on 14 returns, 1987-90). For the time being, Lewisˇ? single-season mark of 192 INT returns yards on seven picks from 1990 appears to be safe, but Antoine, who has 122 INT return yards this season, still has two games and a lot off passes thrown his way to catch up. Should Cason maintain his career average of 21.9 yards per return he would easily slide into the top spot at Arizona, which is currently held by Dennis Anderson who averaged 13.16 yards per return on 12 career interceptions from 1972-75.

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Bondzio, James Bondzio
Actually his name is Jason and the only nifty gadget he has is a deceptively strong leg, but UA place kicker Jason Bondzio has been on point this season. Making 18 of 22 field goal attempts (82%) and successfully converting 28 of 29 PAT tries he has racked up a team-best 10 points scored. In just 10 games played he has already surpassed departed PK Nick Folkˇ?s team-high 67 points from last year and has now cracked the all-time top 10 list for points in a season (No. 9 - 86 points, Max Zendejas, 1984). Additionally, Bondzioˇ?s 18 FG makes this year is fifth all-time for a single season.

Single Season Field Goals
1 Steve McLaughlin??????? 23???????? 1994
2 Max Zendejas???????????? 22???????? 1985
3 Max Zendejas???????????? 21???????? 1984
?? Gary Coston?????????????? 21???????? 1986
5 Jason Bondzio????????? 18???????? 2007

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Making Them Cry
Redshirt frosh punter Keenyn Crier has made returners do just that. The first-year kicker leads the Pac-10 and is eighth nationally with a 44.8 yards per punt average, not too shabby for a newcomer. Crier has placed 14 of his 38 punts inside the oppositionˇ?s 20 yard-line this season and has had six kicks fair caught. At USC on Oct. 13 he placed five of his seven punts inside the 11-yard-line (the 11, 10, 4, 2 and 1 to be exact) and booted the second-longest punt in school history when he boomed an 83-yarder in the fourth quarter en route to being named the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week. That punt was the longest at Arizona since 1930.

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Rumbling Rob
True frosh TE Rob Gronkowski provided one of the top highlights in Arizona's 47-20 win over Washington State on Sept. 29, the first-year starter caught a pass from QB Willie Tuitama, turned up-field and rumbled 57 yards for a TD, knocking over would-be tacklers from the 30-yard-line on-in in the process. The reception was the longest in his short but very promising UA career and his third career score. Although he has only played just 10 games, Gronkowski is already statistically placing himself among the top TEs in school history. A look at what Gronk has done through 10 games against the career totals of some of the best TEs UA has had to offer over the years.

Player????????????????????????????????? Years????????????????????? Rec????? Yards?? TDs
Ron Beyer???????????????????? 75-78??????????????? 53???????? 811?????? 7
Mark Keel???????????????????? 81-82??????????????? 59???????? 856?????? 6
Gary Parrish????????????????? 84-85??????????????? 28???????? 366?????? 1
Richard Griffith?????????????? 89-92??????????????? 35???????? 358?????? 2
Mike Metzler???????????????? 94-96??????????????? 34???????? 497?????? 6
Mike Lucky?????????????????? 95-98??????????????? 43???????? 563?????? 4
Brandon Manumaleuna?? 97-00??????????????? 40???????? 544?????? 3
Steve Fleming??????????????? 01-04??????????????? 50???????? 584?????? 4
Brad Wood??????????????????? 03-06??????????????? 41???????? 413?????? 7
Rob Gronkowski??????????? 07-??????????????????? 21???????? 423?????? 5

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Team Captains
Selected by a vote of the team members prior to the start of the season: Sr. LB Spencer Larsen, Sr. DB Antoine Cason, Sr. WR Anthony Johnson, Jr. QB Willie Tuitama and Soph. OL Eben Britton

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Arizona Football
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