Some Game Themes
Arizona hosts in-state rival Northern Arizona in its first home game of the season ... Can the Wildcats overcome the miscues on both sides of the ball that plagued them against Utah in the season opener? ... Will
Last Time Out
Quick Hits From
- Sophomore LB Dane Krogstad tallied a career-highs with 15 tackles, nine solo stops and two TFL against the Utes.
- Sophomore QB Richard Kovalcheck recorded career-highs in both completions (21) and yards (255) in the loss.
- Junior TE Brad Wood tied his career-highs in receptions (3), TDs (1) and longest reception (21). His 49 receiving yards were the most in his UA career.
- Former walk-on Adam Austin completed his first collegiate pass attempt in the second quarter.
- Arizona tallied more first downs than an opponent in a game for the first time since last season’s opening contest against NAU (10 games).
- The 21 second-half points scored by Arizona against Utah were the most in the final 30 minutes of a game since UA posted 23 in a 52-23 loss at Oregon State on Nov. 1, 2003 (14 games).
Arizona and its neighbor to the north will meet up for the ninth time since 1931 ... The Wildcats own a 7-1 advantage in the series and have won the last six straight ... This year’s game will be just the third contest between the two in the last 57 years, but it is also the third game pitting the in-state schools against each other in the last four seasons ... Arizona defeated NAU 37-3 in the opening game of the 2002 season and again 21-3 last season ... Arizona is a perfect 6-0 against the Lumberjacks in Arizona Stadium, 1-0 against NAU in Flagstaff and 0-1 in Phoenix.
Arizona opened its first game under Mike Stoops with a 16-play, 80-yard drive on the opening possession and went on to defeat Northern Arizona 21-3 in Tucson last season ... Mike Bell scored a TD from two yards out on the opening drive to hand UA a 7-0 lead. He rushed the ball eight times for 35 yards on the opening drive and finished the contest with a game-high 124 yards on 30 carries and two scores ... Leading just 7-3 after three quarters, the Wildcats pulled away with a pair of scores in the final frame ... Darrell Brooks intercepted NAU’s Jason Murrietta to help set up Bell’s second TD of the game in the fourth quarter and former QB Kris Heavner hit Syndric Steptoe on a 13-yard pass at the 5:40 mark for the final score of the game ... True freshman Antoine Cason made an immediate impact in his UA debut and garnered Pac-10 Player of the Week honors with a game-high 13 tackles, two forced fumbles, a PBU and an interception ... The contest marked the first time since 2002 (North Texas) that Arizona kept an opponent out of the end zone for six points.
Noting the Jacks
Northern Arizona heads south with a 1-0 record after defeating Division II foe Adams State 52-13 on Sept. 1 ... Leading just 7-6 at half, the Lumberjacks exploded for 45 second-half points in the season opening victory ... Junior QB Jason Murrietta threw for 195 yards and three TDs and senior Tucsonan Philo Sanchez rushed for a game-high 75 yards and a TD in the win ... NAU was picked to finish sixth in the Big Sky Conference in polls by both the league’s head coaches and its media members ... The Lumberjacks return eight starters on offense and five on defense from the 2004 team that finished 4-7 ... Murrietta, the 2003 Big Sky Player of the Year (3,472 yards and 29 TDs), is coming off a 2004 season that saw him throw for 2,495 yards and 16 TDs ... Sanchez takes over at the starting RB spot after backing up Roger Robinson last season. Sanchez rushed for 216 yards and two TDs his junior year ... All five offensive linemen return for NAU this season ... On defense, senior Bruce Branch returns from a medical redshirt season to anchor a young unit that returns just five starters from last season... Head coach Jerome Souers enters the game against
The 2005 season is the first in four seasons that Arizona’s home opener is not its season-opener (at SDSU in 2001) ... This season will mark the second-straight that Arizona will open its home slate against NAU ... UA is 16-1 over the last 17 years in its home opener (the lone loss came in 2000 against Ohio State).
Mike Bell’s opening game effort of 99 yards on 18 carries against
Converting on Third Down
After opening the first half against
Red Zone Numbers
The Wildcats were a perfect 3 for 3 in red zone chances against
Red Zone Success
Date Opp Rush TD Pass TD FG
Nov. 6 at
Nov. 13 at USC (1 for 1) 0 1 0
Sept. 2 at
Totals 10 for 10 5 3 2
Frosh Catch On
True freshman receiver Mike Thomas snagged seven receptions for 92 yards in his debut game at
No. 1 Bobby Wade (1999-2002), 230 rec ?-3351 yds
Debut: 2-12 at
No. 2 Dennis Northcutt (1996-1999), 223-3252
Debut: 0-0 in 1st game (CB); 1-14 vs. WSU four G later, 1996
No. 3 Theopolis Bell (1972-75), 153-2509
Debut: 0-0 in 1st game; 2-35 vs. UCLA in 2nd game, 1972
No. 10 Vance Johnson (1981-84), 104-1014
Debut: 6-96 vs. UCLA, 1981
Going All the Way
One aspect of UA's improvement up front is better depth on the offensive line. Yet in the opener at Utah, line coach Eric Wolford played his cards close to the vest with his starting unit -- left tackle Peter Graniello, left guard John Abramo, center Erick Levitre, right guard Kili Lefotu and right tackle Tanner Bell -- playing every single scrimmage down. For senior Lefotu, a 30-game career starter, it was business as usual. Graniello started every game and went most of the way at RT or RG a year ago, and earned Freshman All-America second-team honors. Abramo, a senior, had five starts and has been a factor as a two-year letterman. But Levitre has played sparingly in his three-years in the program and senior
True to Form
Putting on the Hits
Senior safety Darrell Brooks moved closer to UA's top 20 chart for career tackles after his 11-hit effort at
In The Second Year
Mike Stoops is looking to join predecessors Larry Smith and Dick Tomey as the two
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 - 0-1, 0-0