Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Football Returns Home To Face Stanford
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: October 15, 2005
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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The Game

Stanford (2-2, 1-1) at Arizona (1-4, 0-2), 4:07 p.m. (MST) Saturday, Oct. 10, 56,000-seat Arizona Stadium. The game will not be televised. Radio: Host Communications/KCUB 1290 AM, KHYT 107.5 FM, KQTL 1210 AM (Spanish).

A delayed, on-demand video webcast will be available online through immediately following the game for subscribers to All-Access, Arizona's premium online multimedia service. Subscribers can also listen to live audio of the radio broadcast. The cost for All-Access is $6/month for audio only, and $9/month for audio and video. Free live statistics of the game are also available.


Some Game Themes

Arizona opens a two-game home stand after a pair of league road contests against ranked squads... UA looks inwardly and gets to see if its game at USC was a springboard or a gangplank... The Cats work to earn a first league victory and climb upward to start the final half of the season... UA gets introduced to Stanford coach Walt Harris' program for the first time and faces the Cardinal after a hiatus of 36 months, following Pac-10 'misses' between the two teams the last two years... The Cardinal work to keep momentum after earning its first league victory in nearly a year last Saturday on the road at Washington State... After Arizona, Stanford faces all five current upper division leaders in the Pac-10 standings, plus Notre Dame... Although the 'B' word hasn't been in Arizona's lexicon since 1998, the game should give an indication of its potential usage because a loss would require UA to win out to qualify for a bowl... It's Family Weekend on the UA campus...


Hispanic Heritage Day

The UA and the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Day Saturday, Oct. 15, in connection with the Stanford-Arizona game. Noted local Hispanic musical groups will play at Fan Fiesta, the tailgate and during halftime, plus school-age artwork will be featured on the stadium video board. Contact the UA for ticket information at 621-2287 or 800-452-2287, or visit the McKale Center Ticket Office.


Una Nota

The UA is believed to have the longest running Spanish-language radio broadcasts among Division I-A football programs. The home-game radio broadcasts began in 1990 on KTZR and currently are carried through the school's Host Communications media contract on KQTL 1210 AM, which also carries men’s home basketball games in Spanish...


Last Week

With 10 minutes left against No. 1 Southern California in the Coliseum, Arizona had the ball, 4th-and-2, on the Trojan 6 yard-line, trailing 35-21. Richard Kovalcheck's pass was batted at the goal line and recovered in a scramble by USC's Ryan Ting, the Cats' lone turnover of the contest. Underscoring their top billing, the Trojans followed with their sixth 80-yard (or plus) scoring drive of the contest, and the game's suspense was over. Not before the first quarter ended (7-7), not at the half (14-7) and not at the end of the third stanza (28-21). UA hung in there despite some stunning numbers by SC, including an opponent all-time high of 724 yards in total offense. The Cats played some serious rope-a-dope in between the goal lines, but not on the scoreboard until the end. USC used most of its weaponry to run for 346 yards (LenDale White 24-179, Reggie Bush 14-110) and throw for 387 (Matt Leinart 26-40, 360 yards, two TD throws). White, however, proved most effective, scoring four touchdowns and averaging 7.5 yards per run between the tackles. UA mustered 245 total yards against a field full of defensive talent, but its kicking game played a big role in keeping the Cats in the game. Syndric Steptoe had 181 all-purpose yards including a 76-yard kickoff return to set up UA's final score, punter Danny Baugher made the Trojans face an 85-yard field all day and Nick Folk put his kickoffs out of Bush's reach and into the end zone. The boys from Troy, to their credit, made the long field short with their offensive play -- 96 of them in fact. But some good things -- the 50 minutes of contention foremost -- gave the Cats a strong hint of promise afterward. Tight end Brad Wood caught his fifth TD pass of the year, freshman Mike Thomas snared a career-best 42-yarder for a score and Kovalcheck connected on a third scoring throw of one yard to RB Gilbert Harris. The kickers kept UA among the national leaders in coverage. Defensive end Copeland Bryan had his fourth sack in two games and totaled nine tackles while safety Darrell Brooks checked in with a career-high 14 hits and forced a fumble that led to a touchdown.


Quick Hits From USC

- Syndric Steptoe twice eclipsed his career-high for a kickoff return, going 37 yards on his first return of the game and then improving it yet again with a 76-yarder later in the contest.

- Steptoe also pulled in one pass for nine yards against USC to extend his streak to 12 straight games with at least one reception.

- QB Richard Kovalcheck tied his career-high with three TD passes against the top-ranked Trojans.

- Mike Thomas tied his career-long with a 42 yard TD reception in the third quarter. It tied UA’s longest play from scrimmage this season and was the longest scoring play of the year as well.

- CB Wilrey Fontenot picked off his third career pass in the game.

- TE Brad Wood caught his fifth TD pass of the season.

- RB Gilbert Harris caught his first career TD pass.

- FS Darrell Brooks recorded a career-high 14 tackles in the game


The Cats and The Cardinal ?- The All-Time Series

Arizona and Stanford resume their Pac-10 rivalry after a two-year hiatus ... The Wildcats lead the all-time series 12-8 that dates back to 1979 and have won seven of the last 10 meetings, but the Cardinal has enjoyed the most recent success, winning three of the last four and two straight ... Stanford won the last meeting between the two 16-6 in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2002 ... Arizona is 6-3 all-time against Stanford in Arizona Stadium, but has lost the last two meetings (1999, 2001) in the Old Pueblo.


Arizona and Stanford ?- The Last Time Out

So much has changed since Stanford and Arizona last met on Oct. 19, 2002, that really the only noteworthy item is how different both teams are ... Gone are Stanford’s Buddy Teevens and Arizona’s John Mackovic. In are SU’s Walt Harris and UA’s Mike Stoops. Both teams will look entirely different then the last time they squared off, so much so that only 10 players that are on the current Arizona roster suited up that day in the Bay Area, and only two of them (Spencer Larsen, Lamon Means) started the game ... However we digress, Stanford kept Arizona out of the end zone and held on to the ball for 14 more minutes on offense then the Wildcats in a 16-6 victory at Stanford Stadium three seasons ago ... Stanford limited Arizona to just two field goals, 22 yards rushing and just 266 yards of total offense in the contest.


Noting the Cardinal

Stanford heads to Tucson with a 2-2 record and a 1-1 mark in the Pac-10 ... The Cardinal defeated Washington State 24-21 last weekend for its first Pac-10 victory in nearly a year ... Stanford is averaging 325.75 yards of total offense (134.25 rush, 191.50 pass) a figure that ranks 93rd in the among D-IA teams ... Defensively the Cardinal is giving up an average of 455.25 yards per game (174.50 rush, 280.75 pass), 108th in the nation ... QB Trent Edwards paces the Cardinal offense, tossing five TD passes this season against just two picks ... Stanford outside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator Tom Quinn was a three-year letterman for Dick Tomey's Arizona clubs from 1988-90, as a reserve inside linebacker and special teams player, including a stint as long snapper as a sophomore. TQ played as a graduate his final year and earned a master's degree in 1991. He joined former Tomey assistant Dave Fagg at Davidson College for his first coaching job that year. This is his fourth year on the staff at the Farm


Hanky Panky

After three games of some undisciplined play that resulted in 31 total penalties for 220 yards, Arizona posted a season-low two penalties and 15 lost yards at Southern California. The Cats had been averaging nearly 10 flags per game before settling down against the Trojans. Defensive coordinator Mark Stoops outlined that effort prior to kickoff in the Coliseum: "We're going out there and stressing some fundamental play," he told AD Jim Livengood.



Arizona gave up only one sack to the QB hungry USC club that had 15 entering the contest -- and that was a near voluntary moment where Richard Kovalcheck was forced out of bounds behind the line on a scramble. It was the kind of sack that almost anyone would take, as the play actually netted Arizona 13 yards when USC was flagged for a personal foul for slamming RK after he crossed the boundary. In the two games since Purdue had an opponent season-high five sacks against UA, the Cats' front line and backs have allowed only two sacks. Whether it's coincidental, those two games have seen juco transfer Adam Hawes earn his first starts at guard in the protective wall on Kovalcheck's blind side.


Making the Most of It

Despite a disadvantage of nearly 14 minutes in possession time, Arizona trailed by a mere seven points at USC after three quarters of play. Arizona ran exactly half as many plays as the Trojans, 48 to 96. The Trojans were one play shy of the opponent historical high, 97 by the 1973 Arizona State team in its 55-19 victory over UA behind a Danny White/Woody Green-led attack. Arizona averaged 5.1 yards per play, while the Trojans hit at a 7.5 rate. That statistic -- which clearly points at both offensive and defensive prowess -- has underscored the final outcome in every UA game this year:

Game UA per play Opp per play    Score
@Utah 5.2 yards 6.5 yards      24-27
NAU     5.9 yards     4.0 yards     31-12
Purdue  4.6 yards            6.0 yards     24-31
@Cal     3.2 yards            5.1 yards     0-28
@USC 5.1 yards 7.5 yards     21-42
Totals 4.8 yards 6.0 yards 100-140


The Third 15

Playing their opponents nearly even in the first, second and fourth quarters, the Wildcats have struggled in the third frame this season. Arizona has been out-scored by its opposition by 29 points and has given up the most total points in the third stanza. Combined, UA’s opponents hold an 11-point scoring edge in the other three quarters (-4 in the first, -7 in the second, even in the fourth)


Quick Six

The Wildcats average time of possession on its three scoring drives against top-ranked USC last weekend was just 1:26. Arizona used up 1:12 on its opening TD, needed just 30 seconds on its second score and ”drove” for 2:36 on its final TD of contest. Ironically, UA’s most time consuming scoring drive against USC was the shortest distance-wise of the game (22 yards) thanks to a 76-yard kickoff return by Syndric Steptoe. For the year, the Wildcats are averaging 3:05 on its 13 TD drives and have scored seven TDs in under three minutes on the year.


Bootin Danny Baugher

Ray Guy Award nominee Danny Baugher has almost single handedly eliminated opposition punt returns all together this season. The Division IA leader in punting with a 48.4 yard per kick average, Baugher and the punt coverage unit has allowed just six of his 27 kicks this season to be returned. He has placed nine punts inside the opposition’s 20-yard line and has had a kick of 50 or more yards in all five games this season. All totaled, Baugher has 13 kicks over 50 yards and he has punted for 1,307 yards

      Already the career punts leader at Arizona, Baugher has broken a pair of Pac-10 and school records in 2005 while also repeatedly upping his career-long kick. On Sept. 10 against Northern Arizona, he averaged 59.7 yards per punt, snapping the previous conference and school records for a single game. A week later, on Sept. 17, Baugher had a career day against Purdue, launching seven punts for 403 yards including a career-long kick of 76 yards and other punts of 68, 63, 61 and 51 yards. The effort against the Boilermakers ended up producing a 57.6 team average, the highest team single game mark in Pac-10 and school history (min. 5 kicks).


Baugher Bits

Probably the national announcers should learn how to pronounce the name. Or maybe Danny should re-spell his name 'Bogger.'  Whatever. UA punter Danny Baugher is making it look like he'll at least remake the Arizona record book. Sixty years ago Art Pollard set the UA standard with a 45.4 individual punting mark, with 18 kicks. Currently, Baugher has boomed 27 punts for a 48.4 mark. Better still is the Cats' overall 40.9 net figure, an improvement of five yards from a year ago. That could mean about 400 yards' worth of better field position for the Cats this season. Only a handful of teams in America, if that, can overcome a 90-yard field with consistency and USC proved it w

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