Kickoff: 7:07 p.m.
Radio: 1290 AM (Brian Jeffries, Lamont Lovett)
First Meeting: 1978 (
Last Meeting: 2005 (
All-Time Series Record:
Notes on the Series: 2006 marks UW’s second consecutive trip to Arizona after hosting the Wildcats in Seattle four of the last five times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004) ... The Huskies scored 31 unanswered points over the final three quarters last season to snap a school-best two-game winning streak for the Wildcats ... UA has won two straight over the Huskies twice in school history (1988-89 and 2003-04) ... Washington’s longest winning streak in the all-time series is five straight from 1978-84 (UW and UA did not play each other in 1979 and 1981) ... Arizona’s largest margin of victory against Huskies of 13 points came in 1992 when the Wildcats upset the No. 1-ranked Huskies 16-3 on homecoming weekend ... Washington’s largest margin of victory over Arizona came in 1991 when the No. 3 Huskies whitewashed the Cats 54-0 in Seattle ...Four of Arizona’s six wins over Washington have been in Arizona Stadium, but the Huskies still hold a 6-4-1 lead over UA when playing in Tucson ... Prior to Washington’s 24-point win last season, the previous five meetings between the two schools, from 2000-2004, were decided by 10 points or less, including two by three points, one by four and one by five.
Some Game Themes...
Two teams that have been tested by quality opponents get a chance to test what they’ve learned in a critical early-season league match up...
USC Quick Hits
Junior CB Antoine Cason picked off his ninth career pass in the first quarter. It was the second interception of the season for Cason and the first thrown by SC quarterback John David Booty ... Cason, who finished with 12 total tackles against the Trojans, fell one stop short of his game-high of 13 set in his first collegiate contest against NAU in 2004 ... Sophomore WR Mike Thomas stepped up his game, snatching a season-high seven passes for 78 yards. The seven receptions fell one shy of his career high of eight set twice last year ... Syndric Steptoe’s seven yard punt return in the first half was the first punt return of the season for the Cats ... Steptoe’s 41-yard kickoff return to open the game was the longest of the season for the Cats ... Combined there was only seven penalties committed by the two teams in the game.
A Quick Look at
The revitalized Huskies come back to Tucson for the second straight season with a 3-1 record in tow ... Helped by 15 fourth-quarter points, UW bested UCLA 29-19 in Seattle last weekend in its Pac-10 opener ... Washington’s two other victories this year are over San Jose State and Fresno State ... UW played a tough first half against then-No. 10 Oklahoma in Norman during the second week of the season, but 24-7 Sooner advantage in the final 30 minutes doomed the Huskies to a 37-20 loss ... The good news for the Huskies is that they’re averaging 26.25 points per game this season. The bad news is that they’re also allowing 26.25 points per game. Through four games UW has scored 105 points and surrendered 105 points ... When possessing the ball, UW is averaging 345 yards of total offense per game this season ... Helped by a 300-yard game against SJSU in the season opener and a 200-yard game against OU a week later, UW is averaging 170.2 rushing yards per game this season ... Senior QB Isaiah Stanback is a duel threat guy, passing for an average of 164.5 yards per game and running for an additional 64.8. Stanback is second on the team in rushing yards this season ... WR Sonny Shackleford is the lead receiver for UW, averaging four catches per game and 52.5 yards. He has caught four TD passes this season ... Defensively, UW is allowing its opposition an average of 350.25 yards per game this season ... The Huskies are surrendering and average of 132.75 yards rushing and 217.50 yards passing ... Senior safety C.J. Wallace paces the Huskies with 40 total tackles through four game this season ... Sophomore safety Mesphin Forrester has picked off two passes this season ... Washington head coach Tyrone Willinghame is in his second season with the Huskies and has posted a 5-10 overall record heading into the weekend.
There will be some familiar faces looking at each other across the field this weekend. On the
Through the First Four
With a quarter of the season already complete, the
Difference Opponent Scoring
-10 Opponent Rushing
.-257 Opponent Total O
-79 UA Red Zone
4% Opponent Red Zone
-20% Opponent Red Zone TDs
The Final 15
Through four games this year, the Wildcats have already matched their 2005 season total for fourth quarter points. With a three field goals, including Nick Folk’s game-winning 48-yarder against BYU in the season opener, and two TDs (with PATs),
Keeping It Clean
The Wildcats have been penalized less often then their opposition in three of their four games thus far. Flags are being thrown at
With an eye for postseason play and seven home games slated for 2006,
A BIG part of UA’s home success this season has been the support of the
Linebackers Spencer Larsen (32) and Ronnie Palmer (27) are atop UA’s tackles chart, a nice trend compared to a year ago when safety Darrell Brooks had 34 tackles after four games. Add in linebacker Dane Krogstad’s 22 hits and the trio has a total of 81 tackles. Their combined good health was a hoped-for steady factor this year after they combined to miss 14 contests in 2005. Larsen enters the week of play sixth in the Pac-10 with an average of eight tackles per game, Palmer comes in at No. 13 in the conference (6.75) and Krogstad at No. 24 (5.5).
It’s Starting to Feel Like Holmes
Junior college All-American end Louis Holmes is starting to get into more of a groove, and it could help this week in facing a risky QB to flush from the pocket, UW’s Isaiah Stanback. The guy has 259 yards rushing and Holmes has speed to play sideline to sideline. He leads the club with three sacks, is tied for 38th in the nation and is fourth in the Pac-10 in sacks per game, has broken up two passes, and has forced and recovered fumbles this season. His improving play helped coaches decide to use senior end Marcus Smith inside at times against USC.
21 and Counting
Senior WR Syndric Steptoe extended his streak to 21 straight games with at least one catch with three receptions for 61 yards last Saturday against USC. Dating back to the Washington State game on Sept. 25, 2004, Steptoe has hauled in at least one pass in all 21 games he has played in (he missed an Oregon State game twice during his streak due to injury). Step has caught 78 passes for 1,028 yards and four TDs over the 21 games. He is averaging nearly four catches per game, and 13.2 yards per reception. Steptoe’s last game played without a catch was Sept. 18, 2004 against
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Junior college transfer RB Chris Jennings has made such an impression on the
An Impressive Start
Chris Jennings 201 yards rushing in his first career start against Stephen F. Austin on Sept. 16 not only helped him crack the all-time top 10 single game performances by a UA running back (No. 10), but it was among the top running efforts by a first-time starter. A look at some recent UA rushers starting debuts.
Numbers Mike Bell
21-54 yards Clarence Farmer
22-134 yards, TD Leo Mills
29-185 yards, 2 TD Trung Canidate
17-73 yards Gary Taylor
29-174 yards Ontiwaun Carter
Long Beach St.
10-118 yards David Adams
Notes: Bell (No. 4), Farmer (No. 7), Canidate (No. 1), Carter (No. 2) and Adams (No. 6) are all among the career rushers leaders in school history ... Although records don’t indicate starts, Art Luppino’s season debut in his sophomore year of 1954 against New Mexico State was one for the history books. The “Cactus Comet”, the No. 3 all-time rusher at Arizona, ran for 228 yards on just six carries and had scoring runs of 37, 48, 78 and 47 yards in the 58-0 Wildcat win. Press clippings from the time indicate Luppino was a second-team RB behind senior Ken Cardella during his freshman season of 1953.
But What About Me?
Overshadowed by the outstanding performance by Chris Jennings, redshirt freshman Xavier Smith turned in a fine effort on his own last weekend against Stephen F. Austin. Receiving his first career touches on handoffs, X rushed for a 57 yards on just 10 carries for a 5.7 yard per carry average. He finished the contest with three first-down runs and had a long rush of 17 yards for Cats.
Now That’s The Willie We All Know
Sophomore QB Willie Tuitama entered the Stephen F. Austin game at the beginning of the fourth quarter last weekend, and showed the 47,000 fans at Arizona Stadium just why he’s the man in
Hey, Watch Me
The early season “watch lists” continue to stream forth and a number of Wildcats have garnered recognition ... Junior CB Antoine Cason is listed as a player to watch for the Jim Thorpe Award, presented to the nation’s top DB ... Senior PK/P Nick Folk has been placed on the watch list for both the Lou Groza Award, presented to the nation’s top place kicker, and the Ray Guy Award, presented to the top punter ... Sophomore WR Mike Thomas was recently named to the Fred Biletninikoff Award watch lists presented to the top receiver.
The Big Rush
The rushing duo of Chris (Henry) and Chris (
A Spring in his Step
Senior Syndric Steptoe has proven to be a pain for the opposition throughout his career in his role as wide receiver/kick returner. His 137 all-purpose yards against USC last weekend marked the 14th time in his career he has racked up 100 or more all-purpose yards in a contest. With 3,235 career all-purpose yards on 222 total plays (14.6/play), Step is closing in on Hubie Oliver’s No. 11 spot all-time at UA. A bruising power fullback who played from 1977-80, Oliver racked 3,404 all purpose yards on 699 plays. To crack the all-time top 10, Step needs 464 more yards this season to displace No. 10 Eddie Wolgast (1945-48, 3,698 APY). Dennis Northcutt (1996-99) is UA’s all-time leader with 5,392 all-purpose yards.
Step’s All-Purpose Yards
Well actually it’s Nick, but with the way the senior kicker has boomed the ball in the past, maybe a name change is in order. The multi-talented kicker is headed for a season of double duty as the place kicker and punter for the Wildcats. His season debut against BYU certainly showcased his talents as he connected for a career-best three field goals (30, 22, 48), including the game-winner with one second remaining, while also booting four punts for a net average of 56 yards per kick. His 75-yard punt against the Cougars was a career-long and pinned BYU on its own 5 yard-line.
Known for having a big leg on field goals (career-long 53 yards) and kickoffs (64 career touchbacks), his punting prowess came out of necessity for the Wildcats. After punter Danny Baugher went down with a season-ending knee injury in the Wildcats’ seventh game last year, Folk took over the punting duties to go along with his normal place kicking chores. As the “fill in” punter, all Folk did was post a net average of 44.7 yards per kick (Baugher, a finalist for the 2005 Ray Guy Award, average 47.5 net yards per punt), hit a season-high 61-yarder and place eight of his 22 kicks inside the opposition’s 20 yard-line.
One of the Few
Senior Nick Folk is one of eight players on the Division I-A level that handles all of the kicking duties - kickoffs, field goals, PATs and punting - for his team. A look at how Nick stands up against his “brethren”.
KO Nick Folk, Arizona
14-12TB John Deraney, NC State
15-6TB Chris Gould, Virginia
12-6TB Greg Johnson, Texas
24-8TB Matt Lasher, Ohio
16-1TB Ryan Succop, S. Carolina
21-8TB Sam Swank, Wake Forest