Nov. 1, 2010
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer was named the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week, the league office announced on Monday.
Fischer, a sophomore, keyed Arizona's special teams play in the second half that helped UA preserve its lead before going on to defeat UCLA, 29-21, last Saturday at the Rose Bowl. Among Fischer's plays was a successful rush on a fake punt and two tackles in kickoff coverage.
The fake punt came at a pivotal moment in the fourth quarter with momentum firmly in the hands of the Bruins, who had cut a 12-point deficit down to five points. After a stalled offensive drive, Arizona was forced to punt from its own 27-yard line midway through the 4th quarter.
The Wildcats called for a fake punt on 4th-and-3, which Fischer turned into a 29-yard gain to maintain possession. While the offense did not score on the extended drive, valuable time was consumed and field position was effectively flipped on UCLA. The decision helped give the Wildcat defense room to work with the rest of the way as UCLA started each of its final two drives from inside its own 30-yard line. The Bruins netted minus six yards of offense on those two possessions while facing the long field.
Fischer also played a critical role on UA's kickoff coverage teams, recording two tackles in the second half. Each of Fischer's kickoff coverage tackles kept the Bruins inside their own 30-yard line. In the game, UCLA's average starting field position was its own 27-yard line, including its own 25-yard line throughout the second half.
Arizona improved to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-10 with the victory. The Wildcats, ranked No. 13 in the Associated Press Top 25, travel to face No. 10 Stanford this Saturday in Palo Alto. The game will be broadcast live on ABC to a split-national audience beginning at 5 p.m. (PT).