Nov. 2, 2001
TUCSON - The Arizona football team wrapped up practice preparations Thursday night for its game at California Saturday, and will head for Berkeley today without starting offensive lineman Reggie Sampay and halfback Leo Mills.
Sampay is nursing a shoulder and sore neck and Mills has a deep leg bruise. Sampay has started each of Arizona's games, the last two at center. Mills has carried 48 times this year for 147 yards and a touchdown. He started UA's game at Washington this year, where he had more than 280 all-purpose yards a year ago.
The loss of Sampay will throw redshirt freshman Keoki Fraser into the starting role. He's practiced at that spot and guard throughout the year and has played in six games, with two starts at right guard against Oregon and Washington. Mills' absence should give more opportunities to starter Clarence Farmer and backups Tremaine Cox and Anthony Fulcher.
The Wildcats, at 3-5 overall, have lost 10 consecutive Pac-10 games but remain in the hunt for a post-season berth if they can win their final three games. California is winless at 0-7, but has played a schedule which saw it face undefeated opponents in each of its first six games.
Arizona has a 4-4-2 record in games played at Cal's Memorial Stadium including a four-overtime 56-55 loss in 1996, one of the longest games in collegiate history.
UA has fielded lineups built around injuries numerous times this year, but mostly on defense due to injuries to each of six defensive linemen. But the Bears have faced similar troubles, notably a sore back by quarterback Kyle Boller. He missed the last two Cal games but may be available against Arizona. The Bears' top running back, Joe Igber, broke his collar bone last week and is out for the UA game.
Both teams have combined to give up 574 points this year, a match of Division I-A's No. 106 in that category (UA) against last (No. 115) in scoring defense (California).