Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m.
Site: Autzen Stadium (54,000) -
TV: FSNA (Dave Sitton, Dale Helestrae)
Radio: 1290 AM (Brian Jeffries, Lamont Lovett)
First Meeting: 1937 (
Last Meeting: 2005 (
All-Time Series Record:
Notes on the Series: Arizona and Oregon will be meeting for the 32nd time in a series that dates back to 1937 ... The Wildcats have not won in Autzen Stadium since 1986 when they defeated the Ducks 41-17, but they have also had limited opportunities having played just six games there since the last UA victory 20 years ago ... Despite the long run since UA’s last win in Eugene, Arizona has played Oregon tough on the road, dropping a six-point game in 1989 (16-10), a one-point game in 1994 (10-9), a seven-point contest in 1997 (16-9) and a four-point game in 2000 (14-10) ... Oregon’s most lopsided win over the Cats in Eugene over the last 20 years was an 18-point victory in 1996 (49-31) ... The last time Arizona played Oregon in Autzen, UO roared out to a 28-0 lead and held on for a 28-14 victory in Mike Stoops’ first season of 2004 ... UA’s longest winning streak against UO is four straight from 1984-88 ... The Ducks’ current seven-game winning streak (1999-2005) is their longest in the all-time series ... UA’s largest margin of victory in the series is 35 points when it defeated UO 38-3 in 1998 ... UO’s largest margin of victory was a 48-10 win over the Cats in Tucson in 2003 ... The average margin of victory in the all-time series is 14.6 points, but 12 of the 31 games have been decided by nine points or less.
Some Game Themes...
Junior cornerback Antoine Cason electrified a Homecoming crowd of 55,519 with a fourth-quarter interception return of 39 yards to give Arizona its first lead, and the Cats held on to win and send the No. 8 California Bears packing, 24-20. The interception was one of three for the Cats and represented a simple axiom that proved solid -- take care of the ball and good things will happen. The Cats had no turnovers, were patient and balanced on offense (34 passes, 33 runs), reserved the right to punt (nine), were solid in the red zone (2-2 TDs) and didn't let in-game adversity cause the turmoil it had in the recent past. The Bears' first score -- a 95-yard punt return by DeSean Jackson four minutes into the game -- might have been a dagger earlier in the year, but UA's measure of swagger from its Top 25 victory at WSU a week earlier helped it retain focus.
Cal Quick Hits
The victory over No. 8 Cal marked the second consecutive season that Arizona has defeated a top 10-ranked opponent on Homecoming Weekend (No. 7 UCLA in 2005) ... Arizona, which did not fumble or have an interception, recorded its first turnover-free game of the season against the Golden Bears which entered the game with a Pac-10-best +11 turnover margin and 20 interceptions on the year ... DB Antoine Cason’s “Pick-Six” in the fourth quarter was his first career defensive score at UA and his 10th all-time interception ... It was also UA’s first defensive TD since teammate Michael Johnson returned an interception 40 yards for a score at Oregon State last season ... Arizona’s three interceptions of Nate Longshore, the Pac-10’s passing efficiency leader, was a season-high for a game for the Cats and the most in a contest since picking off six passes at Oregon State last year ... WR Mike Thomas’ 39-yard reception in the third quarter was his longest of the season ... DB Devin Ross gained 10 yards on his first career carry on UA’s successful fake punt attempt in the second quarter ... Cory Hall earned his first career start at FS in place of an injured Dominic Patrick ... RB Chris Henry tied his career-high with two rushing TDs (at WSU in 2006, at UCLA in 2004) ... P Nick Folk tied a season-high with nine punts in the contest ... Folk also connected on his sixth-straight field goal attempt ... The 14 points scored in the fourth quarter against the Golden Bears equaled a season high for the Cats (14 vs. SFA) and were the first points scored in the final 15 minutes of a game since Nick Folk kicked a FG against USC on Sept. 23.
A Quick Look at
The Ducks have fallen out of the top 25 for the first time this season following a 35-10 loss at USC last weekend ... Still the Duck are bowl-eligible, having put together a 7-3 record thus far ... Offensively, the Ducks are averaging 33.7 points per game (12th nationally) and 446.4 total yards (fifth nationally, first in the Pac-10) - 195.4 rushing, 251.0 passing ... Individually QB Dennis Dixon is fourth in the Pac-10 in total offense (229 ypg) and has the sixth-best passing efficiency in the conference (125.6) ... His main target has been WR Jaison Williams, who is 12th nationally and first in the Pac-10 after averaging 6.2 catches per game. His 92.9 yards receiving per game also leads the conference and is 11th nationally ... Jonathan Stewart is the main rushing threat, averaging 84.0 yards per game ... Defensively the Ducks are allowing a very stingy 293.3 yards per game this year, however their rushing defense has been prone to give up some yards, allowing 147.8 yards per game, a figure that ranks 80th nationally and ninth in the Pac-10 ... Head coach Mike Belloti is in his 12th season at Oregon and has put together a 97-45 record as the Ducks top guy.
Match Ups to Watch
Some of the unit match ups this week are intriguing.
Sharing the Duties
The week prior to
Nobody Said It Would Be Easy...
but nobody has probably had it this hard. The Cats' 2006 schedule is rated the 12th-toughest in Division IA by the NCAA, a derivation of opponents' won-loss marks... UA has played three Top 10 opponents as rated by the Associated Press -- No. 8 LSU, No. 3 USC and No. 8 Cal - as well as No. 25 Washington State. In Mike Stoops first three seasons as head coach he has had to face a demanding slate that has seen 14 of the 32 opponents ranked in the top 25. Not an easy schedule for a man trying to rebuild a program.
Two for the Road
It’s All About 20
When the Cats score 20 or more points this season they are a perfect 4-0, when giving up 20 or less to the opposition they are 4-2.
Moving On Up
It’s How You Finish
vs. No 1 USC - L, 49-9 vs. No. 18 Arizona - W, 34-27 2005
vs. No. 7 UCLA - W, 52-14 2006
at No. 25 Washington State - W, 27-17 vs. No. 8 California - W, 24-20
It Hasn’t Been Pretty...
With an injury to starting free safety Dominic Patrick (stinger) keeping him on the bench against No. 8 Cal, the UA coaches called on redshirt freshman Cory Hall to fill against Golden Bears’ top-rated Pac-10 passing offense. Hall came through with an interception in the first quarter, the first thrown by Pac-10 passing efficiency leader Nate Longshore in 64 attempts, and finished with a pair of PBUs and a tackle.
Klyce Does Nice
Although starting strong safety Michael Johnson had to leave the
Building a Cason For The Thorpe
Antoine Cason had a pretty good week last week. The junior CB was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week on Monday after helping lead the Cats to a 27-17 win over
After giving up the longest punt return in school history (95 yards to DeSean Jackson) on the first kick of the game last Saturday to No. 8 Cal, the Wildcat punting unit made some adjustments and bounced back nicely. Kicking eight more times in the contest, punter Nick Folk and the Wildcat coverage unit allowed Jackson and fellow return man Justin Forsett just 33 more yards on returns. Folk was the main contributor, averaging 45.3 yards per punt while pinning the Golden Bears inside their own 20 four times.
Check this out - Arizona completes a close but disappointing seven-point home loss to a school from Oregon, heads to the Pacific Northwest and pulls off a conference road victory and then returns to Tucson the following week to knock off a top 10 school from the University of California system on Homecoming Weekend. Sound familiar? Well, it should because it is not only what has transpired over the last three weeks this year, but it is identical situation that happened exactly at this time last season. Now the Cats need to make sure that the Deja Vu wears off and they begin to write a new script, as they fell to
2006 Oregon Opponent:
L- vs. Oregon, 28-21
L - vs. Oregon State, 17-10 Pacific Northwest Opp:
W - at Oregon State, 29-27
W - at Washington State, 27-17 Top 10 UC System HC Opp:
W - No. 7 UCLA, 52-14
W - No. 8 Cal, 24-20
Better Get ?'Em Early
Over the last four games the Wildcats have gotten pretty stingy about giving up points. Dating back to the Stanford game on Oct. 15 and covering the
Scoring by Quarter - The Last Four Games
Do-it-all kicker Nick Folk has been successful on his last six field goal tries, including a 39-yarder against No. 8 Cal, 48-yarder at No. 25 Washington State and a 45-yard boot at Stanford. That's his best in-season stretch, topping a pair of three consecutive makes twice as a sophomore and once last year. His 12 successful FG attempts are not only a career best, but they are the most for an Arizona team since Bobby Gill (7-for-11) and Sean Keel (6-for-11) teamed up for 13 makes in 2002. So much for the days of 2003 when
Moving The Chains
UA converted a season-high nine third down plays (18) attempts at No. 25 WSU Nov. 4 and was a bit more modest last weekend against No. 8 Cal (3 for 15). However, the 36 percent success rate is nearly astronomical when compared to the opposition’s 19 percent (5 for 26) over that same two-game span. The
Going For It
Including a fake punt on 4th-and-7 and gutsy 4th-and-1 in their own territory early the third quarter last week against Cal, the Cats have tried to convert on fourth down 13 times this year, making 10 (77%). Nice. The Opposition? 0-for-4.
The Last 10 Years, Through 10 Games
- Numbers in () are minus the four TDs the opposition has scored on INT and punt returns.
- Only the 1997, 2000 and 2006 teams played three games in their first 10 vs. Top 10 opponents.
The knock on UA’s running game by many of the pundits heading into the season was their proclivity to fumble the ball. RB coach Kasey Dunn focused on holding onto the rock during preseason camp, and his charges have taken heed. On 261 total touches this season (237 rushes, 24 receptions) not a single
It’s Even Better Then It Looks
Holding Them Down
A Dominant Defensive Effort
The Arizona defense limited Stanford to just 32 offensive plays on Oct. 14 (14 in the first half, 18 in the second half) and four first downs (2 in the first half, 2 in the second) ... The four first downs allowed narrowly missed the Arizona school record of three which has happened three times ... The 52 yards gained by Stanford in the entire contest were the fewest for the Cardinal in school history ... It was also the fewest yards surrendered by a UA defense to a Pac-10 opponent in school history, surpassing the 79 yards given up to Oregon State in 1981 ... The Cardinal’s minus six yards rushing marked the first time UA has held an opponent to negative rushing yards since limiting UCLA to -31 yards in 1999 ... Stanford’s longest drive in the game, time-wise, consisted of six plays for nine yards over 3:24. The Wildcats had six drives the lasted at least that long. Stanford’s longest drive, yards-wise, was three plays for 13 yards in the first quarter that ended with a fumble ... The UA defense held Stanford to a 3:23 time of possession in the second quarter. The Cardinal ran three plays for -7 yards in the frame ... Aside from the interception return for a TD, Stanford did not possess the ball inside of
27 and Counting