Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Arizona Hosts No. 10 Oregon on Saturday
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: September 19, 2011
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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AUDIO: Mike Stoops'News Conference 9-19

No. 10 Oregon (2-1, 0-0 Pac-12) @ Arizona (1-2, 0-1 Pac-12)

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Stoops' Weekly Press Conference (Video)

Online Coverage: Gametracker | Live Audio

Date: Sept. 24 Time: 7:15 p.m. MST
Location: Tucson, Ariz. (Arizona Stadium -- 56,100) 
TV Broadcast: ESPN2 and ESPN3 (online) 
TV Commentators: Carter Blackburn (pxp), Brock Huard (analyst) 
UA Radio: Arizona Radio Network, 1290 AM Tucson (see page 4 of this release for complete list of affiliates) UA Radio Commentators: Brian Jeffries (pxp), Lamont Lovett (color analyst), Dana Cooper (sideline analyst) 
UA Spanish Radio: 990 AM Tucson; Abelardo Oquito (pxp), Marco Rincon (color analyst) 
Satellite Radio: XM 193, SIRIUS 112
Westwood One Radio: John Tautges (pxp) and Terry Donahue (analyst)

Arizona -Oregon Series History
All-Time Series: Oregon leads, 21-14 
First Meeting: 1939 (UA 20, Oregon 6 at Tucson) 
Last Meeting: Nov. 26, 2010 (Oregon 48, Arizona 29 at Eugene) 
Streak: Oregon has won three straight 
Mike Stoops'Record vs. Oregon: 2-4 
Chip Kelly's Record vs. Arizona: 2-0

Some Game Themes
Arizona continues a brutal stretch of play against the third of three Top 10 squads... A match of teams that have generated some sparks -- 1,943 yards and 162 points in their last two meetings -- and brought out some big-play displays by each other... The Wildcats are seemingly between a rock and the other place. After facing the current No. 2 offense (Oklahoma State, 601 ypg)) and the No. 20 unit (Stanford, 481 ypg), the Cats take on the sixth-best in the land in Oregon's 539-yard unit... Arizona checks its pulse to see if it can find a way to stop UO's 261-yard rushing attack, led by LaMichael James and De'Anthony Thomas... The Ducks have to stop the league's No. 1 total offense leader, UA's Nick Foles... Will Arizona give true freshman running back Ka'Deem Carey a bigger piece of the pie belonging to senior Keola Antolin? They or any guy still must look for holes forged by a raw offensive line just beginning its maturation process... The Cats try to muster a pass rush against a unit that's rated sixth nationally in giving up only one sack of Darron Thomas in three games... A matchup the Pac-10 schedule had stuck in November or October in 12 of the past 13 meetings, now finding a Pac-12 September home for the first time since 2003... The Cats close a two-game homestand and won't return to action in Tucson for another month (Oct. 20, UCLA)... UA strives to snap a two-game losing streak, and snap a five-game league losing streak... It's Family Weekend on the University of Arizona campus...

Last Week
Arizona played Stanford toe-to-toe for one half, then could not thwart the Cardinal balanced attack as 21 second-half points led No. 6 SU to a 37-10 victory over the Cats in Arizona Stadium. The toe factor might have made it tighter early, with a missed field goal as the first half expired left UA trailing, 16-10, and another miss to cap a decent UA drive at the start of the second half cost it a chance at a three-point game and some momentum. Stanford piled up 242 rushing yards and Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck threw for 325 and a pair of scores at a whopping rate of 10.5 yards per attempt. UA's Nick Foles (239 yards) and Bryson Beirne (43) had some success moving the ball through the air, but SU held the Cats to 51 net rushing yards by snaring either Foles or RBs 10 times behind the lines for 54 yards in losses. The Cats finished with a modest 333 total yards and their resulting quotient -- just the 10 points. After Arizona's 11-play, 79-yard drive for a second-quarter TD, it had two drives of around 50 yards for the missed field goals by Jaime Salazar and no other drive of more than 40 yards the rest of the way. The Cardinal, however, had the horses to put together the punctuation marks -- three near flawless drives of 81, 80 and 91 yards for TDs in the second half. Stanford's power formations -- often three tight ends -- set up numerous runs by Stepfan Taylor (22-153) or 14 catches by the big guys or fullback Ryan Hewitt. Arizona welcomed back receiver Juron Criner after his Sept. 5 appendectomy, with the senior snaring six receptions for 48 yards and the Cats' lone TD. Busy at the second level, UA safety Marquis Flowersturned in 16-tackle performance. A national audience (ESPN) witnessed the No. 6 team in the country looking every bit the part, and SU rose to No. 5 a day later.

The Coaches Arizona
Mike Stoops(Iowa '86), eighth year at Arizona (41-47)
and overall as a head coach. His record in league games is 27-35. Stoops had Arizona in the national rankings for 11 weeks in 2010 and has taken three consecutive teams to bowl games, matching the school's best string. His recruiting and player development programs have put talented players on the field, and solid citizens in the classrooms and community. He has coached national award winners and a combined 33 All-Pac-10 players at Arizona. His Arizona teams have beaten ranked teams each of his seven seasons in Tucson. Arizona's football attendance has flourished in his tenure averaging 53,155 per game, among the Pac-12's best of-capacity (93%) figures. Arizona's football APR mark has improved each of the past six years. He has developed 16 Arizona players selected in the NFL Draft. He was defensive coordinator at Kansas State and Oklahoma from 1996-2003 before his UA appointment and has been on the defensive side since his coaching start in 1986. Stoops is 2-5 against Oregon and 1-2 vs. the Ducks in Tucson. Oregon - Chip Kelly (New Hampshire '90) is in his third year at Oregon (24-5) and third year overall as a head coach. He took the Ducks to the 2010 BCS title game last January after his second consecutive league championship. He carries a 17-1 record in league games into the Arizona contest. He joined the Oregon staff as offensive coordinator (2007-08) after serving as OC and quarterbacks coach at New Hampshire from 1999-2006. He began his career as a defensive coach at Columbia in 1990 and coached on offense for all but three of his years as an assistant.

Mike Stoopsvs. Ranked Teams
Stoops' Arizona clubs have beaten a ranked team each of his seven seasons in Tucson, with the highest ranked foe to go down the No. 2 Oregon Ducks, 34-24, in Tucson Nov. 15, 2007. Overall the Wildcats are 9-23 against ranked squads in his tenure, and 4-10 against teams in the Top 10. Historically, Arizona is 39-96-1 against teams ranked in the Associated Press poll.

Buckle Up
The Arizona-Oregon games in recent years have produced some fast-paced, high-scoring contests. The Ducks are well known for their prowess, but the Wildcats have done a good job keeping up. Sure, some defensive stops would behoove either side this week, but here's a glance at what the schools have done over the last five meetings from 2006-2010 (Oregon has won three of the five) ARIZ (per game) ORE (per game) Combined (per game) Points 186 (37.2) 181(36.2) 367 (73.4 ppg) First Downs 112 (22.4) 109 (21.8) 221 (44.2) Rushing Yards 670 (134.0) 1,171 (234.2) 1,841 (368.2) Passing Yards 1,489 (297.8) 1,138 (227.6) 2,627 (525.4) Total Yards 2,159 (431.8) 2,309 (461.8) 4,468 (893.6) Offensive Plays 389 (77.8) 390 (78.0) 779 (155.8) Yards/Play 5.6 5.9 5.7

Time Is on My Side -- Or is It?
Something has to give in the Oregon-Arizona game. Arizona enters the game rated No. 113 in the FBS in time of possession (25:32) and faces a Ducks squad checking in at 119th (23:03). Both teams have shown a propensity for quick drives, with Oregon one of the national standard bearers for several years. One team in this game is going to have the ball more than the other team, but will it have any effect?

Slim Pickings
Foles and UO quarterback Darron Thomas have been picked once (Thomas) in a combined 214 passes thrown this year. Foles set a school record against Stanford with his 143th consecutive pass thrown without an interception, dating to the third quarter of the Alamo Bowl. The in-season record is 128 shared by Bruce Hill (1975) and Keith Smith (1996). Foles has tossed 126 without suffering the indignity this year. He (10 in 426 attempts, 2.3%) and Thomas (9 in 394 attempts, 2.7%) didn't make many interceptive mistakes a year ago, by percentage.

Every Little Bit Helps
Arizona is tied for the national lead in having lost only one turnover in three games, a fumble by receiver Austin Hill after a five-yard catch at Oklahoma State's 35 yard-line. That puts UA in a group with Cincinnati, Colorado, Florida Atlantic, Northwestern, Rutgers, Stanford and Wisconsin with only one lost ball. It could be a dynamic factor for the Cats but they've only forced two turnovers by opponents, interceptions by cornerback Trevin Wade against NAU and by safety Mark Watleyat Oklahoma State. Opponents have run the ball 103 times without having the ball jarred loose.

Flag Day
No, but it's happened in Arizona or Oregon games this year. The Wildcats are near the bottom of the Football Bowl Division with eight penalties per game, although they did improve from a very slow start to a more disciplined game against Stanford (3 penalties for 25 yards). Oregon is tied with UA at 105th with the same eight-flags-per-game figure and slightly more yards in penalties per game, 67 to 55. A year ago in Autzen Stadium, Arizona had a near grasp of equality, trailing by one, 20-19, in the second half, but were called offside on a missed field goal and then, boom, UO struck as it does and the game got out of hand. The Cats had 10 penalties in the game.

Staring at the Stats...
Arizona's top two backs, Keola Antolin (4.5) and Ka'Deem Carey (4.9) combine for a usable 4.7 yards per rush. Do it a couple of times and it's 3rd-and-1, right? It's not that easy. Normally you've played "your pre-season" games and worked your way into some balance by Game 4, but the Cats' heavily front-loaded schedule (three Top 10 squads in first four) has made the going grittier all the way around... Once transfers Dan Bucker (18-251) and Gino Crump (13-106) are among UA's top receivers after three games. Buckner redshirted 2010 after arriving from Texas and Crump sat out 2009 after opening his career at West Virginia... Nick Foles completed his first 17 passes against Stanford, believed to be an Arizona record. We apologize for 113 years of information gathering that failed to keep track of any better effort, if it ever happened. Next year's record book will feature the mark by Foles. He wrapped up the half at 18-for-21 and second-half going was tougher for him, six for 12. The overall outing of 24 for 37 (73%) was short of the UA record for completion percentage in a game with 20 or more completions, 78% by Tom Tunnicliffe against Pacific in 1982 (21-for-27)... The Cats simply need more than 22 points per game. All but one team in the league (OSU) scores more, with Oregon topping the chart at 51 points per game and four other above 36 ppg... Arizona never has had a 4,000-yard passer in its football history, but QB Foles is on pace to challenge. Willie Tuitamaholds the UA record with 3,683 yards in 2007...

Flowers Didn't Wilt
Sophomore safety Maquis Flowers racked up 16 tackles against the Cardinal, the most for a UA player since current linebacker Paul Vassallo's 14 against Washington a year ago. Then senior linebacker Xavier Kelley had 15 in a victory against Brigham Young in the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl. Then senior linebacker Spencer Larsenhad 17 in a victory at USC in 2007. Arizona doesn't list a single-game tackle record, but suffice it to say it would be held by linebacker Ricky Hunley, the All-America linebacker at UA from 1980-83. In those days coach Larry Smith's defensive staff (and most others around the country) kept track of tackles via game films. Hunley had 566 career tackles in 44 games, an AVERAGE of 12.8 per game. He was credited with 21 tackles against Oregon and 20 against ASU his junior year in 1982.

Dugandzic Doing It
Punter Kyle Dugandzichas taken punting woes out of Arizona's picture in his early FBS career. He's fourth nationally with an individual 49.38 per kick figure and helped Arizona record a net punting figure of 43.31, also fourth in the FBS. Opponents have been able to return six of his 13 punts for a modest 6.5-yard average. He's socked eight punts of 50 yards or more, and put four inside the opponents 20 yard-line. There's a ton of season left but it's solid improvement from a year ago when UA finished 98th with a net mark of 34.1 yards. With Oregon bringing Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas type threats, Dugandzic's tendency to kick the ball away from the return specialist might come in real handy this week.

Numbed by Numbers...
Nick Foles pass efficiency rating of 163.66 would be the third in UA history above the 150.00 mark. The record is Keith Smith's 174.2 rating in 1998, with No. 2 a 157.1 figure 35 years ago in 1976. Foles appears to have a solid chance of spotting his 2011 season in the top 10, where Smith's 135.0 mark in 1999 sits at No. 10. Foles clearly has upped the ante from his career mark of 125.25 entering the year... Arizona's receivers have caught five or more balls in a game 12 times this year, with inside guy David Roberts the only one to do so in each game. He had 7-58 against NAU, 5-29 at Oklahoma State and 5-62 last week... One reason for Arizona's rushing totals (55.7 ypg) is emphasis. The Cats' backs have had 15, 19 and 16 combined attempts in the three games... Senior cornerback Trevin Wadebroke up three passes against the Cardinal, with Shaq Richardson getting two on the other side. That activity and ball awareness by the twosome could come in handy this week and against Matt Barkley a week hence. For Wade, it gave him four for the year and eclipsed his total of three a season ago. His career total of 24 PBU are three shy of the Arizona Top 10 chart upon which Kelvin Hunter and Chris McAlister are tied at No. 9 with 27. Both those guys played in the same UA backfields (McAlister 1996-98, Hunter 1996-99),,,

Desert Swarm's Waldrop to be Honored
The University of Arizona and the National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame will jointly honor former Wildcat defensive tackle Rob Waldrop with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute presented by Fidelity Investments on Sept. 24 at Arizona Stadium. The event will take place at halftime of the Oregon game. Waldrop, elected to the College Hall of Fame earlier this year, was a unanimous All-American and winner of the Outland Trophy and the inaugural Bronko Nagurski Award as national defensive player of the year in 1993. He also was Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and winner of the Morris Trophy as voted by his peers, the league's starting offensive linemen. His havoc-wreaking play in the middle helped spawn the Cats' "Desert Swarm" nickname for its defense, which led the nation with 33 rushing yards allowed his senior year. He finished with a remarkable 163 total tackles for an interior lineman and 22.5 sacks, fifth best in UA's history. Waldrop was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs, played two seasons and later went on to a one-year stint with Toronto of the CFL.

Coach to Cure MD
The American Football Coaches Association is sponsoring its fourth annual Coach to Cure MD effort this weekend and Arizona is one of more than 100 FBS schools whose coaches will be wearing a patch to help raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. The organization's online effort may be found at

Something You Won't See
With Arizona throwing for 364.0 yards per game (No. 5) in the nation, don't expect to the Wildcats to copy the gameplans used against the Ducks in the 1978 and 1992 seasons: On November 11, 1978, Arizona snapped a four-game losing streak with a 24-3 victory in Eugene, Ore. In that game, Arizona rushed for 359 yards on 68 carries and did not complete a single pass. In fact, the Wildcats (coached by Tony Mason) called just two pass plays in the entire game and quarterback Jim Krohn only threw one official pass (incomplete). Larry Heater had a game-best 193 rushing yards on 34 carries, while Hubert Oliver added 141 markers on 23 carries ... Fast-forward 14 seasons and the Wildcats (coached by Dick Tomey) used a similar formula en route to a victory. On November 6, 1992, Arizona entered a key Pac-10 showdown against Oregon without its starting quarterback, Dan White. In front of a capacity Homecoming crowd of 57,309, Arizona turned to tailback Chuck Levy to engineer the offensive attack. The Wildcats attempted just one pass all day long (it was incomplete), but they rolled up 389 rushing yards on 80 total attempts, cruising to a 21-0 halftime lead and an eventual 31-10 victory. Despite a lack of a passing threat, Levy excelled as UA's quarterback in the game. He collected 126 yards on 27 carries in the game - most of which were keepers on sprint-outs and sweeps. Tailback Ontiwaun Carter added 127 rushing yards on a game-high 29 carries, while split back Billy Johnson ran 13 times for 69 yards and tailback Gary Taylor pitching in 55 yards on five rushes.

Seeing Red
Keep an eye on Arizona's ability to put points on the board in the red zone. It was the Achilles' heel of the squad a season ago and the early returns this year show there is still work to be done. The Wildcats finished 113th and second-to-last in the Pac-10 with a .720 scoring percentage in the red zone last year. Coaches attributed several factors for the shortcomings, notably untimely penalties, an inconsistent rushing attack and turnovers. Through three games in 2011, UA has scored on 7-ofo10 (.700) red zone trips, which ranks tied for 98th nationally and 11th in the Pac-12. Last year against Oregon, the Wildcats scored on two-of-three trips inside the red zone, but just one resulted in a touchdown. The Ducks meanwhile entered the red zone six times and punched it in for six points on five of the trips.

From Start To Finish
Under Mike Stoops, Arizona has proved to be a pretty dominant team when it starts fast. Consider that the Wildcats are 27-6 (8.18) since the start of the 2004 season when holding a lead after the first quarter. That mark is even more impressive in recent seasons, as UA has won 18 of its last 19 contests since the start of 2008 when leading after the opening period (lone defeat came after a 14-7 lead at Oregon in 2010). At home, the Wildcats are 18-3 in such games, including a streak of 13 straight victories dating back to 2007. Away from home, the Cats hold a solid 9-3 (.750) mark with leads after the first quarter. However, trailing or being tied with an opponent is an ominous omen for Arizona as the club is just 14-41 (.254) when tied or trailing after the first quarter since the start of 2004. The Cats are 8-19 (.296) at home and 6-22 (.214) away from home in such games.

100-Yard Targets
If the Wildcats wanted to, they could spread out five receivers who have a 100-yard game on their résumé. Juron Criner is the headliner of the group and has seven 100-yard receiving games in his career. Last week at Oklahoma State, redshirt freshman and transfer Dan Buckner (who had to sit out the 2010 season) racked up 279 combined yards as each collected their first 100-yard receiving day for the Wildcats. They joined David Roberts (138 yards at Washington in 2009) and Terrence Miller (116 yards against USC in 2010) as targets that have 100-yard games in their careers. Interestingly, David Douglas, who has 96 catches and 17 starts in his career, has yet to rack up a triple digit output. His closest effort was 92 yards against Stanford in 2009.

Ground Game Grounded
So far Arizona has rushed for 167 yards on the season and its 55.7 yards per game average ranks No. 116 in the nation (out of 120 teams). It's clear the Wildcats are going to have to find a way to run the ball, even in the pass-happy offensive attack. When Arizona has been able to run the ball in recent seasons, it has been able to win quite a few ball games. The Cats are 19-8 since the start of 2008 when rushing for 100 or more yards in a game, while they struggle at a 5-10 mark in games when failing to reach the century mark.

The Buck Doesn't Stop Here
Junior transfer Dan Buckner'sbreak-out 10-catch, 142-yard game at Oklahoma State showed he's as advertised from his days as Texas Longhorn in 2008-09. Through three games, Buckner leads the club in catches (18) and receiving yards (251). He sat out the season last year as a four-year switcher, earning some scout team honors along the way, and has a skill set to match the 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame. He turned an out-and-up route into a 54-yard touchdown against the Cowboys, his first career Arizona score. He had 44 receptions for 445 yards as a sophomore at UT in 2009.

Tracking Some Cats
Nick Foles' and Juron Criner's career numbers are well-documented, but here are some notable Cats closing in on other top career marks ... Keola Antolin has 22 rushing touchdowns and three receiving scores in his career for a career tally of 150 points scored. That is nearing a spot in the UA career charts. He is two touchdowns shy of matching Dennis Northcutt's (1996-99) 162 points for No. 13 all-time ... Senior place kicker Alex Zendejas, who has just one extra point conversion to his credit this year, has collected 173 points in his career, which stands as 11th-most in program history. Nine more points will match Zendejas with another UA kicker, Sean Keel (1999-2002) ... Senior wide receiver David Roberts' steady career has put him within reach of becoming one of the school's all-time leaders for pass receptions. His 106 grabs are tied with Anthony Johnson(2004-07) for 11th-most all-time at Arizona and he is just six catches shy of Derek Hill (1985-88) and Rodney Williams (1995-97) who are tied for No. 10 on the UA list ... Antolin is closing in on 2,000 rushing yards in his career. Just 45 yards shy of the career benchmark, Antolin's 1,955 yards currently rank No. 13 in school history. Each of the 12 players ahead of him has over 2,000 yards.

Cats on ESPN
Saturday's national telecast on ESPN2 will be the third straight game for the Wildcats on ESPN or ESPN2. It's a familiar station to find the Wildcats on in recent years. In 2010, UA played eight of its 13 games on one of the ESPN college football outlets (ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC). The Wildcats closed the 2009 season with four straight contests shown on the "Family of Networks". With three of the first four games in 2011 slated for ESPN, 15 of the last 21 Arizona football games will have been televised by ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC since November of 2009. Later this year, the Wildcats host UCLA (Oct.20) in a Thursday night showdown which will also be televised by ESPN.

Eleven For Trevin
Trevin Wade'sthird quarter interception against Northern Arizona on Sept. 3 was the 11th of his career, which is tied with Air Force's Anthony Wright, Virginia Tech's Jayron Hosely and Alabama's Mark Barron for most nationally among active players. It puts him just one pick away from tying six former Wildcats for the No. 10 spot in school history. Wade's 10th interception against the Lumberjacks was his first since Sept. 18, 2010, when he had an 85-yard return for a touchdown against Iowa. The 10-game drought without a pick was the longest in Wade's career. He opened his Wildcat career with two interceptions against Idaho on Aug. 30, 2008. He went on to snare two more interceptions his redshirt freshman season, before collecting five in 2009.

Career Tracker
- Keola Antolin's 402 career carries are 16th-most for active players
- Juron Criner's 146 career receptions are 19th-most for active players.
- Juron Criner's 2,102 career receiving yards are 18th-most for active players.
- Juron Criner's 23 career receiving touchdowns are 6th-most for active players
- Nick Foles' 641 career pass completions are 6th-most for active players
- Nick Foles' 66.7% career completion percentage is 5th-best for active players
- Nick Foles' 258.7 career passing yards per game is 9th-best for active players
- Nick Foles' 24.7 career completions per game is 5th-best for active players
- Trevin Wade's11 career interceptions are tied for most nationally for active players.

Bring It On
Prognosticators have taken a glance at Arizona's 2011 schedule - particularly the first month - and most have given the Wildcats little chance of early season success. Sure, UA is set to face three straight preseason AP Top-10 teams. That's a daunting task for any squad. But playing ranked teams in succession is not totally unusual territory for Mike Stoops'squads. In Stoops' inaugural season as head coach, the Wildcats played No. 17 Utah and No. 20 Wisconsin in consecutive weeks, before later playing No. 1 USC and No. 18 Arizona State in order to end the 2004 season. In 2005, Stoops' second UA team faced No. 12 Purdue, No. 12 California and No. 1 USC in three straight games. In 2006, the Cats wrestled away victories from No. 25 Washington State and No. 8 California in consecutive November games. In the 2007, UA closed the season with No. 2 Oregon and No. 13 Arizona State. In 2009, UA closed the regular season with a win over No. 20 USC, before facing then-No. 20 Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl three weeks later. So yes, should Oklahoma State, Stanford and Oregon remain ranked in the Top 10 this year at the time of the games, it will be the first time the Cats have played a trio of Top 10 teams consecutively under Coach Stoops. But the Cats are used to playing tough competition by now.

It Won't Be The First Time
Arizona certainly has a tough slate of games lined up on its 2011 schedule, but it's something they have become familiar with in recent years. In fact, three times in Mike Stoops'seven seasons at Arizona, the Wildcats have played one of the nation's top 10 toughest schedules. In 2004, UA played the third-toughest schedule in the country with opponents owning a 69-39 (.639) overall record. Two years later, the 2006 schedule checked in as the eighth-toughest in the nation with opponents holding an overall record of 76-50 (.603). And two years in 2009, The Cats played the seventh-toughest schedule in the nation as their opponents combined for an 83-55 (.601) overall record. Check back after the bowl season to see where the 2011 schedule stacks up nationally.

Turnover Fortunes
An area that Mike Stoopsand Co. would like to see improvement for the Arizona Wildcats in 2011 is in the turnover department. The Cats have failed to post a positive turnover margin the last two seasons, after netting a plus-six margin in 2008. It works two-fold. First, ball security will be a priority on offense, and in a pass-happy offense led by a senior QB, the Cats could/should be in good shape there. Secondly, the UA defense needs to force more turnovers. Last season the defense turned opposing teams over just 18 times. Opportunities for more turnovers were there, perhaps best evidenced by five or six dropped interceptions against Arizona State in the regular season finale. When the Wildcats win the turnover battle, they are pretty good. Consider that Arizona is 20-8 since 2008 when it wins or ties in the turnover column. Conversely, the Cats struggle at a 4-9 clip in games they lose the turnover battle. Keep an eye on turnovers this season.

Cats Report To Duty
For the fourth straight year, Arizona head coach Mike Stoopstook his team to Fort Huachuca, a U.S. Army post 75 miles southeast of Tucson, for four days of preseason training camp in August. Fort Huachuca was founded in 1977 and is now home to units such as the Army Intelligence Center, Army Signal Command, Information Systems Command and other test facilities associated with communications and electronic proving systems. For Arizona football, the mission is threefold, but simple: learn from the best team (U.S. Army) in the world, enjoy a cooler climate for football training, and bond as a team in preparation for the long grind of a college football season. It affords quality football practice fields for the team's physical work and barracks for housing, but moreover offers exceptional leadership-skills training opportunities and daily interaction with U.S. Army soldiers on post. The formula has worked the last three years, each of which has ended with a bowl appearance. The Wildcats are seeking for a school-record fourth bowl trip this year.

Building For The Future
In the summer of 2011, Arizona Athletics completed work on a new video board for the south end zone at Arizona Stadium and has begun plans for the North End Zone Complex. The new video board measures 113' wide by 47' high -- 6.5 times larger than the existing board and will be one of the largest in all of college sports. The North End Zone Complex will include 5,000 upgraded end-zone seats, and among them 420 premium loge-level seats. Arizona football staff offices will move from McKale Center to a four-level, 185,000-square-foot operations center that includes football-specific strength and conditioning facilities, a sports-medicine suite for student-athlete care and treatment, a team dining hall, coaches' offices, team locker rooms, small group and auditorium meeting spaces, and equipment and laundry rooms.

Up Next
Arizona will hit the road for consecutive Pac-12 games on the road at USC (Oct. 1) and Oregon State (Oct.8). Thereafter, the Wildcats will reach their first and only open week of the season (Saturday, Oct. 15) before returning home to host UCLA for a Thursday night ESPN game on Oct.20.

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