Kickoff: 1:30 p.m.
TV: ABC (Dan Fouts, Tim Brant, Jack Arute)
Radio: 1290 AM (Brian Jeffries, Lamont Lovett)
There are still tickets available for Arizona's Homecoming match up with No. 8-ranked Cal. Fans can purchase tickets all week long in person at the McKale Center Ticket Office, over the phone (520-621-2287) or online. The game day ticket offices (both McKale Center and Arizona Stadium) will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
First Meeting: 1978 (
Last Meeting: 2005 (
All-Time Series Record:
Notes on the Series: The tightest of all nine of UA’s conference series in terms of series record ... With how close the all-time series record is (12-11-2 in Cal's favor), it certainly comes as no surprise that more than half (13 of the 25) of games played between the pair have been decided by seven points or less, and that there have been two ties and two overtime games ... The Golden Bears have shut out the Cats each of the last two seasons, out-scoring them 66-0 over that span ... Cal’s current three-game winning streak is the second-longest for the Bears in the all-time series (four straight from 1988-91) ... UA’s longest winning streak in the series is four straight from 1997-2002 ... Arizona’s largest margin of victory against Cal was a 17-point win in 1986 (33-17) ... Cal’s largest margin of victory was a 38-0 whitewashing of the Cats in 2004 .... The average margin of victory all-time between the two is 10 points.
Some Game Themes...
Another ranked foe looms on the Cats' horizon, and this comes as the year's third daunting game vs. a top 10 opponent... Few intangibles impact college football more than confidence and the Wildcats are infused. Add in the carefree factor -- what's to lose for a humility-rich group? -- and
The victory over the No. 25-ranked Cougars marked the third consecutive season the Cats have knocked off a top 25 team and the first time they have done so on the road since 2000 (at No. 22 USC) ... It was also UA’s fourth win of the year, a mark the Cats haven’t reached since finishing 4-8 in 2002 ... It was UA’s first game on artificial turf ... Arizona’s 20 points in the first half of the game were the most scored in the first 30 minutes of a contest by the Cats this season ... The 27 total points were the second-most scored by the Wildcats in a game this season and the most against a Division IA opponent (28 points vs. Stephen F. Austin) ... Chris Henry’s 35 rushing attempts were the most for any Wildcat in a single game in school history ... Willie Tuitama’s 78-yard TD throw to Anthony Johnson in the first quarter was the longest pass in Tuitama’s career and the longest reception for Johnson ... It also marked the longest scoring play from scrimmage for the Wildcats this season (previous - 18-yard Chris Henry rush at Stanford) ... H-Back Earl Mitchell rushed twice in the game, his first two career carries ... Mike Thomas’ 22-yard dash on an end-around was the longest rush of his two-year career ... CB Antoine Cason racked up a career-best four PBUs in the game.
A Quick Look at
The No. 8-ranked Golden Bears (8-1) head Tucson with an eight-game winning streak and an unblemished record in Pac-10 play at 6-0 ... Cal most recently knocked off UCLA in Berkeley last weekend ... Its trip to Tucson will be just the four road game of the season for Cal ... The high-octane Bear offense enters the week of play ranked sixth nationally in scoring (36.33) ninth in total O (439.7), 13th in passing (288.2) and 27th in rushing (171.4) ... QB Nate Longshore guides the Golden Bear offense with the best passer efficiency rating in the Pac-10, 158.07, a figure that ranks 11th nationally ... RB Marshawn Lynch is the Pac-10’s top rusher, averaging 109.8 yards per game, a figure that places him 11th nationally as well ... Longshore has a trio of top targets in DeSean Jackson (4.3 rpg, 75.6 ypg), Lavelle Hawkins (4.0 rpg, 62.0 ypg) and Robert Jordan (3.9 rpg, 46.9 ypg) ... Defensively, Cal is allowing an average of 391.4 yards per game this season - 135.8 on the ground and 255.7 through the air ... Cal is last in the Pac-10 in passing defense and is only one spot better than last-place Stanford in total D in the conference ... Head coach Jeff Tedford is in sixth season at Cal and has accumulated a 41-18 overall record in Berkeley.
Sharing the Duties
The week prior to
Two for the Road
November Election Returns
Come election time Mike Stoops has proven that you don’t want to face his Wildcat club if the pollsters favor you. In four November contests against top 25 teams the last two-plus seasons, the Wildcats are a very stout 3-1. In the 11th month of the year under Stoops the Wildcats have defeated No. 18 Arizona State (34-27 in 2004), No. 7 UCLA (52-14 in 2005) and most recently No. 25 Washington State (27-17 last weekend). UA’s lone November loss to a top 25 team was 49-9 defeat to No. 1-ranked and eventual national champion USC in 2004. The Cats will have two more cracks at adding negative returns for the ranked opposition with No. 8 Cal coming to town this weekend and road trip to No. 21 Oregon on November 18.
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
Connecting the Dots
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 face a top 10 school from the University of California system on Homecoming Weekend. Sound familiar? Well it should because it is not only the situation the Cats find themselves in this week, but a nearly identical one that happened exactly at this time last year.
|Oregon Opponent:||L- vs. Oregon, 28-21||L - vs. Oregon State, 17-10|
|Pacific Northwest Opponent:||W - at Oregon State, 29-27||W - at Washington State, 27-17|
|Top 10 UC System Homecoming Opp:||W - No. 7 UCLA, 52-14||? - No. 8 Cal|
Better Be Ready
Over the last three games the Wildcats have gotten pretty stingy about giving up points. Dating back to the Stanford game on Oct. 14 and covering the
The Future is Now
The go-ahead touchdown drive at WSU last weekend featured a four-yard gain by true freshman fullback Earl Mitchell in goal-line power play. It was his first carry of the year. Mitchell also proved invaluable as the lead blocker on Chris Henry's touchdown dive moments later, and throughout the game. The offensive line that helped blast holes for Henry down the stretch features redshirt freshman starters Blake Kerley, Eben Britton and Daniel Borg. Late in the WSU game UA's secondary featured true freshman cornerback Devin Ross and redshirt freshman free safety Corey Hall for a bit, subbing for banged up juniors Wilrey Fontenot and Dominic Patrick. (Fontenot returned). Redshirt freshman Donald Horton is a rotation backup at defensive tackle. Redshirt freshman linebacker Xavier Kelley gets play on special teams. Redshirt freshman running back Xavier Smith has had moments. Some teams nationally are using more than a dozen freshmen, so UA's use is modest. But young Cats are making a difference. Others who have played this year include true freshman receiver Terrell Reese and true freshman defensive back Cam Nelson.
Kicker Nick Folk has been successful on his last five field goal tries, including a 48-yarder last week 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.
UA converted a season-high nine third down plays (18) attempts at WSU Nov. 4, although the 8-13 rate (62%) against Stephen F. Austin was a better percentage. After a bit of a muck with 17 conversions in 68 tries through the first give games (25%), Arizona has improved to 23 for 60 (38%) in the last four contests. Good things come in little packages and the extra 13 percent in that case has helped improve time of possession to more than six minutes more for the past four games, compared to the first five.
Going For It
The Cats have tried to convert on fourth down 11 times this year, making eight. Nice. Opponents are 0-for-4.
The Last 10 Years, Through Nine Games
- Numbers in () are minus the three TDs the opposition has scored on interception returns.
- Only the 1997 (3) , 2002 (2) and 2006 (2) teams played at least two games in their first nine vs. Top 10 opponents.
Grinding Them Out
Junior Chris Henry regained his starting role as the top RB in the rushing “rotation” last weekend at
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 234 total touches this season (211 rushes, 23 receptions) not a single
It’s Better Then It Looks
Holding Them Down
Pac-10 Odds and Ends
The 52 yards of total offense allowed to Stanford on Oct. 14 marked the fewest yards surrendered, the fewest yards per play by an opponent (1.6) and the fewest first downs allowed (4) by a Pac-10 school this season ... The Cardinal’s 19 rushing attempts and 13 passes attempted are tied for the second-fewest by a Pac-10 team ... The Wildcats also own the best punting average in a game this season when Nick Folk and Kyle McQuown teamed up for a 52.0 average against BYU in the season-opener ... Individually, Chris Jennings’ 201 yards rushing against Stephen F. Austin is the second-most yards on the ground by a Pac-10 running back in a game this year ... Nick Folk’s four FG tries against BYU in the season opener is tied for the second-most by a Pac-10 PK this season ... His 52-yard FG against Washington is the third-longest in the conference this year ... Folk’s nine punts and his 408 yards punted against Washington are atop the conference charts and his 56.0 average against BYU is the best for any Pac-10 punter.
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
26 and Counting
Senior WR Syndric Steptoe extended his streak to 26 straight games with at least one catch with six receptions for 52 yards against
Among the Best at
Sr WR Syndric Steptoe’s six receptions against
A Spring in his Step
Senior team captain Syndric Steptoe has proven to be a pain for the opposition throughout his career in his role as wide receiver/kick returner. His 160 all-purpose yards against
Step’s All-Purpose Yards