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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    So you know Wildcat football?

    Ryan Caseyassistant sports editor
    Ryan Casey
    assistant sports editor

    Casey at the Pen

    So you know about football’s 44-34-1 all-time record against ASU? Good. Familiar with Tedy Bruschi’s school-record 19 sacks in 1993? Even better.

    But with spring practice now under way, it’s the other, lesser-known facts that hold the foundation for this school’s football program.

    For instance, did you know that the team is undefeated against the Atlantic Coast Conference (4-0-0), or that the players’ favorite opponent is New Mexico State because they’ve beaten the Aggies nearly 84 percent of the time? (They’re 31-5-1 all-time against NMSU.)

    Did you know football began play in the year 1899, going 1-1-1 under the guidance of head coach Stuart F. Forbes, including a loss to Tempe Normal (which would later become ASU) 11-2, making the rivalry between the two schools among the oldest in the nation?

    Or that the program’s highest ranking in The Associated Press’s regular season weekly poll came Sept. 26, 1983, when it ranked No. 3? (Their highest final ranking came at the end of the 1998 season at No. 4.)

    If I told you that former head coach Dick Tomey tops the program’s all-time wins list at 95, could you tell me who holds the distinction of best all-time winning percentage? (It goes to H.B. Galbreath, who went 8-1 in 1908 and 1909, meaning his team won almost 89 percent of the time. Among coaches who coached for more than two seasons, former head coach G.A. “”Tex”” Oliver leads the way, going 32-11-4 from 1933-37 for a .723 winning percentage.)

    Did you know that the program joined its first conference before the 1931 season, when head coach Fred A. Enke (yes, the namesake of Enke Drive, which runs in front of McKale Center) and team captain Horace Collier led the Wildcats to a 1-1-1 mark in Border Conference play, going 3-5-1 overall? (They joined the Western Athletic Conference in 1962, and later the Pacific 10 Conference in 1978.)

    Did you know the program’s longest winning streak sits at nine games – it happened twice, 1974-75 and 1997-98 – or that the team’s first bowl game came in 1921, when it fell 38-0 to the undefeated Centre (Kan.) College Praying Colonels in the East-West Christmas Classic?

    What other distinction does the year 1921 have? It saw arguably the best team in the history of Arizona football, which finished 7-2 and outscored its opponents 418-30 along the way. Though the team lost two games, one was a 17-13 decision to Texas A&M, who would go on to beat Centre College 22-14 in the Dallas-hosted Dixie Classic the week after Arizona’s loss to the Praying Colonels in the Christmas Classic.

    I say “”Desert Swarm”” and you say “”Tedy Bruschi’s early ’90s teams,”” but did you know that an argument could be made that the first “”Desert Swarm”” defense came in 1930, when J.F. (Pop) McKale’s (yes, that McKale) team shut out opponents in six straight games?

    Are you curious about the ugliest game in the program’s history? 1984’s 28-12 defeat at the hands of the then No. 1-ranked Washington Huskies saw the teams combine to turn the ball over 19 times.

    Wondering the record for the number of times a Wildcat quarterback has thrown a football over a four-week span? Unofficially last spring, then-junior quarterback Adam Austin took over 1,400 snaps in practices and scrimmages.

    Most blocked kicks in a season? Former defensive back Wally Scott had five – yes, five – in 1967. No one else has more than three.

    Most ties in a season? Three, twice (1936 and 1987).

    Did you know that the 1959 version of the Wildcats fumbled the ball 42 times? Or that the 1994 team did so only nine times?

    Were you aware that between 1972 and 1980, the team scored a touchdown in 91 straight games?

    Did you know that 1939’s 62-0 defeat at the hands of Minnesota saw almost 42 percent of Wildcat passes intercepted (5 INTs off of 12 attempts) and that in 1934, Arizona failed to complete a pass (0-for-11) in a 0-0 tie with New Mexico State, but in 1961, the Wildcats went 5-of-7 passing for 212 yards, meaning that they gained 42.4 yards per completion and 30.3 yards per attempt?

    Did you know that the team has attempted just one pass in a game not once, but twice – and still managed to win both games over Oregon? It happened first in 1978 in a 24-3 win in Eugene, Ore., and then again in 1993’s 31-10 win in Tucson.

    Were you aware that between 1972 and 1980, the team scored a touchdown in 91 straight games?

    Curious how the Wildcats play on TV? Overall, the team is 70-90-4 in 164 appearances, including 2-5 last season.

    Thinking about next year? Did you know Arizona is 151-161-8 all-time against its 2006-07 opponents, including 0-2 against Louisiana State, who beat Arizona 59-13 in Tucson in 2003 and 27-26 in Baton Rouge, La., in 1984? (LSU was in the top 15 both times.)

    And lastly, did you know that football season is around the corner? Spring ball concludes April 22 with the Spring Game and then 133 days later, the Wildcats kick off the regular season against Brigham Young at Arizona Stadium.

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