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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats go for 5-0

Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcats opened Pacific 10 Conference play against the University of California on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. The Wildcats rallied from a six-point deficit and scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final two minutes to edge the Golden Bears 10-9.

Starting out the year a perfect 5-0 is something the Arizona Wildcats haven’t done since Dick Tomey was the head football coach in 1998.

So it’s only fitting that Tomey — the winningest football coach in Arizona history — would be honored this weekend with the John Button Salmon Award for outstanding service.

“”I think it’s good that Dick is coming back,”” current head coach Mike Stoops said. “”He’s meant a lot to this community, and I think philosophically we’re similar in a lot of our beliefs, so I’m glad. I think it will be a great environment for him to be recognized.””

The environment will be a capacity crowd for the second time this year for the Wildcats (4-0, 1-0 Pacific 10 Conference), who close out a four-game home stand against the Oregon State Beavers tomorrow at 4 p.m.

A perfect record isn’t the only thing on the line for the Wildcats, who also boast a perfect home record, a perfect conference record and a perfect rushing red-zone defense.

“”It will be a great game for us to finish 2-0 in the Pac-10, 5-0 overall record — that will be a great thing for us,”” cornerback Robert Golden said. “”That’s what we’re trying to do: go out there and get after it.””

The Beavers (2-2, 1-0) are trying to perfect something of their own — a winning streak. After losing to Texas Christian in their opening week, the Beavers bounced back against Louisville. That success didn’t last long, however, as OSU fell to Boise State the following weekend.

Although its season has been off to a rocky start, Oregon State is better than its record suggests, thanks largely to brothers James and Jacquizz Rodgers.

“”They’re reliable players. They’re good at what they do,”” said Stoops. “”They’ve got great explosive speed. They are very productive. They don’t make mistakes, and they’re very efficient players. When they get their opportunities, they make the most of them.””

OSU utilizes the brothers by switching up its style on offense. Both brothers have been used in the passing and running game for the Beavers this season and will be a key if they’re looking to turn their season around in Tucson.

“”It’s changes up the looks. It’s all the same stuff, but it comes in a variety of different ways,”” Stoops said. “”They just change up the picture on you and change the guys and move them around and try to create, get guys in different places, and that’s where you have to be smart and understand how they’re trying to attack you.””

Arizona’s defense — ranking No. 2 nationally — has been stout at home this season and plans to challenge the Rodgers brothers’ speed with speed.

“”Just fly to the ball, just fly around,”” safety Anthony Wilcox said.

They’ll have a double-edged sword to contain this weekend, but it’s something that Golden said the defense has been preparing for all week.

“”They’re great on offense,”” he said. “”They have a great pass game, so just to go out there and get after them, make tackles, that’s going to be the key.””

Tomey returns for honor ceremony

Dick Tomey, the winningest coach in Arizona football history, will be in Tucson for the Oregon State game tomorrow to receive the John Button Salmon Award for outstanding service.

Tomey coached for 14 years at Arizona and took the Wildcats to seven bowl games in that time, including the 1994 Fiesta Bowl win over Miami and Arizona’s highest AP ranking in school history at No. 4 in 1998.

“”He’s done a lot of great things for this city, so I’m happy Dick’s been a good friend of mine since I’ve taken over this job and certainly well deserved — that’s for sure,”” Stoops said.

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