Saturday, December 31, 2005

Hec-uva Dawgfight

Tenacious defense, timely offense, and a tough mindset led the Wildcats to a sweep of the Washington schools this week. Today's game against the Huskies was one for all-time, and will be in "Save until I erase" status on my DVR for some time. Hot Sauce and Mustafa stepped it up at just the right time, and if Adams isn't the PAC10 player of the week somebody better check what the voters are smoking. Then again, these Cats play much better when suitably pissed off, so what's another little dagger to the ego. And it's kinda fun to be on the OTHER end of stopping a home winning streak, isn't it? This next week rings in the New Year with the LA schools visiting McKale, with UCLA hot off a loss (at home) to Cal. What a wild way to start the conference season.

Huskies gracious in loss -- but who knows what was said behind closed doors. What's it feel like to go from being THE team to being A team, dogs?

Let's hear it for the big guy -- Kirk Walters gets the game-winning point. Somebody check the Gatorade.

What else is new?
-- Tempe starts the PAC10 season their bid for the bottom of the standings. 0-2...whatchagonnado, Rob? At least the girls can play.....

Lonely at the top -- Cats only team unbeaten after the first weekend of conference play. Guess we know who the Daddy is.

We're Number 10 -- in the latest Sagarin rankings. Washington and UCLA both drop after today's losses. Check out the strength of schedule stats, too: UA (18) UW (319) UCLA (148) Tempe, with a lofty 170th ranking in the poll, has a 228 schedule rating.

Marcus Williams goes home -- and helps shut the door on the Dawg house. Look who's smiling now.

Lute slams "Little Sisters of the Poor" -- Washington's "tough" early schedule included Morgan State, American, Idaho, Eastern Washington and Lehigh. Great idea, Lorenzo.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Merry Christmas

Usually at this time of year all the talk is about Wildcat basketball. Lofty rankings, slashing and dashing offense and defense, a team starting to gel. This year's a little different, though. Lack of senior leadership, a shoot first and pass if you have to mentality, and no true leader emerging have all put the brakes on the team's development this season. It's tough to watch even the games against NAU and St. Marys....and with the Utes looming on the horizon tomorrow (in a national ESPN TV game, no less), I'm seriously thinking about playing golf with Wilma instead. What the heck is going on?

There is plenty of good news coming out of the football sector, though. Top recruits lining up to sign, and even a last second loss to Sparky can't dim the optimism for the future. Heck, they're still taking polls in Tempe about whether or not the Dweebles won the game or not. They can't even be good winners up there.

So here's what's been happening in the Wildcat Nation recently:

Recruits, recruits -- Stoops keeps going up against the big boys in recruiting and coming away smelling like, well, Roses. Most of the new kids are on offense, with a real big gun on defense. Get your seats now.

Team leader? -- Hot Sauce turns Hot Head and gets his ass arrested. He'ss till start, though, against the Utes. Nice. Comes from a good school, though.

Punting as an art form -- Danny Baugher, he of the big foot (and untimely broken leg) named first team All American. Way to go, Danny. see you in the NFL.

Bear Down.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


More help in the defensive backfield.....

Nate Ness told last week that he planned on committing to Arizona on this visit this weekend. He held true to his word and on Saturday night at dinner, Ness told UA defensive coordinator Mark Stoops that he would be a Wildcat.

Nate Ness committed to Mark Stoops and Arizona.
Ness, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound safety from El Camino Community College in Torrance, California, is the 40th ranked JUCO player in the country according to He's been a first-team All-American at his position two years in a row and is expected to make a big impact on the next level.

The commitment is huge for the UA coaches and Ness is excited to come in and make an impact.

"I committed," Ness said on Sunday afternoon. "I'm a U of A Wildcat now. I told Coach (Mark) Stoops on Saturday night. I told Mike Stoops today. He was excited and happy. It's time for a change. The Stoops are aiming for championships and I'm ready to help."

On the trip, Ness hung out with players such as Adrian McCovy, Wilrey Fontenot, Michael Johnson and Mike Thomas.

"I didn't expect to have that much fun," Ness said. "The atmosphere was just amazing. We hung out and they took me out and showed me around. We all just talked about football and what Coach Stoops wants. We instantly had chemistry. We all want the same thing. We want to win and we're going to do it."

Ness plans on bringing help with him. There are several JUCO players that the Wildcats are recruiting and he's going to do his best to help bring them to Tucson.

"I talked to Louis (Holmes) yesterday and I'll talk to Gabe (Long) tonight," Ness said. "When I talked to Louis on Saturday night I told him that I committed and this is the place to be. I've got two teammates at El Camino that hopefully will come with me too."

The Arizona coaches told Ness that he could be a big part of what they're trying to built and he's anxiously awaiting that opportunity.

"I was happy to commit," Ness said. "The coaches told me that this is the right place to be. The Stoops brothers run an excellent program but it's about to change. The list of defensive backs that they've gotten into the NFL is endless so they know how to coach.

"I'll definitely get an opportunity to play. They have three of their four starters coming back in the secondary and I want to start in that last spot opposite Michael Johnson. I just want to be a part of this team."

And when Ness does arrive on Arizona's campus in May, he'll have lofty expectations of the future of the UA program.

"It's all business," Ness said. "I guarantee to be a part of a Pac-10 championship. Maybe not my first year, but definitely by the time I leave."

It's safe to say that Arizona fans are welcoming Nate Ness into their program with open arms.

Up to Speed

Sorry for the lack of news for the Wildcat News recently. Crashed our POS computer importing our CD collection into ITunes. We're up and running now, so let's get busy!

Volleyball to Sweet 16 -- congrats to Coach Rubio and his ladies for making it out of the tiny gym in Utah for the first round and on to Palo Alto for the next round. With Stanford, SC, and Ohio State all losers last weekend the road looks a little less bumpy, but with plenty of potholes nonetheless.

That tweaking sound you hear -- is Lute working on his team and its chemistry. Poor shooting from the field and foul line, lack of scoring, and a piss-poor record (by AZ standards) have caused a return to the 3 guard offense. Now, find 3 guards who can play together. NAU should provide a nice little test tomorrow.

Best worst of last 3 years -- Amanda Branam of the Daily Wildcat reminisces about covering UA sports.

Intercepting expert gives Cats message of his commitment

Wildcat D-backs add JC transfer tops at picking off opposing QBs. If he qualifies, of course.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Definition of "Sore Winners?"

Look up ASU in the dictionary. Reading some of these comments you'd think they lost the game last week to the Wildcats. Check'em out:

Praise for Cats too much -- excuse me, but aren't the Devils packing up their glamorous 6-5 record and hitting the road for the, well, Insight Bowl?

Did ASU win Duel in the Desert? -- duh. They whine even when they win. Get over it and start getting ready for Rutgers. Wow.

"Lowly Arizona" -- grrrrrrrrr....


Monday, November 28, 2005

The Monday After......

Cats drop in polls -- all the way to 16 after a tough Maui Tourney.

Thomas is on the Money -- named co-PAC10 freshman of the year.

Upset of the year? -- that's what this paper is calling the Cats' victory over UCLA. It was pretty amazing.

Hoopsters finally find the range -- and break 50% shooting against the Cavs. And find their 6th Man - the ZonaZoo.

Back to work tomorrow. Ugh.

Ultimate tailgate party

Just 'cause she dances, mofo, that don't make her a ho, no....

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The gang that couldn't shoot straight

The Wildcats may have shot a miserable 24% against KU but the pressure defense did its job, holding the Jayhawks at bay long enough to put them away. Justg a blip on the radar, but the Cats do lack a go-to-guy when the shots aren't falling. Somebody step up.

Let THE GAMEs Begin

Exhibit A:

"The ASU campus community awoke on Monday to find the 'A' on Tempe Butte red and blue, Arizona's colors. A middle-of-the-night painting of the letter is a semi-annual occurrence before ASU-UA contests, despite the best attempts of locals to protect it.

'I ran into some students last week, and they told me they were going to guard the "A," ' (Tempe coach Dirk)Koetter said. 'They must have failed us. I guess that they have to get in the weight room and bulk up some more.'

Perhaps those students were too busy returning the favor, as the 'A' on a mountain near the Arizona campus was painted maroon and gold. "

Monday, November 21, 2005

Big Monday, Big Week

Today kicks off a big week in sports for the Wildcat Nation and for Wilbur's family, as well. After tonight's Maui Invitational tipoff against Kansas, we pack up and head off to Colorado for family and feasting. It doesn't get better than that!

Corky's take -- CSimpson is always entertaining. Here he looks at the UA/Tempe rivalry.

Miles-stone -- Miles Simons turns 30 today. Hopes to blow out the Jayhawks.

Lute hangs ten -- Don't he look cool??

Hot Sauce heats up -- Hassan gets some well-deserved press.

More UA/Tempe -- this time we hear from our soldiers in Iraq.

Bear Down. Fork Tempe.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Big Game -- 50 years ago

End earns place in history with the tip of his finger, as the Wildcats denied Tempe a Border Conference championship in 1955. Some things never change.

Remember these plays?

From the AZ Republic, an article about some unforgettable (and forgettable) big plays in the UA/asu rivalry. We were in the endzone when JJefferson made "The Catch," and there for CCecil's intereception return. As for BThompson's TD run in '61, we were in the Knothole section, no doubt. Who's going to be the unsung hero this year?

Here's one for Bumma and Pae - and their famous Whammy!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Cats lasso 'Horns' recruit

Just after landing one of the nation's top QB prospects in Tyler Lyon, Mike Stoops just added the 25th ranked running back in the country. Derke Robinson, who initially commited to Texas, has seen the light and will be a Wildcat next year. Amazing how we are recruiting both California and Texas so well these days, a must to keep up with the big boys in the PAC10.Cats lasso 'Horns' recruit

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Quarterback High sends one to Tucson

Tyler Lyon, the 10th ranked QB in the nation this year, has committed to the Wildcats. When was the last time we got one ranked so high? I'll have to check into that one, but I can't remember a one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Odds and ends from UA athletic dept.

With the football season eyeing their season-ending fracas with ASU, the basketball team just gearing up for another run deep into the NCAAs, and even the soccer team making it to the Sweet 16, let's see what the real sportswriters have to say about the Wildcat Nation.

Run and Stun -- with bench so deep it's almost illegal, Lute plans on employing an all out blitz on the opponents. Let's hope it fares better than last year's short-lived full-time full-court press.

World of talent -- college basketball players now come from all corners of the world, and the rush to find and recruit them is in full swing. English as a second language, basketball as a first.

Soccer in Sweet 16 -- though they face a tough challenge, going up against number 1 ranked and undefeated Portland State, in Portland. Run, Lally, run!

UA/ASU preview -- Corky Simpson always has such an interesting take on all things Wildcat.

Softball signs stars -- four all-star players sign to play for the Cats in 2007. Too bad we have to wait.

Beat the Devils.

No Mercy for Tempe.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

From perfect to perfectly awful

In a year when one more loss isn't all that critical (no rankings, no bowl, not ASU), the Huskies throttling of the Cats last night was still a nightmare. No focus, no edge, no spark left from the UCLA game - maybe the team was reading their own press. No turnovers against the Ruins - 5 against the Huskies. Missed routes, tackles, and assignments again were the Cats bugaboos. The good news? We've got two weeks to prepare for those lovable Sun Devils.

The light at the end of the tunnel -- we can still shove Sparky's pitchfork where the bowls don't shine.

Pa-Tuii -- he really is a freshman quarterback. Doh.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

No Pitty for the Kitty

The Official Online Store of Arizona State University Athletics...............pretty cute idea for a shirt. Maybe they'll have some ideas for a game plan to stop Willie the Big Bad Kitty.

Game Day vs UDubya

The final home game brings the Huskies to town, another lost-its-luster program searching for past respectability. With the UA nearly a 2-TD favorite, this game looks much different today than it did 2-3 weeks ago, when the Cats hadn't been Willie-sized. What a turnaround, and what a crowd is expected today. The Zona Zoo will be there in full force - and no doubt early and eager. Those seats in the South endzone are going to seem even smaller when all 50,000+ of us try to squeeze in, another gentle reminder that I need to start that diet. Today, though, let that bright AZ sun shine on the Cats, especially on the seniors who have endured the roughest of times to be a Wildcat only to bring us to the brink of the next grand era of UA football.

Cat scratch fever -- five reasons why Arizona football is hot, hot, hot. Check it out - Stoops gets a cool $90K bonus when paid attendance averages more than 45,000/season.

Kick-off return contest -- some lucky fan gets a chance to win a new Kia auto if the Cats return the opening kickoff of either half for a TD. Noone's come close yet, and wouldn't it be sweet for that to happen today? Steptoe steps in.

Bear down - dog down today.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Signed, sealed, delivered

Bayless commits to Wildcat basketball
Tucson Citizen
Phoenix St. Mary's High junior guard Jerryd Bayless has committed to the Arizona Wildcats men's basketball program for the 2007-08 season.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound guard announced his decision at a press conference Friday in Phoenix. ranks Bayless as the seventh-best high school player for the 2007-08 season.

Aran Smith, a writer, called Bayless "a pure scorer who plays hard on both ends of the floor'' after watching him play at the annual Reebok Classic in 2004, when he was a sophomore.

Though UA was a near lock before Bayless committed, other schools reportedly in contention were Texas, Stanford, UCLA and North Carolina.

Senior Day minus one and counting

Signee shines -- UA-bound defensive back helps lead team to league title. Looks for more here.

Jerryd Bayless update -- we'll have the final answer later today. I'll have to tune my radio to 1290AMthesource for the answer.

Read about Willie T -- halfway down the article. Check out the list of other qb's coached by Roger Theder.

More Big Willie -- the folks up north are just a little worried now that the UA has found a top-level quarterback. Meow.

Mallory's foot carries the day -- as the soccer team advances to the second round of NCAA play. Did I just write about soccer??

Bear Down. Huskies in sights.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Paper Bruins boost Cats

The positive press keeps rolling in after Saturday's big game. Seems like the only ones not reading all the good vibes are the Wildcats themselves. Focus power, Cats...

NCAA rejects eligibility appeal of Arizona's McClellan

Second time was not the charm, as Jawann McClellan had his appeal from academic ineligibility rejected by the wise at the NCAA. Now he won't be able to play until mid-December - and miss the Maui trip.

Monday, November 07, 2005

SoCal brothers commit to Stoops

Saturday's rout of the Ruins helped land these two brothers for next year...and beyond. Big boys both. Dare we say we're over the hump?

Well, if you insist.....another look at the Bottom Line.

Super stud basketball recruit to announce decision Friday

Jerryd Bayless of Phoenix St. Mary's HS will announce this week which elite college program he'll suit up for in 2007. Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with current team members at Saturday's a**-kicking of UCLA can't hurt Lute's chances.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


The wait was a long one, but it was worth it. Worth it for the players, the fans, the coaches, the city. What a Saturday night was had in the Old Pueblo, and the celebrating is likely to continue for some years to come. The Ruins won't be the only ones to get their bells rung.

Tui for Heismann? -- maybe a little premature, but the word is out on Willie.

Cats do their part to clear up the BCS mess:
Miami and Arizona cleared some of the clouds around the national title picture Saturday.

The Wildcats did in the Bruins in resounding fashion - Arizona 52, UCLA 14 was the shocking final.

"I'm just frustrated, that's the biggest thing - to go out there and put on a performance like that," said UCLA quarterback Drew Olson, whose team finally put itself in a hole too deep to overcome.

UCLA's house of cards comes down -- and how. Slipping seven spots in the AP poll should rile them up just a tad in preparation of this week's game against ASU.

"Slowly but surely we noticed them losing their heart" -- while the Cats were just finding theirs. Pack the house for this week's game against Washington.

From OC REgister

Sunday, November 6, 2005
Game was lost cause from the start

The Orange County Register

TUCSON – Someone told Antoine Cason that the UCLA players complained they hadn't been "flying around."

Cason, the sophomore corner from Los Alamitos, smiled tolerantly, as if he'd just been asked to explain subject-verb-predicate.

"They weren't flying around," Cason said, "because we were."

Fly to the moon, Arizona.

The Wildcats, 2-6 coming into Saturday, threw a Don Larsen at UCLA on Saturday. They played their game. Why didn't UCLA, 8-0 before this, play its game? Go back to the blackboard. The predicate follows the subject and verb. The Wildcats played theirgame, and played it so unusually well that the fans rushed the field and attacked a goalpost. The goalpost, unlike the Bruins, remained standing.

"It was pedal to the metal all night," said UCLA safety Jarrod Page, having had enough time to digest this visceral, 52-14 night at the whipping post - "a humble butt-kicking," as Coach Karl Dorrell called it.

"They just came out and played fast, faster than us," Page said. "They ran some bootlegs and got some of our guys lost in the shuffle with their misdirections. They were sure of everything they were doing."

That's football. Very rarely do two opposing teams reach their happy zone at once and stay there. When that happens, you have something that lives forever, like Dolphins-Chargers in 1981 or Miami-Nebraska in 1983. Otherwise, it's a zero-sum game.

How could Drew Olson get anything established when UCLA had to punt on its first four possessions, all of which began on the 20? How can UCLA win when its longest play of the game is 23 yards?

And every time Olson got the ball back he found himself one floor deeper. Arizona scored touchdowns on its first four trips. It averaged more than 10 yards per playin the first half.

Freshman discovery Willie Tuitama, who was playing at St. Mary's High in Stockton a year ago, completed his first seven passes. The Wildcats outgained UCLA, 193-43, in the first quarter, which ended, 21-0.

That brings up another truism, popularized by Lou Holtz: Football teams either get better or worse. They don't stay on the blackboard, in static chalk.

This Arizona team was within seven of USC after three quarters, and that was before Tuitama. Two weeks ago Tuitama got his first start and Arizona nearly beat Oregon, which has only lost once. Last week, he got his second start and Arizona beat Oregon State.

Arizona dropped a calling card on its first play. Tuitama rolled out left, turned and found Mike Bell down the right side, lonelier than a macarena dancer. Bell ran for 51 yards and might have scored had he not tackled himself. Four plays later, receiver Mike Thomas ran the final 17 yards.

"They had the perfect play called for our defense," said UCLA defensive coordinator Larry Kerr, who faced the music stoically.

"We were in an 8-man front, playing man-to-man to stop the run. They burned us, and one of our linebackers got caught up in the wash, and he lost his man, and that was it. That kind of thing kept happening.

"Our guys seemed to let a lot of little things bother them. We thought we got things settled down at halftime, and then they came out and drove 80 yards to start the third quarter. We hit Tuitama and he throws a flutterball that their guy (Thomas) comes back to catch. Things like that."

Kerr stared and shook his head.

"But if you can't stop the run, it really doesn't matter. They got us blocked, and they did things like run a draw play on third-and-16, and we got four guys with a shot and none of them could make the play. We just could never make a play on defense all night."

Bell (156 yards) and Harris (113) became the first Arizona tandem to break 100 in the same game since Clarence Farmer and Ortege Jenkins did it in 2000, also against UCLA.

There are no turning points in games like this, but there are illustrations.

Arizona led, 31-7, when Gilbert Harris toured right end - and receiver Syndric Steptoe, who later became the first Wildcat in five years to return a punt for a touchdown, held up UCLA safety Dennis Keyes for what seemed like five seconds as Harris rumbled for 12 yards. This is the same Keyes who personally terrorized Oklahoma back in September.

On the next play, Keyes set himself to stop Bell up the middle, and Bell simply somersaulted him and landed in the end zone. One guy was one step, one thought, one twitch ahead of the other guy. All day, all night.

Once Dorrell descended the steps to UCLA's tiny locker room, he told the Bruins, "Remember, we're 8-1, not 1-8." No one cried over the loss of a "national championship"; no one should believe the sheen is gone from the Dec. 3 date with USC.

The Bruins had been living right all season. They could have lost to Washington, Washington State, Cal and Stanford. They didn't have to play Oregon. The time would come when they would fall off their skis. They just didn't expect to run into sharks like this.

Dorrell came back out and said the normal stuff, as if there was any alternative.

"We didn't play well," he said over and over. Asked what he told the team at halftime, he said, "That we didn't play well," and now he broke down - laughing.

That's how you dispense with days like this. Watch the tape, then tape over it. Just don't forget the subject, verb and predicate. One football play, if left unchecked, can infect the next 90.

Or, as one old coach said, "We got a great offense. They just wouldn't let us run it."

No love lost for UCLA

They Warm Up for USC Game by Roasting UCLA -- "they" being USC fans. SC had the best of both worlds yesterday - watching their hated cross-town rival being pummeled by Arizona, then beating up on the same team (Stanford) that the Ruins had rallied against just the week before.

A Last Easy Step Instead Turns Into Tumble for Humbled Bruins - Los Angeles Times

A Last Easy Step Instead Turns Into Tumble for Humbled Bruins - Los Angeles Times

This one looks like the turning point

Welcome to the Tucson Citizen

Cats leave Bruins no escape

Cats leave Bruins no escape

UCLA Ruins

UCLA Ruins - Los Angeles Times

Friday, November 04, 2005

Losing football, but affordable housing

The football team might need a little more seasoning, but the housing market in Tucson ranks #1.

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- The University of Arizona football team got its first win of the Pacific-10 Conference season last weekend.

Now a real-estate company has given the Wildcats a second win -- most affordable place to buy a house in the Pac-10.

A study released Wednesday by Coldwell Banker Real Estate ranked Tucson as the most affordable, followed by Corvallis, home of the Oregon State Beavers. The Pullman, Wash.-based Washington State Cougars ranked third.

Together, the three schools have twice as many losses as wins this season, but when it comes to buying a house, their locations are smelling like roses.

The company ranked the most and least affordable college markets in the nation by comparing average single-family home values in 59 towns.

They defined these homes as having about 2,200 square feet, four bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a family-type room and a two-car garage.

Such a home costs $250,800 in the Tucson area and $327,000 in 4th-ranked Eugene, according to the Coldwell Banker College Market Home Price Comparison Index.

The index's average price in Eugene sounds low for the type of home in the survey, said Curtis Irving, owner and broker of Coldwell Banker Curtis Irving Realty in Eugene.

'For a nice, 2,200-foot house in an executive area of Eugene, that's three to five years old? You bet that's low,' Irving said.

Today such a house might sell for $375,000 to $400,000, a sign of just how hot the housing market has been in recent years, he said.

Still, that's not"

UA/UCLA Football Notes

UCLA brings its high-powered game and lofty ranking to Arizona Stadium tomorrow, but don't look for a Bruin cakewalk. The Uclans have had to resort to come-from-behind rallies to win recently and the Cats have new-found confidence after last week's win at OSU. With the Bruins at the bottom of the heap in rushing defense this could be the game Mike Bell has been waiting for. Will Willie Wow? Heck - it's Homecoming. Let's see all that Wildcat Spirit from alums.

Wide receiver recruiting -- on the upswing with the free slinging Willie T.

9.5 point underdogs again -- same spread as last week. Same results?

Cats on defense -- the good news is the news is good.

A tale of two teams -- Is UCLA real good or real lucky?

And who can resist another shot at ASU??

One Arizona team on top, one at bottom -- in preseason PAC10 basketball poll.

Lute Reloads

From all indications after last night's Red/Blue Scrimmage the Cats are "off and running" at another successful hoops campaign and PAC10 title. And who are these new guys, and why are they comparing Marcus Williams to Sean Elliot/Chris Mills/Richard Jefferson already? You gotta feel sorry for the Devils up I-10, though, as in ranked 10th the PAC10. That's old news for ASwho, though - they've been ranked at the bottom before....often, in fact.
"Last year, when we were picked to finish last, we put it on our wall," ASU coach Rob Evans said. "It's motivation for those guys. To me, it's a non-issue."
Might be an issue come contract renewal time, Robbie.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Luke Walton shoots, scores on Wheel of Fortune

Can't miss TV this week on Wheel of Fortune :: NBA Week. Monday pitted Luke Walton against his dad, HOF'er Bill Walton and former teammate Richard Jefferson. What a great showing by two former Wildcat greats and the ol' hippie (Sorry, Bill, there are no J's). Watch on Wednesday 11/2/05 for Mike Bibby. And by all means check out the video interviews of all these great Cats.

btw - Luke whipped up on Papa and former roomie RJ tonight. Read the diary of his teammate Stacy here.

Wildcat tricks and treats

Halloween night and the horde of kids we were expecting are just not showing up. Lucky for us there are plenty of treats for Cat fans.

Cats host Bruins -- Homecoming this weekend, and AZ hosts the 7th-ranked Bruins. Sounds like the UA is ready for a scrap, and sooner or later Ucla won't be able to pull another whirlwind comeback out of their...pantalones.

Check out these stats -- just one penalty and a single turnover against the Beavs. That's what I'm talking about...

L'il Kim comes up Big -- Kim Glass named PAC10 Women's V-ball player of the week while rewriting the AZ record books.

Fall Ball -- We're talking baseball here, as Lopes has a major rebuilding job on his hands after losing seven position players from last year's Top 10 team.

In basketball news -- the Men's cage team welcomed Special Olympians for a special practice and autograph session. Saw the video of this on KVOA and it was truly inspiring.

Lute not an old fogey at 71 -- he's still able to adapt his offense to the style and types of players on the roster. Can you say - up tempo?

Chuck Cecil update -- now coaching for Tennessee in the NFL, no doubt giving an all-out performance.

Overdue hat-tip -- to UA soccer All-Everything star Mallory Miller. Great job laying the foundation for the future of that program.

There's a hole in the world tonight -- and in the middle of the Women's basketball team. Polkey meant so much to this team.

Thanks for the reminder -- "Wildcats Elated By First Win Over 1A Team." Keep digging, Tempe...

We're Number 1! -- so says in ranking the PAC10 basketball teams, while naming Hot Sauce the Player of the Year.

Bear Down and Beat the Bruins!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Arizona 29 Oregon State 27

From the AP:

Arizona coach Mike Stoops put his faith in a true freshman and Willie Tuitama delivered. Tuitama threw for 335 yards in his first career start and Arizona won its first Pac-10 game of the season with a 29-27 victory over Oregon State on Saturday.
"He's way beyond his years," Stoops said of Tuitama. "He has a great feel for the game."
Matt Moore threw for 436 yards for the Beavers, but had six interceptions and a fumble as Oregon State lost to the Wildcats at home for the first time since 1998.
Michael Thomas, another freshman, had 162 yards receiving and Anthony Johnson added 117 for Arizona (2-6, 1-3 Pacific-10). The Wildcats built a 23-10 halftime lead after a 40-yard interception return TD by Michael Johnson and a 75-yard TD pass from Tuitama to Thomas. Mike Hass had 11 catches for 190 yards for the Beavers (4-4, 2-3), passing James Newson (2000-03) to become Oregon State's all-time leader in receiving yards. Yvenson Bernard ran for 192 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 12 TDs on the season for Oregon State.
The Beavers were often their own worst enemy — four of Moore's six interceptions came while in Arizona territory and Oregon State was penalized for 106 yards.
Moore completed 32 of 43 passes, but had four interceptions in the first half. He settled down in the second half, leading the Beavers on consecutive scoring drives in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 29-27.
But after the Beavers drove to Arizona's 24, Johnathan Turner stripped the ball from Moore and the Wildcats recovered. The Oregon State defense forced Arizona three-and-out on consecutive drives, but Moore threw two more interceptions, one coming on the last play of the game. "Everyone has bad days like this and you never want to have one, but it happens," Moore said. "They caught us in bad positions and we didn't take advantage of our opportunities."
Tuitama, who completed 13 of 22 passes, played for the first time last week against Oregon, coming into the game in the third quarter to replace Richard Kovalcheck.
Oregon State had planned to pressure Tuitama, forcing him out of the pocket and into quick decisions, but he stayed cool against the pressure, delivering several completions while on the run.
"I wasn't nervous at all," Tuitama said. "I went out there calm and the whole offense was." The Beavers had beaten Arizona six straight times, but have been vulnerable against the deep ball. Tuitama exploited the weakness, completing five passes over 35 yards. "We didn't exactly make it hard for him, leaving guys wide open," said Oregon State linebacker Trent Bray. Moore, a junior transfer from UCLA, has thrown 16 interceptions to just four touchdowns in Pac-10 play. He ended up one pick short of tying the school record, set by Erik Wilhelm in 1987.
Rebuilding Arizona hasn't been a quick fix for Stoops, who is 5-14 since taking over the moribund program last season. But the Wildcats have played close Pac-10 games this season and appeared on the verge of turning the corner. "We've played well and lost, and it's not a good feeling," Stoops said. "But we persevered and it paid off in the end."

Can Willie Wonk the Ducks?

This could be the game that the Wildcats finally put all the pieces together and pull out a big W. With 4 of our losses coming by 7 points or less, it just takes one or two breaks to go the troops' way to make a difference. And has anyone else noticed that the defense isn't all that shabby this year? First in the PAC10 in passing defense, a ferocious rush (just ask Kellen Clemens), and some great young linebackers. Willie T (Mr. T? Tuie?) makes his first start, and the team was behind him 100% last week against those dang Ducks - you could feel the energy level jump a notch or two when Willie went in. Dam the Beavers - full speed ahead!

The News-Review from Oregon -- this article is meant to be pro-Beaver, but it smells of opportunity for the Cats. 10 INTs thrown by OSU in the past 4 games? Yummy!

Passing lane -- with OSU ranked next-to-last nationally in pass defense, Willie T and the Boys could start something big. That is, if the O-line can hold back the rush.

Beavers like their chances -- heck, they're 9 1/2 point favorites. We like our chances better!

Beavers hope to confuse Willie -- hoping to confuse our true freshman QB with coverages and blitzes? As mentioned before, OSU is a bottom feeder when it comes to pass defense.

It's a focus thing -- being close at the end is barely a moral victory for fans, either. If the UA can maintain intensity and focus today, it could spell trouble for the Beavs.

Cats MVP out for season -- that's most valuable punter, as Danny Baugher went down for the season after recovering and returning his own blocked punt last weekend. Then again, if we score on every drive, we don't NEED a punter. Just a thought...

No TV today -- and to think Jeff got the FSA sports package in Denver so he could follow his Cats. That sucks.

Let's review. Limit the penalties, silly timeouts, and dropped passes. Win the turnover battle. Play with heart and focus. Win the freakin' game!

Bear Down!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Lute's hidden identity

From The Arizona Daily Star comes this little story about Olson's family tree:

"Lute Olson's great-grandfather was a Norwegian farmer named Ole Anderson. Ole Anderson's son - Lute's grandfather - also was a farmer who moved to North Dakota from Norway alone at age 19. Vebjorn Olson took his last name from an old Scandinavian tradition of patronymics, wherein sons took their fathers' first names and added 'son.' "

Incredible resources are available online and through the LDS church - and it's addictive detective work once you get started tracking down your ancestors. Coach Pukerud just doesn't sound the same, though.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What do golf and trampolines have in common?

You've got to read about this hilarious protest dreamed up by angry homeowners whose view of a pricey golf club were suddenly obstructed - by a 6 foot fence! From The Daily Record...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Corky likes Tui Time

And he's got it right - we've found a passing game. Now if we can find a catching game.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The case for collapsible goalposts

Rushing the endzone and pulling down the goalposts cost this college student his life. What's the matter with kids these days?

Ducks lay egg, still waddle out with win

Dang it! It was another "one that got away" story for the UA football team last night, one that should have been in the W column. With Willie T coming in midway through the first quarter and providing a huge lift to the entire team, it was easy to leave the game with a sense of future for this team. Just a matter of correcting mistakes in the basics of the game. Basics like holding onto the ball, wrapping up a tackle, keeping an eye on the play clock, and catching the dang ball when it's thrown right to you.

Oregon escapes 28-21 -- that just about sums it up.

Hey band. Get the Led out! -- I still yearn for the days when the marching band did just that - marched and played music. Times are changing, sad to say. Being a former Pride member myself (in the late '60's) I still hum the trombone part when I hear Bear Down. Still, what's with the disappearing act for the entire third quarter? The team actually managed to tie the game!

We want Willie -- the chant went up from the ZonaZoo and Stoops responded. So did Willie. Why did we keep him under wraps for so long? This from hometown Stockton paper - Free Willie 2.

What? No TV?? -- Neither the UA or asu games were televised yesterday. Good thing for both schools.

And just in case noone else noticed -- ASU sucks.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Willie T Time?

"Is the Willie Tuitama Era about to begin at Arizona?

That's the question coach Mike Stoops is laboring with, because changing quarterbacks is one way to deal with the disappointment of a 1-5 start.

"It's been a tough decision all week," he said of potentially benching sophomore Richard Kovalcheck in favor of Tuitama, a true freshman. "Willie has incredible talents, a terrific arm. He just lacks the mental maturity it takes to play quarterback at this level. But we have to move forward as a program and see if he makes us better at this time."

Kovalcheck will start against Oregon, and Stoops seemed reluctant to dump his team's woes on him. But Kovalcheck has tossed 10 interceptions and ranks 10th in the Pac-10 in pass efficiency.

The offense ranks 96th in the nation in scoring, with just 19 points per game.

"Sometimes he makes some bad decisions at critical times that hurt us," Stoops said.

Tuitama, 6-2, 212 pounds, was one of the marquee recruits in the Wildcats' touted recruiting class. He threw for 2,734 yards and 32 touchdowns for St. Mary's High School in Stockton, Calif., and was regarded as one of the West Coast's best quarterbacks.

"Willie has all those intangible things you look for in a quarterback," Stoops said. "(But) he's still never been under fire at this level. ... You never want to put a kid into a situation where he fails just because he doesn't have the proper preparation."

QUICKLY: After being penalized 38 times in its first four games, Arizona has drawn only eight flags in its past two outings. ... "

From Seattle P-I

Monday, October 17, 2005

Wildcats still poised and positive

Bruce Pascoe's Locker room interviews after Saturday's loss reveal a team still focused and together. And ready to move on to the next game against Oregon. Yesterday's rant was one of frustration and "anticipointment" (thanks, Wilma), and we'll be there Saturday decked out in red to cheer the Cats on.
Hey - anything could happen.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Mercy Rule for Pima CC football

Pima College cancelled the remainder of their 2005 season's games, due to a lack of eligible players. After being outscored 360-50 (or thereabouts) it puts a merciful end to JC football in town this year. The death-knell was actually sounded when PCC administrators decided only local players would be able to play on the team. How nice it would be to have a feeder school in town for the UA teams, but that doesn't seem realistic with such restrictions.

Stoops "Whoops" do it again

Last night's game with Stanford was difficult to watch. Mistakes abounded from the pregame introductions (the team took the field as the smoke was clearing from the fireworks meant to signal their arrival) to our last legitimate chance to win the game (another turnover on 4th-and-forever). Missed assignments, dumb penalties, poorly thrown balls to wide open receivers....what a disappointment after watching us march down the field with the opening kickoff. I've got to chide the "Pride" again, the band, after they took the entire third quarter to get back into their seats and not being there to support the team. When Stanford took the second-half kickoff and drove the field for a TD the band was pulling their Houdini act and couldn't muster a squeak. And Led Zeppelin songs for the halftime show? Some tunes just don't lend themselves to French horns and oboes, get it?
Wilma and I did do our own salute to Hispanic Heritage Night (say what?) and headed to Guillermo's for a couple of #9 platters and a pitcher of cerveza (American). Still can't get the bad taste of the game out of our mouths, though.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hometown Paper - Eben Britton

The Burbank Leader has this story about freshman O-lineman Eben Britton, and the pride they have this young man is obvious. And we thought Laugh In was the only good thing to come from Beautiful Downtown Burbank. That, and Jeff's "Watch this, Dad" classic.

Jawann McClellan can't play - NCAA

The NCAA has denied Jawann McClellan's appeal for eligibility and will not let him play in the Cats' first seven games this year. JMac was enrolled in a summer school class when news of his father's passing sent him into an understandable funk. He couldn't recover in time retake the class.

"It's my fault that I'm ineligible, and I have to accept that," McClellan said in McKale Center yesterday. "I've moved on, and I'm really happy because I'm really focused on school right now."

Does he get to go to Maui with the team in suit and tie

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Wildcats earning respect

The UA is rated a 5 1/2 point favorite this weekend, showing last Saturday's respectable showing against #1 SC helped their cause. Bring 'em on!

Wanted to write more, but Wilma wants me to take her outside now. Stay tuned.....

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Pesky Cats Dog SC

The Wildcat football team escaped the Coliseum with their psyches intact, their expectations elevated, and a (man I hate to say this) moral victory after yesterday's game with the Trojans. Proving that the 37-point spread that the oddsmakers had put down for this game was about 16 points too much should give the team a big boost going into this weekend's game against the Stanford Indians. Were the Cardinal the first team to go PC?

Cats make their point in LA -- and expose some chinks in the Trojan armor. Can I say chinks?

Stanford celebrates victory -- yes, it was a road trip to Wazzu. Now is the time for Cat fans to step up again and root the team on this Saturday. Remember the atmosphere at the Purdue game?

Carroll rationalizing the win? -- maybe we can be so lucky someday.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Keys to a Wildcat victory today

Wilbur's Ladder to Success today for the Cats:

-Limit turnovers. Better yet, eliminate them.
-Keep penalties to a minimum, 5 or less. No silly ones, either, like motion, 12 men on the field after a time out, or late hits.
-Win time of possession, and not by letting the Trojans break off big TD plays.
-Have at least 2 big plays of our own.
-Shut down Reggie Bush like we did last year.
-Steal the SC band instruments so we aren't constantly annoyed by that aggravating victory song.

Accomplish all of these, we win. Accomplish a few, we might make it respectable and keep our dignity going into next week's home game against Stanford.

Beat SC!

This could be the day Cats make history

One way or another today's game with SC will make the headlines. The final score will either be in headline font, proclaiming a stunning Wildcat upset, or in smaller print detailing yet another Trojan victory. Greg Hansen doesn't put much stock in the upset, though this Wilbur remembers vividly a UA victory over another #1 SC team back in '81. You see, we were in the Chicago Store at the time, buying Jeff his first real drum set, when the Cats pulled off that upset. Some moments are just frozen in time.

Anything is possible today, fans. Keep the faith. Bear Down!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Wait until - GULP! - next week

The Wildcat defense managed to hold the Cal Bears under their season averages for points scored and total yards, but is was all for naught as the offense struggled more than ever against a tough Cal defense. Let's just hope that the "00" the team is wearing on their helmets in Polkey's memory doesn't reflect their weekly scoring output. With the SC Trojans coming up Saturday in another national TV game now more than ever we need to find some offense.

TBS Press Points -- Some of the comments made by the game's announcers were really pretty kind. On Stoops: 'Recruit, recruit, recruit, that's the mantra of Mike Stoops and his program. I don't care how good a coach you are, without players, your(sic) just a guy with great concepts. With players your(sic) a guy with accomplishments.'"

Devils crumble -- Watching USC come back from a halftime deficit for two straight weeks worries me a lot. Watch out for them to jack it up in the first half to prove they can score in the first 30 minutes. And that Sparky is just a major irritant, isn't he? Is all he can do shake his fist and pitchfork??

Arizona's best QB -- sits on the sidelines.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The week off that was

The week is winding down and what a week it's been. The tragic loss of yet another young spirited Wildcat athlete has a way of putting all this sports stuff into proper perspective. We can be thankful that our coaches have more on their minds than just winning games. More than coaches, they are surrogate parents, mentors, guides, and responsible for turning young eager teenagers into responsible goal-oriented adults. The loss and memory of Polkey will no doubt inspire all Wildcat teams to come. What a shame we weren't able to enjoy her finest hour, her final year.

Stoops' troops will need all the inspiration they can get in Saturday's battle against Cal. The lack of a decent run defense, and the disappearance of all tackling skills period put the Cats in a hole the minute they step on the field. It's about time we turn things around and break off a few big plays of our own. Hello, Mike Jefferson? Chris Henry? Mike Bell? Somebody please step up. The opportunity to show our stuff on national TV (TBS) is incentive plenty to play all four quarters hard and clean.

I was talking to a sales rep this week, and when I found out he had driven down from Pheonix (sic) the talk immediately turned to football. "Of course, you're going to root for us against 'SC this weekend, right?" he said. "Of course not, Bryan," was my reply. He'd heard that we were calling for Stoops' head down here, but I informed that was only wishful thinking by Scum Devil fans. "Nope, we read the posts on the UA message boards." Right - these are probably the same posters who are UA fan posers, too. The same ones who leave at the half and slip off to God knows where. Time for the real fans to stand up and be counted.

Defenseless -- if it happens again against Cal it's going to be real ugly.

"Major blow out?" -- or "possible devasting loss?" Cal fans looking at this weekend's game from both ends. Oh. It's Homecoming at Cal, too. Great.

Tribute to Polkey -- from the Daily Californian. Touching and inspiring.

Passing on the right legally -- Kovalchek is putting it together, more pieces hoping to show up Saturday.

Former Stormer -- ex-PCC Storm Mickey Pimentel should be glad he got out of Pima while the getting was good. But talking smack about the UA? Shame on you Mickey. Let's hope he meets Brad Wood a few times during the game.

Two years ago today -- Johnny Mac was fired as UA head coach. We were already 1-4 by this time?

Bear down!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Remembering Polkey

Star player's death stuns UA -- and the rest of us in this community. Unbelievable to think that something as small as a blood clot in her lungs (PE) could bring down such a giant of a young woman. In my line of work I see plenty of exams ordered for this, with 80-90% being negative. It's not unusual, though, for those patients whose exams turn out positive to "just feel bad," with no other significant symptoms.

Polkey will be a member of the Wildcat family forever - and God and the angels got one helluva sweet soul to play center.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Midweek Musings

Jet Blue Flight 292 is attempting an emergency landing at LAX and I'm thinking about the Cats - go figure. Even with last week's close loss to Purdue the rest of the season holds much promise for players and fans, if only the mistakes are kept to a minimum. The maturity that's lacking is showing in silly miscues, mishaps, and missed assignments. Two weeks to get ready for Cal - can we catch them napping?

Brad Wood -- Man of Steel. The banner "Build This House With Wood" hangs from the upper level on the east side of the stadium each home game. Better than straw, I guess...

Wildcats and Bowl Game in the same headline? -- Shane Bacon at the Daily Wildcat critiques Mike, Mike, and Mike (what? what? what?)

Lute recruit - Lance Thomas, highly-ranked (five star) recruit from the East coast, visited the Old Pueblo last weekend. Sounds as if he likes it here.

Geraldo - latest sighting of Jerry Rivers and the UA appears.
Rivera is a graduate of the University of Arizona and Brooklyn Law School, and is the author of seven books.

Lethal Diamondbacks -- the real kind. I still remember Mr. Bork and his encounter with the deadly reptile.

Jet Blue plane just landed, so it's time for me to get my ass up. So says Wilma.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Cats almost Pur-do it tonight

Just pulled in the driveway from tonight's game - Whew! What a game. It had a sense of big-time football from the moment we walked into the stadium: the Purdue traveling party was in strong voice, the ZonaZoo stayed and stood for the entire game, and the UA band supported the team (except as noted later) 'til the end. Wilbur even did a pole dance to AC/DC! The Wildcats came out on the short end of the pole, though, 31-24. Not a bad loss to a highly ranked Big10 team, and just a few miscues away from an upset.

If you wear red tonight - the Cats looked sharp in their red unis and white pants, their first appearance in red jerseys in 25 years. It was always hard to understand why the crowd wore red but the team didn't. It even seemed like they moved a little quicker in red.

Shot in the foot - that happened a few times, with untimely penalties and poor execution stopping promising drives throughout the game. Or keeping drives from getting started at all. Early in the game the Cats had been called for 5 penalties with the Boilermakers declining 4 of them.

Baugher steps it up - the dude averaged over 57 yards/punt on 7 kicks, a new school record for punt avg. in a game. A 71-yarder bounced into the endzone. Amazing show tonight, Danny. You definitely helped keep us in this one.

Team goes MIA in third quarter - the offense only managed ONE yard of offense after the half until they rattled off an 8 yard gain on the last play of the 3rd quarter. Coincidentally, the band was MIA from their seats, also, using this time to split into small groups around the track. While the Pride of Arizona was awesome the rest of the game, the team could have used some more support from the band in that crucial quarter. Hats off to the band the rest of the game - great job.

Students show up and stay - what fun it would have been in the ZonaZoo tonight. Great spirit, body paint jobs - even the "F*** Purdue" cheer was loud and well-timed. Please, though - a little quieter during the National Anthem.

What a difference a week makes - and the caliber of the opponent. After a week off, it's off to Berkeley to play Cal.

Get 'er Done! and Bear Down.

Cats Purr - Do it!

This year's second home game and a packed house is expected for Purdue. Parking will be at a premium, so get there early unless you want to park at Broadway and Campbell (Dave).

No TV - one reason for the near-sellout tonight is the lack of TV - live or otherwise.

Heat no factor - it should be a pleasant 80 degrees or so at kickoff. Still, the Boilermakers sound they're expecting a desert heat wave. Maybe they could suck on some napolitos for moisture.

Bowling in the future? - still a reach, but what the heck? We can always dream of an extra game. Salad Bowl?

Bear Down, Cats.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Hump Day

Wednesdays always give me hope that the weekend is getting closer. And with the Purdue Boilermakers coming to town for a Saturday showdown with the Wildcats this week can't go fast enough.

No TV - Strange as it sounds, the UA/Purdue game will not be on the tube Saturday. Huddle up by those radios, or - better yet - get a ticket to the game and support the team. The opportunity is there for a program-turning upset.

Midnight Madness - the name probably won't change, but the time has. This year's formal introduction will follow a Ladycats volleyball game, starting about 9:00p. Expect a large crowd at that game to stick around for some dunks and chuckles.

Got Wood? - tight end Brad Wood is coming along nicely for the Cats. Bonus - he's a local kid.

Beat the heat - PU coach Tiller not worried about the temperature at game time. Then again, he won't be wearing pads and a helmet, either.

Bear Down.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Notes and thoughts from the game tonight

The Cats managed to pull one out, beating NAU 31-12. All in all it was a pretty much forgettable performance, missing that spark that we were hoping to see. I guess the Cats thought they could just mail this one in. Some talking points:

The crowd was really in to this one at the start. There were a few changes from last year, like the replacement of the inflatable helmet-tunnel with a pretty generic Bear Down Club banner that the team ran under to take the field. The big-screen video also took on a few changes, with the fireworks timed to explode with a shot of an NAU helmet. I thought both of these were a step backwards from previous years' introductions.

The ZonaZoo was in full voice, and actually got the crowd to sing along to the National Anthem. I can't remember the last time the student section extended all the way up to coffin corner. After halftime, though, the Zoo was half-empty, coinciding with the half-assed effort the team put forward in the second half. Stick around and keep 'em pumped, students!

The Pride of Arizona, again this year, did little but put on a pregame and halftime show. Seems like the rest of the time they are too busy pulling little stunts like dancing on the track or rolling their cymbals. Rarely did I hear Bear Down, and never did the band play the "2001" version. Come to think of it, I didn't even get to sing "Fight Wildcats." Or "All Hail Arizona" after the game. Empty those spit valves and play some songs. The NAU band and cheerleaders did much more to support the Jacks than their UA counterparts. As a former member of the band I lament the lack of support the band now gives the team. Hey - how about a few catchy drum cadences or something? Forget about playing to the camera and play for the TEAM.

I like the Crazy Train sound bite each time the offense took the field. Let's play like we're getting to bite off some heads ourselves.

No game programs for sale before the game? Or did they just run out? Unforgivable.

Coach Stoops gave a great sideline show throughout the game. Watching him alone was worth the price of my new binoculars.

How the heck did the staff and team miss that NAU fake punt in the first quarter? Heck - the Jacks didn't even have anyone back to punt the freaking ball! Nobody in our section was fooled at all. Big brain fart there, coach.

A win is win, each one precious to the Wildcats, so tonight's game will eventually just show up in the W column. What started with such promise tonight fizzled quickly after halftime. If the Cats will play for the entire game, the crowd just might stay til the end. The aisles were too easy to navigate when we left after the clock had run out.

If bigtime college football at Arizona means little noise from the band (would you have known where they were sitting if you'd closed your eyes?), a student section that goes back to the kegs at the half, and a louder visitors' section than home crowd, then we are really missing out folks.

Purdue next Saturday - let's give them a game and venue to remember.

Ye Old Prognosticator

I agree with this guy - AZ 41 NAU 10. Anything less might be tough for the home crowd.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Lumberjacks off to Tucson

AZ still gets the point spread from the AP, but is warned against anything but an all-out effort to avoid an upset. A loss to the other in-state rival would give the UA a face as red as the South endzone.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Purdue here next week....

Don't get caught up in that mindset - NAU will play the game of their lives here Saturday. See you there.

Frustrating for some

From John Schuster via Cat Tracks, more Stoops bashing. I thought coming within 3 points of a team that had won 16 in a row (17 now) was pretty decent. True, the execution was lacking on both sides of the ball, but we're light years ahead of where we were with Corporate Coach Mack.

Playing down?

So says this article. Check this out:

Northern Arizona (1-0) at Arizona (0-1), 10:00

Four Big Sky teams face I-A opponents this week, and Northern Arizona probably has the best shot to steal a victory against its in-state foe. The Lumberjacks only finished 4-7 a year ago and lost to Arizona, but they gave the Wildcats all they could handle in the season opener. NAU trailed only 7-3 through three quarters and were outgained by only 27 yards in the game. Three Jason Murrietta interceptions halted the NAU effort, but Murrietta was playing with an almost entirely new cast of receivers in the season opener. Northern Arizona held Adams State to 166 yards of total offense in last week's game, and faces an Arizona team that only scored more than 20 points three times in 2004. But while they have the defense to stay in the game, the Lumberjacks also face an apparently improved Arizona team. The Wildcats came within three points at Utah, and have a pretty solid defense of their own. NAU should hang in until the fourth quarter, but won't generate enough offense to come away with the victory. Prediction: Arizona 24, Northern Arizona 10

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Home Opener

Now that I've recovered from last week's disappointing loss to Utah (there are only so many "what if's" allowed per game, it's time to regroup. I've forgiven Chris Henry for his 2 fumbles, even though he didn't drop one all spring or camp. Stoops was only trusting what he knows best - namely defense - to win the game in the waning minutes. Danny Baugher would drop that punt inside the 20 9 times out of 10. Anyway, here goes:

The folks in Flag look at the game this weekend
- wonder what a Lumberjack traveling party looks like?

"You play like you practice" - and other gems from coach Stoops about the past weekend. We had heard that practices were going well, hadn't we?

Sancet Field gets a makeover
- would have loved to have been there for the yard sale.

Looking ahead to Purdue
- at least Purdue is looking ahead to us. One game at a time, guys.

Where was B.J
. - Vickers didn't make the trip, so what the heck happened to him??

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Next week's opponent

NAU routs Div II foe Adams State in their opener, setting up next Saturday's showdown at Arizona Stadium. I doubt yesterday's loss to Utah will dampen the spirit of the home crowd, or keep them home, and the atmosphere should be electric. The fireworks won't stop with the introduction of the Cats.

Can't wait for the game and my lemon Eegee's.

Punt spells doom for Cats

The choice to punt the ball back to the Utes with 3+ minutes left in the game pretty much sealed the door on UA's fate last night. Not only did the punt sail into the endzone, giving Utah the ball at the 20, but the first play resulted in a gain back to our 4th down line of scrimmage. I would have loved to see us go for it there on 4th, win or lose, putting it all on the line. The loss would have been a little smaller pill to swallow.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Countdown to Kickoff

1290AMTheSource kicks off the pregame some four hours before the ball tees up....guess I'm not the only one can't wait. Finally - Game Day.

Utah wants respect
- and wants it at the Cats' expense. Not today, boys.

Mike Bell chimes in - he's ready to sock it to the Utes.

More from the SLC Tribune
- Six degrees of Cats and Utes.

Scouting Utah
- and I'm not talking Campfire Girls here.

More about the game here
- and here, and here, and here,, heck. Let's play ball.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


As in three more days until Stoops' Troops take on the Utes. Wilbur predicts a UA victory, 30-18. Here are a few things to ponder until then:

They're off! - Coaches Stoops and Olson both have racehorses named after them, both trained by UA alumn Bob Baffert. Suppose they'll ever go head to head at Rillito?

Jawann McClellan status - losing a father is heartbreak for an adult, let alone a college freshman. Jawann's funk after his father's passing is understood. Will the NCAA see it the way Lute does?

“He told me that he doesn’t care if I play basketball here again, he just wanted me to get better,” McClellan said. “When I heard that I knew I had to come back because he cares about me as a person.”

Salim signs with the Hawks - no attitude problem with holding out, eh?

From the tall pines in Flagstaff - a capsule update of AZ football (and other lesser programs - asu, Cardinals, etc.)

Stoops preaches Red Zone efficiency - and the choir is listening

Saturday, August 27, 2005

SIX days to go

Am I ready for football or what? I even watched a high school game at Chuy's today just to get juiced up. Next Friday heralds the public unveiling of my UA scrub top at work. Stay tuned...

Punt - noone really wants to hold the school record for number of punts, but Danny Baugher is handling it well. Let's hope his number of punts dwindles this year as the offense kicks it up a notch.

Side out - with the soccer team back to defend its PAC10 title let's give them some mention, too. That's it.

Cornerback of the future
- read about the Texan here.

Friday, August 26, 2005

One week away

Seven days 'til opening kickoff - next Friday finds us sitting in front of the big screen, watching the Cats take on the Utes in HD.

Cats QBs - ranked #76 in this survey (Utah #55)

Deeper offense - first team to 35 points wins in the PAC10

Stoops on billboard irks folks at ASU
- maybe because it was right across the way from Karsten Golf Course. Maybe they were just upset that noone could hit it that far.

Basketball notes
- can't forget the hoopsters. Remember when we couldn't wait for basketball season to start?

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Paltry offense?!?

OUCH! More low blows, this time from the northwest. I'd like to take that Space Needle and stick it where the sun don't shine. Wait. That IS Seattle.

Season preview

This from SFGate - another reference to the sorry state of AZ football with some positive notes, too. Let's see - we're upwards of 35K season tickets sold, the Zona Zoo will pack the sidelines again, Red Zone seats are sold out . I'd wager a few other schools would relish such a sorry state.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

10 more days and counting

Now that this year's opener with Utah is within smelling distance the juices are really flowing at the Wilbur household. Here are a few items to keep you busy until that first whistle:

First classy - Lute and his Cats rate mention in this article about classy programs and the way they reach out in their communities.

Cats in a Bowl?? - we may be getting a little ahead of ourselves, but there are plenty of reasons why it could happen this year. And having a meteorologist for a head coach comes in handy during our monsoon season.

More bowl game fodder
- this time from our award winning Arizona Daily Wildcat.

Sobering article
- just in case our heads do swelleth.

"Sorry state of Wildcats football?"
- another reason I'll never move to Pheonix(sic)

Wildcat named nation's best college paper

Muchos kudos to the AZ Daily Wildcat - named the nation's best college newspaper by the Princeton Review. Many articles from the Wildcat have been linked here by Wilbur, with the Sports sections and Police Beat being most popular among the students. Nice to know they don't just look at the pictures.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

LOCAL NOTEBOOK: Terry enters music producer business

Interesting little bits and pieces about past, present, and future Cats here.

Cats air it out at scrimmage

Nice display by the offense tonight in the Cats last public scrimmage before sequestering away with their game plan for Utah. Not much running, but plenty of big pass plays from all three QB's and their corps of receivers. The scrimmage opened with a kickoff being returned for a TD, something we haven't seen in the last 81 games. I'm not sure if that bodes well for for our return team or bad for our return defense. Exciting, nonetheless.

Kace and I took in a little of the pre-scrimmage activities, then settled into our seats on the 30-yard line in the shade (of course). In front of us were a mom and daughter, decked out in Wildcat gear. As the evening went on, I noticed that mom jumped up and yelled when Adam Austin completed several long passes, so I asked if he was her son. "Actually, no. But his coach is my husband." We were sitting behind Coach Stoops' wife! Very nice lady, and what a treat to meet her.

Gotta give the edge to the offense tonight, proving that Coach's commitment to pumping up the offense wasn't just smalltalk.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Cats raising some fur

News of this year's Wildcat gridiron team is spreading fast. And most of it is good press:

Despite a difficult schedule that features two of last season's three undefeated programs, USC and Utah, as well as a trip to California, Arizona is looking to finish bowl eligible for the first time since 1998. With Stoops leading the charge, a first-ever trip to the Rose Bowl might not be so far away.

No pressure, Mike, no pressure.

Will Will make it?

Bynum signs a free agent contract with the Boston Celtics after not being selected in the latest NBA draft.

Tucson to Atlanta to Boston. Nice trip.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

PROFILE: Dick Tomey

Nice little piece here about Dick Tomey as he reinvents football at San Jose State. Best of luck, coach. SJS is lucky to have you.

Race for Chase ends at McKale

Like we said here earlier, SD North County's sports phenom Chase Budinger will be a Wildcat, another Top 10 recruit for Lute. Persistence pays off as Olson makes several trips to Carlsbad just to say HI.

And he plays volleyball, too, a la Jud Buechler.

Love those beach boys from San Diego!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Wizards catch on to Wildcat

Former Batcat Nick Hundley is moving up in the San Diego Padres organization, catching now for the Ft. Wayne Wizards. Another good reason (besides the beach) to be a Padres fan.

Wizards catch on to Wildcat - OurSports Central

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Diaper Dandies

Once again the Cats reload, but they're facing stiffer recruiting challengers. The Cats incoming class ranks behind Washington and UCLA in this writer's opinion:
Where does the resurging L.A. story leave traditional Pac powerhouse Arizona? The Wildcats return 11 of 13 roster players. But the two departures – first round draft pick Channing Frye and second round selection Salim Stoudemire – left giant voids in scoring and rebounding.
Not to worry.

Does this make me look fat?

The Wildcats new uniforms story was picked up by the LA Times, and here's what they had to say:

America's team?

While most football teams are focusing on offensive and defensive schemes, the University of Arizona is stuck on color schemes.

The Wildcats are getting new uniforms and trying to choose between blue on blue, blue on white, white on blue, white on white, and red on white.

Coach Mike Stoops is flustered because the scheme he really likes isn't in the mix.

"I like red, white and blue," he told the Tucson Citizen. "It's hard not to make those colors good. It's the very best combination you can have."


Not only does the author spell the name of our fair city wrong, but the asu story comes first in this article.
Slow learners up north, I guess.

San Diego prep star set to sign with Lute

Budinger appears bound for Arizona -- and to think Zonies can't wait to head for the beach.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Cats get some press in the Bay Area

Tim Kish, Arizona Wildcat linebacker coach, shines in this piece about how the Internet has changed college football recruiting. Instead of the film-rooms of days gone by, imagine popping in a DVD of edited highlights into your laptop. Anytime. Anyplace.

"The amount of information available has probably quadrupled in the last 10 to 15 years," said Arizona linebackers coach Tim Kish, who recruits the East Bay for the Wildcats and is a 30-year coaching veteran. "That enables Division I-A coaches to obviously gather more accurate information ... and allows you the opportunity to process things faster."

They don't even have to see the kid to see the kid. Sweet.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Fall Camp Reports

Day 1
Day 3

D-line looks "massive" - These guys sound big, strong, and smart. Look for lots of sacks this year with this group.

An AP story about Kovalcheck ... Oh, and the stanford Tree.

Women's soccer? ... hey, they're showing some promise.

Wait - what's all this talk about offense?

The Sacramento Bee reports that Stoops will take a more hands-on approach to the Wildcat "offense" (next-to-last in the nation in scoring last season), even though....

"..He was hired in Tucson before last season to sharpen some of those Arizona claws, with the booster club and alumni craving any defensive presence to rekindle images of the 'Cats of old."

The theme for the offense? Same as for the defense - attack. I hope so.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Countdown to kickoff

Charles Durrenberger of the Daily Star reminds us that football practice opens on Thursday. Now that players and coaches know more of what to expect from each other they can concentrate on those little things that can be game winners or losers.
Wonder if Coach is going to wear out a path on the sidelines with all those acrobatics?

33 days.....

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The Last Saturday of July

As we head into August Wilbur finally sees a blue jersey at the end of the long tunnel of summer. Just 34 days until Stoops troops take on Utah in the season opener and I gotta wear shades the outlook is so bright. The schedule is chock full of good teams, and the team and fans are all fired up. Dust off those stadium cushions, polish the binoculars, and grab the sunscreen (for you East stadium fans).

Cat backs -- With the return of every back who carried the ball last year and the addition of threee promising freshman, the running game will be a major strength this year. Did you know 4 of the 7 Cat backs are from the home state?

New unis? -- the gridCats unveil new uniforms this year, which means Wilbur and Wilma will be adding more cardinal and navy to their wardrobes.

Lute reorganizes -- basketball staff undergoes a makeover of its own, movin Geary to more of an administrative role and leaving Simon on the bench.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Call him Coach

Good news for Wildcat fans from today's Arizona Daily Star ..... Miles Simon has completed coursework for his degree and joins the Wildcat hoops staff immediately. Still waiting to hear how 4 assistant coaches meets the 3-coach NCAA maximum, though.
Congratulations to Miles - Point Guard U keeps getting better.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

From the Land of the Midnight Sun...

From The Journal Advocate - Sports in Sterling CO of all places . NJC sophomore star hurler Calder Hendrickson writes weekly accounts of the summer league, and manages to toss Arizona into the mix:

"Last week I received a call from a very a good division one college baseball program, the University of Arizona Wildcats. ...It was definitely a phone call I enjoyed receiving."

Calder really impresses in this letter from Alaska, and will be a success whichever path he chooses.

Sports media Wild about the Cats, too

Here's a great article from the Citizen's Steve Rivera about all the former Cats that are showing up in print, radio, and TV. Jennie Finch, Steve Kerr, Jim Furyk et al are representing the UA with class and style. Just check out this bit about former Wildcat Rory Sabatini:

And golfer Rory Sabbatini has gained publicity for wearing military camouflage trousers on the first day of events, donating money for birdies and eagles to military causes.

Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Trevor Crowe debut a success

As the Indians' first-round draft, Crowe has to meet some pretty high expectations. No surprise, then, to read this about his debut with the Captains:
"You're going to like this guy. He's got a lot of old school in him," said (Jack) Mull, the hitting coach at Lake County last season.
Old school must mean hustle, intelligence, team first values.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Scouting the Cats

From Scouting the Pac 10: Arizona

Always like reading good news about the home team.