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Excerpt from L.A. Times, Nov. 8, 1914, authored by Bill Henry:
“Arizona’s cactus-fed athletes, despite heroic efforts on the part of their two halfbacks, (Asa) Porter and (Franklin) Luis, went down to defeat before the Occidental Tigers yesterday afternoon, the tally with all precincts heard from being 14 to 0 in favor of the Tigers.
Confident of rolling up a big score, the Tigers took the field with grins on their faces, but before the game was 10 seconds old they knew they had a battle on their hands.
The Arizona men showed the fight of wild cats and displayed before the public gaze a couple of little shrimps in the backfield who defied all attempts of the Tigers to stop them.”
This site will conduct a countdown in a 100-day period, leading up to Arizona’s 2014 football season-opener with UNLV on Aug. 29 at Arizona Stadium. The 100 Days ‘Til Kickoff countdown will include information daily about the historic 1914 Arizona team that helped create the school’s nickname of “Wildcats” because of how they played that fateful day against Occidental.
Some comparisons of then and now (more to follow in the days leading up to kickoff) …
The Arizona “Varsity” 0f 1914 was comprised of one head coach (J.F. “Pop” McKale), one manager and 19 players.
The Arizona Wildcats of 2014 will consist of one head coach (Rich Rodriguez), 10 assistant coaches, four graduate assistants, 13 support staff members and more than 100 players (85 of whom are under scholarship).
The lineup of the Arizona “Varsity” of 1914 consisted of seven linemen (two ends, two tackles, two guards and a center), a quarterback, two halfbacks and a full back. The defensive alignment mirrored that of the offense.
The lineup of the Arizona Wildcats of 2014 will mostly comprise five linemen (two tackles, two guards and a center), a quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers and two slot receivers on offense. A tight end will be used in place of a slot receiver on occasion. Defensively, Rodriguez’s 3-5-3 alignment will consisted of three linemen (two ends and a nose tackle), three linebackers, a spur and bandit (hybrid linebacker/safety slots), two cornerbacks and a free safety.
The Arizona “Varsity” of 1914 had one quarterback, Albert M. “Bumps” Crawford Jr., a sophomore, whose primary responsibility was to either run or hand off to his halfbacks William “Asa” Porter or Franklin Luis or fullback Orville McPherson. Crawford attempted a forward pass on occasion — the play was only in its eighth year of being legal — to his end targets Lawrence Richard Jackson or James Vinton Hammels. In the legendary game against Occidental in 1914, Los Angeles Times reporter Bill Henry refers to Jackson as “a red-headed party” who was “on the receiving end of a couple of forward passes (and) intercepting a couple more”.
The Arizona Wildcats of 2014 have a possible one of five quarterbacks (Jesse Scroggins, Connor Brewer, Jarrard Randle, Anu Solomon or Brandon Dawkins). The quarterback will be responsible for passing to as many as five receivers, handing the ball off to a running back or running the ball himself.
Footage of a football game held in France between 1914-19 played by U.S. soldiers stationed there for World War One with General John H. Pershing and King Albert and Queen Elizabeth of Belgium attending.
The uniforms of the Arizona “Varsity” of 1914 included a thin leather helmet (optional) without a face mask, long-sleeve wool shirt with rough leather protecting the shoulders, khaki football pants made of strong durable canvas material, leggings and high-top leather shoes with cleats placed at the tip and base of the shoe.
The uniforms of the Arizona Wildcats of 2014 will include four different helmets (made of polycarbonate) with face masks made of plastic-coated carbon steel, jerseys made of polyester with a mesh design, nylon pants for stretch and comfort and football cleats comprised of different types of synthetic materials that include removable and exchangeable studs.
The Arizona “Varsity” in 1914 played two road games — Occidental and New Mexico State — as part of their five-game schedule. They traveled by train to Los Angeles and Las Cruces, N.M., for those games.
The Arizona Wildcats of 2014 play five of their 12 games on the road. They will travel by charter plane.