Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats helmet-sticker update: UA earns 10 in rout over UNLV

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Arizona’s tradition of using helmet stickers, started by the late Larry Smith in the 1980s, is long gone because according to the USA Today. a school spokesman said, they “looked stupid”, with a player like Chuck Cecil having so many.

I, for one, wholeheartedly disagree. I like the buckeyes on Ohio State helmets and the little tomahawks on the Florida State helmets. This day and age, however, of multiple helmets does not allow for helmet stickers. It would be a mess. Arizona would need to hire somebody just to keep tabs of how many cat claws must be added to the copper, red, blue and white helmets every week.

So without that happening, this site will again conduct a weekly helmet-sticker award series to whet the appetite for fans who like them.

Arizona came out strong against UNLV, earning 10 cat-claw helmet stickers for its 58-13 blowout win at Arizona Stadium on Friday night.

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Terris Jones-Grigsby does a Heisman pose while breaking free for a long gain (YouTube video capture)

Terris Jones-Grigsby does a Heisman pose while breaking free for a long gain (YouTube video capture)

Here is a rundown of why some of the cat claws were earned (reference the chart below):

— Arizona did not turn the ball over, which is remarkable given that it was the first career start for redshirt freshman quarterback Anu Solomon. Arizona running back Terris Jones-Grigsby fumbled in the first quarter on a 25-yard run but Solomon was on the spot and recovered the fumble at the UNLV 24. UNLV had one turnover, an intercepted pass by Will Parks thrown by Blake Decker on the first play of the fourth quarter.

— The Wildcats had an incredible 20 plays of at least 12 yards, 15 of them by halftime. The second half included a 92-yard touchdown pass from Solomon to Austin Hill and an 85-yard touchdown run by freshman Nick Wilson. Five of Arizona’s seven touchdowns were plays of 13 or more yards.

— Arizona had six drives that included at least eight plays, which shows the effectiveness of a sustained execution on offense. Those drives resulted in 27 points. The Wildcats chewed up the clock in the fourth quarter with a 19-play, 9:18-possession, culminated by a 3-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Conner Brewer. That drive also included backups Jesse Scroggins and Jerrard Randall.


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— The Wildcats were 11 of 21 on third-down conversions and an impressive 3-of-3 on fourth-down conversions. Combined, they were 14-of-24, 58.3 percent.

— Arizona responded in the second half after coach Rich Rodriguez was not happy with how his defense failed to stop UNLV from sustained drives in the first half. “Defensively, we’re not getting any three and outs, so we have to shore things up a little bit,” Rodriguez told ESPN. At that point, Arizona forced UNLV into only one three-and-out. Rodriguez’s message was heard at halftime. The Rebels had four three-and-outs in the second half.

— Lastly, Arizona junior Casey Skowron made a 49-yard field goal in the third quarter, which was a welcomed sight after the Wildcats have experienced what seems to be perennial placekicking problems. Skowron missed from 38 yards in the first quarter. One fan (Michael Burkhart) tweeted derisively after Skowron’s field goal: “49 yard field goal? What?!?!?! Rose Bowl or bust!”

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HELMET STICKER CRITERIA

The Wildcats earn cat claws for the Arizona helmet if they achieve these following marks. This grading system is stringent. The Wildcats must achieve their goal. If it states the UA must achieve “more than” a certain mark, they must pass that mark. This helmet will be updated weekly as the Wildcats attempt to fill the helmet with the cat claws:

FIRST SIX GAMES

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LAST SIX GAMES

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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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