Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats Football: Five things you may not know about Arizona vs. Texas-San Antonio

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Five things you may not know about the Arizona vs. Texas-San Antonio football game, while wondering if I was a marketing guy at Arizona, how quick I would rush the slogan “Anu Era of Wildcat Football” to Greg Byrne’s desk if Anu Solomon keeps this up. …

Did you know? …

— The Roadrunners, who are only in their fourth year of existence competitively, are already the sixth-best team in football-crazed Texas, according to a Dallas Morning News poll this week. Only Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas, Texas Tech and TCU — all members of Power 5 conferences — are rated better. Larry Coker’s program presently has elevated itself higher than Rice, North Texas, SMU, Texas State, Houston and UTEP on the Texas totem pole.

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— No players on Arizona’s current roster were originally recruited by Rich Rodriguez out of high school in Texas. Backup tight end Josh Kern was recruited out of San Antonio as a quarterback by previous coach Mike Stoops. In Mike Stoops’ last season in 2011, Arizona had 15 players from Texas, 13 of whom were recruited by Stoops’ staff out of high school there. Rodriguez is dipping further into the South — SEC country — to attract talent. Thirteen players on Arizona’s 2014 roster are from Florida, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi.


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Mike Thomas hails from DeSoto, Texas

Mike Thomas hails from DeSoto, Texas

— Arizona’s top five recruits from Texas in the Pac-10/12 era?

No. 1: Has to be “Money” Mike Thomas from DeSoto, Texas. The dynamic receiver/returner was the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2005 and was a two-time all-conference selection.

No. 2: Offensive guard Yusuf Scott of LaPorte, Texas. Scott won the Pac-10’s Morris Trophy for the most outstanding offensive lineman in 1998 and was also an all-conference selection that season.

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No. 3: Clarence Farmer, a big, physical tailback from Houston, was the Pac-10’s rushing leader with 1,229 total yards and 5.9 yards per carry in 2001.

No. 4: Keenyn Crier, of Spring, Texas, was an All-Pac-10 punter in 2007 as a freshman when he averaged 43.7 yards a punt, a mark that was aided by an 83-yard gem at USC (1 yard shy of the school record). Check out the accompanying YouTube video.

No. 5: Speedy, little (yet strong) receiver Syndric Steptoe (5’9″ and 200) came to Arizona from Bryan, Texas, and was an All-Pac-10 choice as a kickoff returner in 2006.

Another standout was Houston product Michael Jolivette, a cornerback from 2000-03 who owns the Arizona career record for passes broken up (44). Kelvin Eafon of Seagoville, Texas, was a fullback who deserves mention who originally came to Arizona in 1994 as a basketball recruit who signed with Lute Olson.

— Texas has been an unkind host to Arizona for the most part as the Wildcats have an 11-28-2 record overall there.

Arizona last played in the Lone Star State at the 2010 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, where the Wildcats were routed by Oklahoma State 36-10. That loss signaled the beginning of the end for Stoops, who was fired the following season. The Wildcats also lost twice in the Sun Bowl at El Paso (Auburn in 1968 and Baylor in 1992) and tied Georgia there in 1985.

The Wildcats have also been unlucky in regular season road games in Texas.

They were 0-3 at Abilene’s Hardin-Simmons during the Border Conference days. Arizona also lost at Texas A&M 17-13 in 1921, Texas 20-0 in 1925 and SMU 29-7 in 1938.

Arizona's losing record in Texas includes a 1-14 record at Lubbock against Texas Tech

Arizona’s losing record in Texas includes a 1-14 record at Lubbock against Texas Tech

Dick Tomey’s team in 1999 managed to bounce back after a 41-7 shellacking at Penn State in the opener to beat TCU 35-31 the following week in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Wildcats are 1-14 against former Border Conference rival Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Red Raiders own that series overall with a 25-4-2 record.

Although Arizona can’t win a bowl game in El Paso, the Wildcats are 9-5-1 in games at former Border Conference and WAC rival UTEP.

— Arizona travels to San Antonio with an overall 52-48-4 record against teams from Texas. The Wildcats will have a home-and-home series with UTEP and Houston in 2017 and 2018. Arizona hosts Houston and travels to UTEP in 2017 and reverses the sites with those schools in 2018.

The best win over a Texas team? The Wildcats upset No. 3 SMU 28-6 in Tucson. The Mustangs, who were about to be sentenced to the NCAA death penalty for recruiting violations, are the highest ranked non-conference team to lose at Arizona Stadium.

The following is Arizona’s record against teams from Texas:

Team W L T First Last
Baylor 0 1 0 1992 1992
Hardin-Simmons 4 6 0 1942 1961
Houston 1 1 0 1969 1986
North Texas 1 0 0 2002 2002
Southern Methodist 1 1 0 1938 1985
Stephen F. Austin 1 0 0 2006 2006
Texas 0 1 0 1925 1925
Texas A&M 0 1 0 1921 1921
TCU 1 1 0 1999 2003
Texas-El Paso 38 11 2 1916 2003
Texas Tech 4 25 2 1932 1988
UTSA 1 0 0 2013 2013
Totals 52 48 4 1921 2013

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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