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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 91 days separate us from the start of Rich Rodriguez’s fifth season at Arizona, when the Wildcats play Brigham Young on Sept. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
As is customary on this Web site, we will count down the days with an interesting element associated with each day. This year the topic is the top 100 individual records in Arizona’s storied football past.
Compiling the list was no easy task, but it was feasible to do with the information provided in the record books by the Arizona media relations department, and we appreciate that.
In past years, we have counted down the top games and highlighted players and some of the top plays in Wildcat history. A couple of years ago in our top 100 countdown, we showcased the 1914 team that was responsible for Arizona becoming the “Wildcats”.
Back to this year’s countdown of the top 100 individual records in the 117 years of Arizona football:
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Nick Foles’ career record mark of 933 completions is a result of his efficiency, and also because of the pass-happy offense Arizona started to run under offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes.
Most pass completions, career: Nick Foles, 933, 2009-11
The evolution of Arizona’s offense from three-downs-and-a-cloud-of-dust to pass-happy is most evident in the amount of pass completions and attempts since offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes instituted his “Air Raid” offense under Mike Stoops. Before Willie Tuitama took over as quarterback late in his freshman season of 2005, Arizona’s coaches took a conservative approach with the quarterback position.
Nick Foles’ school-record 933 completions broke the previous mark established by Tuitama (786) right before him. Foles and Tuitama combined for 1,719 completions in 2,672 attempts. Entering last season, before Anu Solomon’s sophomore year, the next four quarterbacks on Arizona’s passing yards chart — Tom Tunnicliffe, Alfred Jenkins and Keith Smith — combined for 1,764 completions in 2,574 attempts.
Record watch in 2016: Solomon, operating Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense predicated on an abundance of quick reads, ended last season with 518 completions through his first two seasons. That’s good for third behind Foles and Tuitama. He’s on pace to break Foles’ mark of 933 career completions as long as he holds on to his starting role and hopefully remains healthy and productive.
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.