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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 89 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.
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Six of Rodney Williams’ 12 career touchdown receptions at Arizona from 1995-97 were in a record six straight games in his senior season.
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:
Most Consecutive Games Catching A Touchdown Pass: 6, Rodney Williams, 1997
This game at UCLA on Sept. 27, 1997, started Rodney Williams’ record streak at Arizona of six straight games with a touchdown pass reception.
In the unbelievable context, this record should be ranked higher. Of all the big names Arizona has produced at receiver, Rodney Williams holds the record for consecutive games with a touchdown reception. Williams is not as much of a household name in Tucson as Dennis Northcutt (his teammate during his Arizona career from 1995-97), Bobby Wade, “T” Bell, Juron Criner, Derek Hill, Mike Thomas, etc.
The six-game streak was quite an accomplishment for Williams, especially considering he had 12 touchdown receptions overall in his three-year career after transferring from Pierce (Calif.) Junior College. He played two years in the Kansas City Royals organization before starting his college football career at Pierce.
Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals holds the NCAA record with 18 straight games with a touchdown reception at Pitt between the 2002-03 seasons.
Williams extended his touchdown-reception streak to six games in 1997 by coming up with late scoring catches in the last three games.
In the fifth game of the streak, Williams did not have a touchdown reception until the overtime period at Washington State in a 35-34 loss. Ortege Jenkins, who threw the 6-yard touchdown pass to Williams, was stopped from reaching the end zone on the two-point conversion attempt, giving the Cougars the dramatic victory.
Williams did not have a touchdown reception until the fourth quarter in the fourth (Washington) and sixth (Oregon State) games of the streak.
Here is a list of his streak in 1997:
UCLA (Sept. 27)
— 19-yard touchdown pass from Keith Smith
San Diego State (Oct. 4)
— 35-yard touchdown pass from Ortege Jenkins
Stanford (Oct. 11)
— 9-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins
Washington (Oct. 18)
— 32-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins
Washington State (Oct. 25)
— 6-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins
Oregon State (Nov. 8)
— 17-yard touchdown pass from Jenkins
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.