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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 65 days separate us from the start of Rich Rodriguez’s fifth season, when the Arizona Wildcats football team plays 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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Quick reads generally means Anu Solomon does not feel too much pressure and is able to get off more accurate passes, although he was chased in this 2014 game against USC, a record-setting game for the Arizona quarterback.
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 Arizona Wildcats football 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 Attempts Without Interceptions, Game: 72, Anu Solomon, vs. USC, Oct. 12, 2014 (completed 43)
NCAA record: 77, David Piland, Houston vs. Louisiana Tech, Sept. 8, 2012 (completed
In this 2014 game against USC, won by the Trojans 28-26, Anu Solomon attempted the most passes (72) without an interception in school history.
Overlooked in a 28-26 loss to USC at Arizona Stadium was Anu Solomon’s 72 attempts without an interception, an Arizona record that broke the previous mark of 51 accomplished three times by Nick Foles in the 2009 and 2011 seasons.
Arizona’s red-zone struggles (converting 4 of 7 opportunities) and Solomon completing only one touchdown pass out of his 43 completions overshadowed his ability to keep the ball away from the Trojan defenders.
A 29-yard field goal attempt by Casey Skowron with 17 seconds left missed wide right as USC held on for the victory after Solomon rallied his team back from a 21-6 deficit.
Solomon played it safe against USC with his quick reads, although he was sacked three times. His longest pass was a 41-yard completion to running back Jared Baker.
His coaches and teammates lauded the impeccable performance by the redshirt freshman, whose 72 attempts were one short of the school record he set against California earlier that season in Arizona’s “Hail Mary” victory.
“Anu Solomon competed well,” Arizona Rich Rodriguez said. “Everyone says he struggles and doesn’t make every play, but we put a lot on the guy. He didn’t make all the big plays in the first half, but for a redshirt freshman playing in a big arena, Solomon has accounted for himself pretty well.”
Arizona receiver Austin Hill: “(Solomon) has a lot of composure as a quarterback and I respect him for it and love him for it. It’s a good trait to have as a quarterback. To be able to not play perfect in the first three quarters and then go out there in the fourth quarter, come back and lead us to a victory or put us in a position to win the game. … It says a lot about him as a quarterback that he’s able to relax in those situations.”
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.