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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 28 days — four weeks from today — 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.
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:
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Part of the historic season for Scooby Wright III in 2014 was his school-best six forced fumbles, topping Arizona greats Ricky Hunley and Chris Singleton, both of whom had five in 1983 and 1988, respectively.
ARIZONA MOST FUMBLES CAUSED IN A SEASON
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Most Forced Fumbles In A Season: 6, Scooby Wright, 1984
Pac-12 record (since 2005): Wright is tied with Anthony Barr, UCLA, 2013; Josh Shirley, Washington, 2012; Scott Crichton, Oregon State, 2011; and Chase Thomas, Stanford, 2011
NCAA record: 10, Elvis Dumervil, Louisville, 2005
This was one of Scooby Wright III’s six forced fumbles in 2014 with the result of the sack of ASU’s Taylor Kelly being a touchdown return by Anthony Lopez.
Arizona went from a school-record six forced fumbles by Scooby Wright in 2014 to the Wildcats recording only nine last season with safety Will Parks the leader with two. Wright had none in the three games he was able to play last season.
One of the nine forced fumbles was by running back Jonathan Haden on kickoff coverage at Colorado. The Buffaloes recovered the ball. Haden transferred after the season.
The drastic change from 2014 is a testament for how Arizona’s defense went from being good enough to help the Wildcats win the Pac-12 South with Wright as its leader to having one of the more disappointing seasons on that side of the ball.
Arizona, which recovered five of the fumbles it forced, finished last season minus-4 in turnover margin.
Who can the Wildcats count on this season to create some havoc for opposing offenses?
Veteran safeties Tellas Jones and Paul Magloire Jr. each achieved a fumble caused last season. DeAndre’ Miller at linebacker might be primed to have a standout season.
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.