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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 22 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.
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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Tedy Bruschi’s school-record 19 sacks in 1993 epitomized the Desert Swarm defense with its destruction behind the line of scrimmage.
ARIZONA SEASON SACKS LEADERS
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Mpst Sacks, Season: 19, Tedy Bruschi, 1993
Pac-12 and NCAA record: 24, Terrell Suggs, ASU, 2002
Tedy Bruschi’s 19 sacks in 1993 were one shy of the Pac-10 record at the time set by USC’s defensive lineman Tim Ryan in 1989.
Tedy Bruschi’s 19 school-record sacks in one season in 1993 were more than the leaders combined in Arizona’s lowest periods in the few years following Dick Tomey’s resignation and Mike Stoops’ firing.
From 2001 to 2003 the leaders combined for 16 sacks. From 2011 to 2013 the total was 13.5 sacks.
When the leader reaches double-figure sacks, generally good things happen to the team’s overall record.
When Stoops, a defensive-minded coach, was fired in 2011, Arizona’s team leader in sacks had only three, defensive end C.J. Parish.
When Larry Smith’s program was gaining stature nationally from 1984 to 1986, his team leaders in sacks were all in double-figures: Steve Boadway with 13 in 1984, Danny Lockett with 12 in 1985 and Stan Mataele with 10.5 in 1986.
Scooby Wright III tallied 14 sacks in 2014, third-most in school history behind Bruschi’s 19 in 1993 and 14.5 in 1995. Arizona won the Pac-12 South in 2014 largely because of the havoc Wright caused on defense.
Keep an eye on this year’s sack leaders to see if Arizona can gain that necessary spark toward a productive season. The Wildcats’ returning sack leaders, each with three last year, are safety Tellas Jones and lineman Jack Banda.
Other Bruschi record in this countdown so far:
31. Most Tackles For Loss, Career: 74, 1992-95
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.