FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!
[ezcol_1half id=”” class=”” style=””]
CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 17 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.
[ezcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]
Floyd Hudlow is the only player in Arizona history to return two punts for a touchdown in one game, accomplished against BYU in 1964
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 Touchdowns on Punt Returns One Game: 2, Floyd Hudlow, vs. BYU, Sept. 26, 1964
Pac-12 record: 2, shared by five returners, most recently Bralon Addison, Oregon vs. Cal, and Nelson Agholor, USC vs. Cal, both in 2013.
NCAA record: 3, Antonio Perkins, Oklahoma vs. UCLA, Sept. 20, 2003
Grainy Tucson Citizen photo of Floyd Hudlow returning a 69-yard punt against BYU in 1964 at Arizona Stadium after he previously took one to the end zone with a 61-yard return.
How former Tucson Citizen sports editor George McLeod described Floyd Hudlow’s unique feat of two punt returns for a touchdown against BYU on Sept. 26, 1964 (note that this was the season opener and the Wildcats also open this season against the Cougars):
“Hudlow’s experience and speed were seen for the first time this year when he took a punt on his own 39-yard line and raced 61 yards for a touchdown. …
However exciting Hudlow’s run was, it was a shadow of his second touchdown jaunt in the third period when he took a punt on his own 45 and actually was forced back to the 31 before starting one of the most sensational runs ever seen in Varsity Stadium (Arizona’s stadium name back then).
Curg Belcher had the first of nine shots at Hudlow and slid off. Before Floyd finally broke loose at midfield, he was surrounded by white shirts several times. He stopped, almost went down and fought for balance again. When he finally tore loose and was escorted by Rick Harris the run was enough to break the Cougars’ spirit (in a 39-6 win over BYU).”
A crowd of 27,400 (the second-largest at that time in Arizona Stadium history) was thrilled by Hudlow’s show. Another remarkable individual feat occurred in that game that will be listed in this countdown tomorrow.
Nine BYU players had a hand on Hudlow during his 69-yard return and not one could bring him down? He was asked by the Citizen how he broke loose.
“I don’t even know,” he said. “It just came. The only thing I can remember is noticing that Rickie was with me almost all the way.”
Harris, the other half of Arizona’s twin-safety setup on punts, also delivered a key block during Hudlow’s 61-yard return for a touchdown. After the block, Hudlow eluded two BYU players and rushed through a gaping hole down the left sideline for the score.
Hudlow also has the No. 63-rated individual record in this countdown: Kickoff return average in a career at 27.4 yards, accomplished in 1963-64 (30 returns for 822 yards).
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.