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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only nine 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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Chuck Cecil’s 21 career interceptions was a Pac-10 record at the time of his final game in 1987.
ARIZONA MOST CAREER INTERCEPTIONS
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Most Interceptions, Career: 21, Chuck Cecil, 1984-87 (241 yards)
Pac-12 record: 24, Lamont Thompson, Washington State, 1997-2001 (223 yards)
NCAA record: 29, Al Brosky, Illinois, 1950-52 (356 yards)
Chuck Cecil became more of a beast in the NFL.
Chuck Cecil intercepted his school-record 21st pass in his very last game of his career in 1987 against ASU, which had its fair share of nightmares with the famed Arizona safety.
A year previously, Cecil returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown in Arizona’s 34-17 thrashing of the Rose Bowl-bound Sun Devils.
The Arizona Republic’s Bob Young wrote this about Cecil’s last appearance against ASU in 1987:
“As usual, Arizona free safety Chuck Cecil was the Cats’ burglar. ASU fans can take some comfort. It was Cecil’s last game. He can’t cross their path any longer.”
Cecil recovered a muffed punt to set up a field goal in the first quarter. His record-setting interception came off Daniel Ford with 22 seconds left in the first half, setting up a Gary Coston field goal. The diving grab broke Jackie Wallace’s record of 20 interceptions that stood for 15 years.
Then with time running out, Cecil recovered a fumbled snap by ASU punter Mike Schuh, setting up Coston’s game-tying field goal.
Cecil was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2009. Teaser alert: Although we are now in the top 10 of this ranking, Cecil still has two more entries ahead.
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.