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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only two 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 55 sacks from 1992 to 1995 — the Desert Swarm era — are an incredible 29.5 more than No. 2 sack leader Ricky Elmore, who amassed 25.5 from 2007 to 2010.
ARIZONA CAREER SACKS LEADERS
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Most Career Sacks: 55, Tedy Bruschi, 1992-95
Pac-12 record: Bruschi
NCAA record*: 44, Terrell Suggs, ASU, 2000-02
*Defensive stats not tabulated in record book until 2000.
Tedy Bruschi’s school-record 55 sacks are not recognized by the NCAA, which did not tabulate defensive records until 2000.
Tedy Bruschi’s name may not be in the NCAA record book for most sacks — aghast, ASU’s Terrell Suggs is there instead — but everybody knows who deserves that honor.
The Pac-12 recognizes Bruschi’s 55 sacks from 1992-95 as a conference record, an incredible 11 more than Suggs (2002-04), who is listed by the NCAA as the record-holder only because it did not tabulate defensive records until the year 2000.
More controversy exists with Bruschi’s sack production.
— The school and the Pac-12 list Bruschi with 55 sacks, counting postseason sacks. It is widely reported (and is recognized by the College Football Hall of Fame) that he instead had 52, which tied him with Alabama’s Derrick Thomas with the most dating before 2000.
— Bruschi could have — should have? — had a little more if not for questionable stat-keeping by ASU in his last regular-season game at Sun Devil Stadium in 1995. He was credited with 2.5 sacks in the game to tie Thomas, who played at Alabama from 1985-88. The statistician at ASU gave Bruschi and Chuck Osborne a combined sack of ASU quarterback Jake Plummer on the second-to-last play instead of giving it to Bruschi alone. The half-sack gave Bruschi what was listed as his 52nd sack, tying him with Thomas, instead of having the outright lead.
Looking back, Bruschi would gladly share that sack with Osborne, who passed away unexpectedly in 2012. Bruschi was emphatic of honoring fallen teammate Damon Terrell after his historic achievement in the game against ASU. Terrell passed away earlier that season.
“This was for Damon Terrell,’ said Bruschi. “This was all for him. I was thinking of him for the whole time. We have thought about Damon every week this year. This game, this season is dedicated to him.”
Tedy Bruschi is a full 11 sacks — a great season for most with that number — over No. 2 Terrell Suggs of ASU on the Pac-12 sacks record chart.
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.