Could this be the era of Arizona football when it all finally comes together?
On the 40th anniversary this season of the Wildcats joining the Pac-12 can steps be taken to finally smell roses in the not-too-distant future?
Kevin Sumlin with an SEC coaching background at Texas A&M makes his coaching debut with Arizona in only 100 days from today, on Sept. 1, at Arizona Stadium against BYU.
Heisman Trophy candidate Khalil Tate — yes, he’s a candidate in the top 6 in terms of Las Vegas odds entering the season — has Tucsonans believing in grand things.
To get ready for the upcoming season, All Sports Tucson offers another countdown, this one full of memories from former Wildcats, history notes and a look ahead to the season. Think of it as a way to keep Arizona football on the mind in the summer months leading up to fall camp in early August and then kickoff against the Cougars marking the start of the Sumlin Era.
Heath Bray was a defensive back during the development of Arizona’s Desert Swarm defense in the early 1990s. He also helped Dick Tomey’s offense as a quarterback. He is as ardent of an Arizona follower as anyone, calling archrival ASU the “Mustard and Rust”.
Favorite game as a Wildcat?
“My favorite game has to be the Washington game in ’92. That was the best Arizona football. Beating number one was epic and playing a nearly perfect game, with the fans in a frenzy, on National television, Keith Jackson. Wow, what a day.”
Favorite Wildcat other than yourself and why?
“My favorite Wildcat is very hard to answer. I was recruited by (Chuck) Cecil, became friends with the Hunley brothers (Ricky and Lamonte), the Wood brothers (Dave and Brent). Singleton twins (Chris and Kevin), Glenn Parker and John Fina. Tedy (Bruschi), (Rob) Waldrop, Jimmie Hopkins, Brandon Sanders, Brant Boyer. My favorite though is Ty Parten. Mean, tough, leader, and a solid dude.”
Favorite play in Arizona history?
“Everyone loves Cecil’s ASU (100-yard interception) return. (Chuck) Levy’s run in the Fiesta bowl. But Darryl Lewis’ play against Oregon when he covered his guy in the corner and then stopped (Bill) Musgrave at the goal-line was epic.”
Favorite memory about your coach?
“(Dick) Tomey was the best. Our commando raids during my senior year we would fly in late, not change our time, meet, eat, sleep, kick ass, then fly out in less than 24 hours. I always thought that was genius, and we all bought in to it.”
What excites you the most about the upcoming season?
“Sumlin has to be the answer. I cant wait to see what he has in store for us. I enjoyed meeting him and loved his (Texas) A&M teams. What can he do with (Khalil) Tate?”