We are now only 60 days until the Arizona Wildcats kick off their 2018 season under new coach Kevin Sumlin.
When Arizona hosts BYU on Sept. 1, it will mark the 40th anniversary since the Wildcats joined the Pac-12 (went from the Pac-8 to the Pac-10 then) and also the 20th anniversary of the 1998 team with the best record in school history, 12-1, and the 25th anniversary of the 1993 team that went 10-2 with a win over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.
To get ready for the upcoming season, All Sports Tucson offers another countdown, which will include 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.
To catch up on the countdown click on this: Arizona Wildcats 2018 countdown to kickoff.
A look back
— With it being the 60th day until kickoff, the best player to wear No. 60 for Arizona? That would be former guard Rick Warren, who helped make Dick Tomey’s “Fumblerooskie” play famous in 1990.
Arizona overcame a 17-7 deficit at USC that season with three touchdown runs by quarterback Ronald Veal in the second half, one of them set up by Warren’s 28-yard run on the Fumblerooskie, a play in which the ball is left on the turf, fooling the defense, and the guard picks it up and runs.
Earlier that season, Warren rumbled 24 yards for a touchdown on the same type of play shown in this video:
The Fumblerooskie play was banned by the NCAA two years later. The NCAA made intentional fumbles illegal. Call it the “Dick Tomey Rule.”
A look ahead
Arizona has averaged only 5.9 wins per season in the last 15 years. What that means other than mediocrity and mostly losing seasons: Arizona’s program has become numb to expectations. Winning seven games in a season is considered a success whereas with other schools, that is unacceptable. Sumlin winning seven games will be welcomed by many this season, in his first year, for example. In the years ahead, if he sticks around, it should not be that way.
Pac-12 Football – Total Wins in the last 15 Years (2003-2017)
1. Oregon, 139
3. Utah, 132
4. Stanford, 116
5. ASU, 105
6. UCLA, 103
7. Cal, 99
8. OSU, 92
9. Washington, 90
10. Arizona, 89
11. WSU, 77
12. Colorado, 70
— SportsPac12 (@SportsPac12) June 27, 2018
They tweeted it
Much is made about The Opening, presented by Nike Football, going on in Frisco, Texas, through today. The top high school football players in the nation as selected by Student Sports after film evaluation and/or in-person evaluation are invited. Nike describes it as “four days of dynamic training, coaching and competition for the country’s most elite high school football players.” Khalil Tate tweeted encouragement for those who weren’t invited. He knows what it’s like.
High School football players, if you didn’t get invited to the Opening it’s alright. I didn’t neither 🤷🏾♂️
— Khalil Tate (@KhalilDTN) July 3, 2018
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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.