Arizona Football

Former Arizona Wildcats player Joe Salave’a returns to Arizona Stadium as opponent

Artist Michael Hanaoka depicts a cat fight between Wilbur the Wildcat and Butch T. Cougar. Wilbur is ready for battle while Butch is doing his best Karate Kid imitation.

Artist Michael Hanaoka depicts a cat fight between Wilbur the Wildcat and Butch T. Cougar. Wilbur is ready for battle while Butch is doing his best Karate Kid imitation.

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Washington State vs. Arizona quick hits …

>> Former Arizona Wildcats defensive end Joe Salave’a returns to Arizona Stadium as the opponent for the first time. He played for the Wildcats from 1995-98 and coached the defensive line in 2011. He was an All-Pac-10 selection in 1997. He had 17.5 sacks as a junior and senior in 1996 and 1997.

Mike Leach hired Salave’a as the defensive line coach last season at Washington State.

Salave’a is one of the only Wazzu assistant coaches without a significant tie to Leach. The rest of the staff includes former players, coaching colleagues and friends.


Daniel Jenkins

Daniel Jenkins

>> Arizona tailback Daniel Jenkins could have been the feature back with Washington State instead of playing his senior season with the Wildcats. Jenkins announced his intention to transfer to Washington State in January, but he never enrolled at the school and participated in spring drills.

Jenkins hardly sees the field playing behind All-American running back Ka’Deem Carey, but he made the right choice staying in Tucson.

His talents would be wasted in Pullman. The Cougars rank last in rushing in the Pac-12 with only 52.1 yards rushing per game. Leach’s Air Raid offense is predicated on the pass.

Jenkins has gained 376 yards on 57 attempts, an average of 6.6 yards per carry. In the last six games, however, he has only 28 carries for 158 yards. Washington State’s leading rusher is Marcus Mason with 221 yards on only 51 carries.

“I try to look at football and life separately but really it’s the same thing that bonds the two together – my faith in God,” Jenkins told “I really try to strive for excellence every day, on and off the field. When I step on the field, it’s not ‘let me try to score these touchdowns’ or ‘let me make these great plays so I can have people saying my name.’ It’s just to honor God and keep improving. I’m really strong and spiritually grounded. That’s how I was raised.”

Matt Minkus of interviewed Leach recently and asked him about Jenkins and Leach sidestepped the question about Jenkins by mentioning he could not comment because Jenkins was a “recruitable athlete”.

Leach added that he has no misgivings about Jenkins’ decision to stay at Arizona.

Mike Leach

Mike Leach

>> Leach also told Minkus that he is not a fan of playing only one game in a 28-day span. The Cougars’ last game was on Halloween against ASU, won by the Sun Devils 55-21. Their previous game was Oct. 19 against Oregon, won by the Ducks 62-38. The month is a long time to mull over 117 points allowed to the Ducks and Devils.

“That’s a different deal,” Leach said of the scheduling. “I’ve never been part of a deal like that. We did some recruiting and obviously did some game planning as we got closer and had a couple extra practices

“We kind of did the same thing but spread it out more. … I would rather not (have that much time off in between games). I would rather have just a week (off).”

With no game last Saturday, Leach had all night to watch Arizona’s game with UCLA. But he said he saw only the “last third” of the Wildcats’ 31-26 loss to UCLA last week at Arizona Stadium.

“It’s not like I’m going to miss the game,” Leach told Minkus. “We’ve got the coaches’ (video) copy and all that. If we’re playing somebody, I generally don’t rush to the television and make sure I see them. I’m going to watch them whether I won’t to or not.”


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