Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats Top 50 Games: We’re at No. 29

[tps_title]NO. 29[/tps_title]

[tps_header]UA shuts out ASU, Kush during dominating run for Sun Devils coach[/tps_header]

SCORE: Arizona Wildcats 10, ASU Sun Devils 0

DATE: Nov. 30, 1974

SITE: Arizona Stadium, 40,782 in attendance (the last game between the rivals before the east section of Arizona Stadium was expanded)

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: Although Frank Kush has not coached at ASU since 1979, he remains the figurehead for Arizona’s dislike for ASU in the football rivalry between the schools. Between 1965-1978, the Wildcats went 1-13 against Kush and ASU. In that 14-year span, the Wildcats lost six of seven games in Tucson by an average margin of 12.5 points.

The one loss for Kush in his 13-1 run against Arizona was this dominating 10-0 victory for Jim Young and the Wildcats. It remains the last shutout by either team in the series. It also improved the Arizona’s season to 9-2 — the first nine-win season in the program’s history. The game, which was Arizona’s last win against a Kush-coached team, ended a nine-game losing streak against the Sun Devils. Kush and ASU shut out Arizona two times previously, including Kush’s first season with the Sun Devils in 1958, when they defeated the Wildcats 47-0 in Tucson.

Young, who coached Arizona from 1973 to 1976 and helped the Wildcats gain the mindset they can competitively go from the WAC to the Pac-10, was quoted as saying in an Associated Press article of the victory over ASU: “It is the best win since I came to Arizona.”

It was his lone victory against ASU and Kush. It occurred a year after the Sun Devils routed Arizona 55-19 in Tempe.

“Last year we didn’t hit before we played ASU,” Young said after the 10-0 win in 1974. “We knew ASU would be a hard-hitting team. From now on, the ASU-UA series is going to be hard hitting.”

After Kush’s 13-1 run against Arizona, the Sun Devils have gone 15-20-1 against the Wildcats. It took ASU 32 years and six coaches after Kush to equal his 13-victory mark against the Wildcats from 1965-78.


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Arizona started to turn the corner and become more competitive against ASU in the 1970s under Jim Young (YouTube video capture)

Arizona started to turn the corner and become more competitive against ASU in the 1970s under Jim Young (YouTube video capture)

The Wildcats finished 6-1 in the WAC in 1974, one-half game behind BYU, which beat the Wildcats 37-13 earlier that season in Tucson. ASU finished 6-5 and 4-3.

“Our offense was disappointing but credit a lot of that to a good U of A defense,” Kush said in the AP article.

Freshman place-kicker Lee Pistor made a 36-yard field goal with 5:51 remaining in the fourth quarter and running back Willie Hamilton scored a touchdown on a 4-yard run with 32 seconds left for the Wildcats.

Arizona’s Mitch Hoopes, a Bisbee native who later played for the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X, punted 11 times for an average of 45 yards per kick. ASU punted 10 times in the defensive struggle.

With less than two minutes remaining, Kush was forced to go for a first down on a fourth-and-3 situation at the ASU 36. The Wildcat defense stuffed the attempt. Arizona quarterback Bruce Hill led the Wildcats from there for the UA’s lone touchdown. The drive was aided by a personal-foul penalty on the Sun Devils.

The Wildcats defense included All-WAC selections Mike Dawson at tackle, Mark Jacobs at linebacker and Dennis Anderson at safety. Obra Erby, an All-WAC pick the following year, was a junior linebacker in 1974. An interception by Jacobs off a Dennis Sproul pass at the ASU 35, set up Pistor’s go-ahead field goal.

[tps_footer] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.


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