[tps_title]Art Luppino, running back[/tps_title]
[tps_header]1955 Second-Team All-American[/tps_header]
The “Cactus Comet” suffered a knee injury in preseason camp his senior year in 1956 and was never the same from the previous two seasons when he established himself as the top running back in college football history at the time.
Luppino rushed for 1,359 yards in 1954 and 1,313 in 1955. His career rushing total of 3,381 yards was an NCAA record at that time.
Luppino tried as much as could to play on through the lingering knee injury but finished with only 327 yards on 66 carries as a senior.
When Luppino’s rushes were limited in 1956, Arizona coach Warren Woodson snapped at a Tucson Citizen reporter when he was asked why Luppino had only 40 carries in the first six games.
“That’s our business,” Woodson said. “We are running the team to the best advantage. We are playing him this way because we want to.”
Frustration overcame the Wildcats and Tucson. Arizona finished 4-6 in 1956 after the Wildcats were 12-7-1 the previous two seasons when Luppino’s rushing performances led the nation.