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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 20 days separate us from the start of Rich Rodriguez’s fifth season, when the Arizona Wildcats football team plays Brigham Young on Sept. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
As is customary on this Web site, we will count down the days with an interesting element associated with each day. This year the topic is the top 100 individual records in Arizona’s storied football past.
In past years, we have counted down the top games and highlighted players and some of the top plays in Arizona Wildcats football history. A couple of years ago in our top 100 countdown, we showcased the 1914 team that was responsible for Arizona becoming the “Wildcats”.
Back to this year’s countdown of the top 100 individual records in the 117 years of Arizona football:
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In an era when playing on both sides of the ball was the norm, “The Cactus Comet” Art Luppino achieved touchdowns in one game on offense and defense in a 1954 game against Idaho.
Doug Schlueter also scored on both sides of the ball in a game against New Mexico in 1967.
Scoring Both Sides of Ball in One Game: 1967, Doug Schleuter, vs. New Mexico, on a 24-yard interception return and 15-yard pass from Bruce Lee; 1954, Art Luppino, on two touchdown runs (1 yard and 25 yards) and a 22-yard interception return against Idaho
This is what Art Luppino did in a 35-13 win over Idaho in 1954 at Arizona Stadium: Scored three touchdowns (one on defense with an interception return), set up another with a punt return and made four extra-point attempts (University of Arizona photo).
Imagine if players today played on both sides of the ball as frequently as they did 50 years or so ago. This Arizona record probably would have many more entries than these two.
It should be noted that wide receiver great Dennis Northcutt scored on both sides of the ball but not in the same game like Art Luppino and Doug Schlueter did in 1954 and 1967, respectively.
As a freshman in 1996, Northcutt scored on a 46-yard touchdown pass from Keith Smith as a running back. Also that same season, Northcutt (who started his career as a cornerback) scored on a 66-yard interception return against Illinois.
In 1975, Dennis Anderson scored on an 83-yard interception return against New Mexico and on a 63-yard run on a fake punt against Utah. Warren Livingston (1959) and Bill Codd (1954) also accomplished the feat during the course of a season.
Schlueter achieved the feat in one game by scoring on a 15-yard pass from Bruce Lee on the last play of the game in a 48-13 win over New Mexico in 1967. Apparently, taking a knee to end the game was not in vogue back then. Schlueter earlier scored on a 24-yard interception return against the Lobos.
“I think Bruce just wanted me to get my name in the paper,” Schlueter told the Tucson Citizen.
Luppino’s performance against Idaho in 1954 was part of a night in which he rushed for 178 yards on 23 carries, making him the No. 1 back in the nation at that time. In only four games to that point, Luppino had 607 yards rushing.
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.