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Friday September 29, 2000

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UA hopes to atone for Cardinal sins

By Ryan Finley

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Wildcats' seek revenge following '99 debacle

The Arizona football players remember well last year's game versus Stanford.

Rather, the Wildcats (2-1 overall) remember the running session held at dawn the morning after the 50-22 loss to the Cardinal (2-1, 1-0 Pacific 10 Conference) last Sept. 18 at Arizona Stadium.

"Our guys remember what happened," UA head coach Dick Tomey said. "They just whipped us in every way. We look at that film, and its painful to look at because they took us apart."

Sophomore running back Larry Croom remembers the grueling Sunday morning running.

"We were in full gear, early morning, and half-asleep," Croom said.

In the game, Cardinal quarterback Todd Husak - currently of the Washington Redskins - threw for 364 yards and a touchdown en route to the blowout. The Cardinal would later be named Pac-10 champion and lose the Rose Bowl to Wisconsin, 17-9.

According to redshirt freshman Michael Jolivette, the Wildcats will seek revenge Saturday, when Arizona travels to Palo Alto, Calif. to face the Cardinal.

"That's what coach Tomey was talking about all last week - how they did us," Jolivette said. "We just need to come back and prove ourselves."

With the memories of last season's 28-point still stinging, UA players are quick to point out that 2000 is a new season.

"Every game is important," junior wide receiver Brandon Marshall said. "(Last year) everybody was looking ahead too much. You get blinded when we look ahead."

The Wildcats enter their first Pac-10 Conference matchup of the season still seeking an offensive identity.

After sluggish starts against both Utah and Ohio State, quarterback Ortege Jenkins started to find a passing rhythm Sept. 16 against San Diego State, finishing the night 19-for-29 for 200 yards.

UA's rushing game also seemed to come to life against the Aztecs behind the play of freshman running back Clarence Farmer, who ran for 95 yards of 13 carries in just his second career game.

Tomey - weary of the Wildcats' three-back system - is waiting for one tailback to emerge.

"As we go on, I would like to see one of the running backs really make himself standout," Tomey said. "I think that one of the most important things is that good running backs make something out of nothing, and we started to see that against San Diego State."

The Cardinal - led by senior wide receiver DeRonnie Pitts - have been both impressive and disappointing this season.

On Sept. 9, the Cardinal fell to the Western Athletic Conference's San Jose State, 40-27. However, the team rebounded a week later to defeat then-No. 6 Texas, 27-24.

Tomey, however, believes that the team that defeated Texas will show up to face the Wildcats on Saturday.

"I think this is going to be the biggest test for our defense," Tomey said. "Ohio State did a lot of good things, but Stanford has so many weapons and they are a very tough team to defend. They have a lot of versatility in the passing game, good tailbacks and a lot of good wide receivers."

Arizona's attempt at revenge begins at 2 p.m.