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Tuesday November 21, 2000

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Wildcats wallop Sun Devils, 80-35

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By Keith Carmona

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Editor's Note: Keith Carmona is a very impatient person. He could not wait until Friday for the outcome of the UA-ASU football game, so he and his roommate, Bryan Rosenbaum, played it on EA Sports NCAA Football 2001 for Sony Playstation. Bryan controlled the Wildcats while Keith controlled the Sun Devils.

Here is a loose interpretation of what happened:

As time expired in Arizona Stadium in what was dubbed the "Employment Bowl," UA head coach Dick Tomey was seen wearing a Hawaiian lei while sipping on a tropical drink in celebration of his job-saving 80-35 annihilation of Arizona State.

Tomey had been under intense scrutiny in the prior week, but under the guidance of senior quarterback Ortege Jenkins and a record-shattering performance by the UA offense, the Wildcats' coach will be in Tucson for many years to come.

By the time the final second had ticked off the clock and Arizona had amassed all 606 of its total yards, UA athletic director Jim Livengood had presented Tomey with a lifetime contract extension, much to the elation of 57,000 UA fans.

In the fourth quarter, a deafening student section chant of "Let's go Wildcats! Let's go Wildcats!" turned into "Long live Tomey! Long live Tomey!"

Apparently the students, who just two weeks ago were calling for his head, admired Tomey's pregame decision to completely scrap the entire offensive scheme and begin utilizing the "Option Offense."

Along with Tomey's former gameplan went offensive coordinator Dino Babers, who was replaced with option-offense guru Bryan Rosenbaum.

Rosenbaum is most noted for guiding Tommy Frazier and the Nebraska Cornhuskers to a National Championship in an earlier edition of NCAA Football for Sony Playstation. With Rosenbaum microphoned in his ear, Jenkins was 9-of-10 for 206 yards and five touchdowns.

On the ground, he rushed for another 126 yards and two more scores. "I have always admired OJ's ability to evade pursuing linebackers, but he's never really had an offense tailor-made for his natural abilities," Rosenbaum said. "By running the option, he has a little more protection and a hell of a lot of choices once he's out of the pocket. OJ's game tonight is going to help revolutionize college football, just wait and see."

For single-handedly turning Arizona into a national powerhouse and securing UA's Oahu Bowl berth, Livengood offered Rosenbaum a nine-year, $45 million contract.

Rosenbaum is said to be juggling other offers from Michigan, USC and Notre Dame besides the Arizona job.

Sophomore running back Leo Mills benefited from the new offensive strategies as well. He rushed for 233 yards and three touchdowns, the majority of which came off of sideline pitches from Jenkins. For the past two years when Tomey's job has been in question, critics have disparaged his unwillingness to run up the score.

With Arizona's 45-point thrashing of ASU, consider those strategies gone. Tomey's reputation was on the line in his own backyard and the bullies from up the road were in for a visit with a Hawaiian vacation on the line.

According to Rosenbaum, Tomey did what he needed to do.

"Tomey kicked ass tonight," he said. "People have been saying that Dick is too nice of a guy to coach football, but what he did tonight took some serious balls."

The UA offense wasn't the only unit to be heralded. While ASU quarterback Jeff Krohn did show shades of former Sun Devil Jake Plummer by throwing for 392 yards and four touchdowns, the Wildcat defensive line held its opponents to negative-51 rushing yards. Senior linemen Joe Tafoya and Idris Haroon had three sacks each.

The hysteria that overcame the city of Tucson can only be matched to its celebration of Arizona's 1997 basketball National Championship. UA fans flooded Arizona Stadium and ripped the south goal posts out of the ground and carried them out onto Sixth Street.

Police were called in to arrest naked students that began looting Zachary's Pizza and the Rhino Pub, but Rosenbaum appreciated the students' festive spirit.

"For once, the focus of this damn town isn't on the basketball team," he said. "Forget Lute Olson and Loren Woods, we scored 80 points tonight. Throw me a Mai Tai, we're going to the Oahu Bowl."

Keith Carmona is a senior majoring in journalism and can be reached at