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September 1, 2005
photo Game day guide

Get dialed in on the Cats

Ticket Information

Season Tickets

On sale now, season tickets can be purchased in person at the McKale Center Ticket Office (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or ordered by phone: 520-621-CATS (2287) or 800-452-CATS. An online application for season tickets is available on and must be delivered to the ticket office. Tickets start at $45 for six home games. [Read article]

photo Focus on coaches: Stoops' success on rise in second year

Right away, you should be able to tell the difference between the Arizona football team of 2004 and the Wildcats of 2005.

Arizona is in its second season under head coach Mike Stoops, and both players and coaches said the strides made from last year's 3-8 record should be apparent.

"We're not the same team, and we feel we've improved," said senior safety Darrell Brooks, who this offseason was named to the watch lists for the Lott and Thorpe awards, given to the nation's top defensive backs. "We're just that much more confident in our ability, and our execution will increase." [Read article]

photo A loaded backfield: Running trio looks to ignite offense

An integral part to the aspirations of the Arizona football team in 2005 is the success of its running game.

It's quite a burden to carry, but luckily for head coach Mike Stoops, he has three backs willing to share that load.

Sophomore Chris Henry and seniors Mike Bell and Gilbert Harris - or "thunder, lightning, and quiet storm" as offensive coordinator Mike Canales has referred to them - provide a three-fold attack the Arizona coaching staff and players say is key to the entire offense. [Read article]

photo Defensive line: mending the wall

Revamped line ready to put on the pressure

If games are won in the trenches, it's no wonder the Arizona football team has struggled in recent years, as quarterbacks have barely needed to clean their jerseys after being on the ground so little.

A pair of junior-college transfers and the team's strength-training improvements made over the summer give the Wildcats' defensive line more muscle and depth than in recent years. [Read article]

photo Young guns

No crowd for 3 QBs under center

Arizona sophomore quarterback Richard Kovalcheck had already thought himself firmly as the starter for the Arizona football team when prized recruit Willie Tuitama signed his letter of intent to come to Tucson in February.

But if Kovalcheck, who guided the Wildcats to wins in two of their final three games after taking over in midseason, is the present and Tuitama is the future, then walk-on Adam Austin is the ultimate insurance policy. [Read article]

Staff picks 2005 Arizona football season

Team MVP

A football team usually derives its most valuable player from its skill positions - i.e. quarterback, running back, wide receiver. I'm doubtful that Arizona's anemic offense will improve much this season (though I'd love to be wrong), unless Mike Canales decides to rush on 80 percent of the snaps. We can only pray.

Mike Bell, running back

Upset of the year

In sports, the term "upset" hinges on one team beating another, supposedly better team. Going down the schedule, it's conceivable that unless we beat ASU again - doesn't that roll so nicely off the tongue? - Utah could be the answer here. But screw logic. [Read article]

photo A safe example:

Brooks leads Cats with

excellence on and off field

Sitting on the patio at Frog 'N' Firkin restaurant on University Boulevard, Darrell Brooks could be any of the nearly 37,000 students who attend the University of Arizona.

He's only a tad taller than 6 feet with a muscular physique - but nothing you'd see on the cover of Flex.

He has a pair of tattoos on both shoulders and wears what many UA students would on a midday Friday - a tank top, sweats and a pair of flip-flops. Really, the only things that set him apart physically are his wide eyes and frequent grin. [Read article]

photo Linebackers: Youth will serve UA linebacking corps

To play linebacker for a Division-I college football team, you have to be both fast and strong, with an ideal combination of bulk and bustle.

Oh, and staying healthy helps, too.

With starting middle linebacker Ronnie Palmer out until at least early October with a broken foot, the biggest asset of the Arizona linebacker corps could be its depth.

A total of 10 athletes are likely to see some duty at the position, among them only three upperclassmen. [Read article]

Know your foes

Utah Utes

Sept. 2: at Utah (5 p.m. ESPN)

Rice-Eccles Stadium

Home city: Salt Lake City

Colors: Crimson and white

Mascot: Swoop (hawk)

2004 record: 12-0 (7-0 Mountain West Conference)

Head coach: Kyle Whittingham, first year

Returning starters: 11 (five offense, five defense, one special teams)

Breakdown: After losing head coach Urban Meyer, NFL No. 1 overall pick Alex Smith, and wide receivers Paris Warren and Steve Savoy, the strength of the Utes in 2005 will likely be its defense, which boasts three All-America candidates. Still, the team holds solid depth at running back, where slashing senior Quinton Ganther averaged six yards per carry in five starts. Whittingham and Co. will be hard pressed to replace Meyer, who left for Florida in the offseason after leading Utah to two of its three 10-win seasons. [Read article]

First 5 games will make or break Wildcat season

The second of September. Nine-slash-two. It marks the beginning of a crucial five-game stretch to open the 2005 Arizona football season.

Last year, one win - on Thanksgiving weekend - left a satisfied taste in the mouths of the Wildcat faithful, but it's a new chapter for Wildcat football this year.

Beating ASU for the second year in a row would be monumental, but it simply wouldn't quench the thirst of the Arizona Wildcat football team. [Read article]

photo Commentary: UA and Pac-10 go bowling for postseason berth

"Rebuilding" and "one year away" are phrases commonly used for Arizona in a variety of preseason college football publications.

Talk to one member of the UA squad, and you'll hear an entirely different term - "bowl game."

Mike Stoops may just be in his second year as head coach, but he has instilled in this season's Wildcats a desire to play into December, a feat no UA team has accomplished since 1998. That desire is now, not a season from now. [Read article]

Season schedule

Fri., Sept. 2at Utah4 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 10vs. NAU7 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 17vs. Purdue7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 1at California3:30 p.m.
Sat, Oct. 8 at Southern California12:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 15 vs Stanford4 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 22vs. Oregon4 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 29at Oregon State1 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 5vs. UCLA 4 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 12vs. Washington4 p.m.
Fri, Nov. 25at Arizona State1 p.m.
[Read article]

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