Wildcats recount rollercoaster year

By Eric Wein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

It was often turbulent, usually unexpectant and full of twists and turns, ups and downs.

Certainly, the wait beforehand was long and unnerving as everyone waited with eager anticipation and excitement.

But when it was all over, it left most unsatisfied wanting more, wanting one more go around.

It was the 1994 UA football season, a season that was unique in the way how the UA was suddenly considered a football power before the year but faded from that spotlight as the season wore on its final resting place at No. 20 in both polls.

And like Tedy Bruschi said as his teammates were filing out of the locker room of Anaheim Stadium on Dec. 27 after the Freedom Bowl, it fitted perfectly with the analogy often used to describe life.

"College football is a rollercoaster and we rode a good one. It's like Space Mountain at Disneyland," Bruschi said.

Whirling about in the dark on an unknown crash course with their destiny were the Wildcats, who finished 8-4. They were a unique cast of characters with interesting things to say.

What follows are the best quotes, the humorous and the poignant, from the 1994 UA football season as printed in the Wildcat:

"There are no luxuries here. No women, no parties. I mean, north ... south ... east ... west there's nothing but desert." offensive tackle Joe Smigiel on Camp Cochise.

"This is something you're always shooting for.

It's neat but that's all it is, that's where it ends. If we're still ranked No. 1 by January 2nd, then I'll be happy. This is just something to put in our scrap books." right guard Warner Smith on Sports Illustrated picking Arizona No. 1.

"When you play a team like Florida, you get your pants dirty. When you play Arizona, you get blood, snot, dirt, everything all over you. It's totally different." New Mexico State coach Jim Hess.

"I don't think there are any positives in losing. Down the road, it may turn out there are some. Right now, it's hard to perceive any." UA coach Dick Tomey after his team's 21-16 loss to Colorado State.

"I got pushed out of bounds? Well, it was a touchdown wasn't it? I could care less." cornerback Mike Scurlock on his 97-yard touchdown return in Arizona's 13-6 win over Cal.

"Our goal was never to be the No. 1 team in the nation. We just try to win every week. Those expectations were put on us by someone else. Our goal was to win the conference and I think we were capable." Tomey after the 45-28 loss to Southern Cal.

"He's a first team All-American superstud that breaks people in half, but then he's afraid of a moth." Smith on Bruschi's fear of insects.

"I get creeped out by cockroaches." Bruschi.

"If you're not a smart player, you won't last. There's just so many things you have to know. It's not like I write 'left' on my left hand and 'right' on my right hand and go in the direction the ball is snapped. It's a lot more complicated." Smith on playing the offensive line.

"I say things to our team all the time that I don't want repeated. There are certain things that are family matters and they're treated that way." Tomey on negative comments about UA attributed to then Stanford coach Bill Walsh during a locker room speech.

"We're not as smart as we thought we were." Walsh after his team's 34-10 loss to the Wildcats.

"It made me realize your life can go so quick. You can be here and then be gone. I was lying on my hospital bed thinking how unsatisfied I was with my life and how quickly it could have been over. From the on, I decided to take control of my life." tight end Lamar Harris on his comeback from being struck in a drive-by shooting.

"Up the middle plays are fine if we're keeping them off balance. If it's necessary and we see in due time they're going to break down, then I don't mind. It has happened in past games where you get it, get it, get it and it's not there and then 'Pow!' I break one." Ontiwaun Carter.

"If you're looking for a game where you can line up and make a first down and have plenty of time, forget that. Three downs and a punt isn't a bad series." Tomey on facing Washington State.

"Just being a player under him is as good an education as the university has given me through the classroom. I've learned more about life from him than anybody. That's something huge that I can always have with me for the rest of my life no matter what I do, if I'm pumping gas at Exxon or kicking on Sunday." Steve McLaughlin on playing for Tomey.

"I like it because I like being clean all the time, having your uniform squared away looking good representing the Marine Corps. Combat is like being in the trenches in football. Nobody sees what's going on." receiver and former Marine Cullen Plousha on serving at the White House.

"I haven't seen anybody play in and play out, series in and series out move the ball down the field on us like that. That's discouraging." safety Tony Bouie on Southern Cal's 45-28 win.

"Tomey beat me in golf this year for the first time in eight or nine years. It's time that maybe I win one on the football field because I haven't been able to do that in quite a while." then Oregon coach Rich Brooks before his team's 10-9 win over Arizona.

"You'll still see me at baseball games, but this time I'll have my shirt off and be in the stands yelling at the umpires like everybody else." Bouie on no longer playing baseball.

"We were the biggest bunch of underachievers in the nation." Chuck Osborne at the season's end.

"I'm goofing around with everyone and I think people respect me for that. I'm not an egomaniac at all. I get embarrassed when people ask me for an autograph. I don't see myself as the kind of person you ask for an autograph." defensive end Akil Jackson.

"It's living on the edge out there. You're a hero one minute and you're a zero the next. It's just something you have to deal with." cornerback Claudius Wright on playing his position.

"I was telling the driver to hurry up because there was a game going on, and I didn't need to be waiting for x-rays. Either do them now or wait until after the game." defensive end Joe Salave'a on the drive to University Medical Center to get his injured wrist examined during halftime of the UCLA game.

"Overrated, overrated, overrated." Colorado State fans' chant on UA after their team's 21-16 win at Arizona Stadium.

"He's hard to describe, he's not your average person. His haircut pretty much describes his personality." quarterback Dan White on wide receiver Richard Dice.

"I got a little teary-eyed. I was kind of frustrated with what was going on." Lamar Harris on watching Carter after his injury in the ASU game.

"I shed so many tears on the field that I was blind." Gary Taylor on Carter's injury.

"I'm proud of our players. It's much like your children, you're proud of them even though sometimes they didn't do exactly what you wanted them to do." Tomey on the season.

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