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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 88 days separate us from the start of Rich Rodriguez’s fifth season at Arizona, when the Wildcats play 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.
Compiling the list was no easy task, but it was feasible to do with the information provided in the record books by the Arizona media relations department, and we appreciate that.
Steve McLaughlin’s Arizona-record 23 field goals made in 1994 was challenged afterward by Jason Bondzio (21 made in 2007) and Casey Skowron (20 in 2014).
In past years, we have counted down the top games and highlighted players and some of the top plays in Wildcat 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:
Most Field Goals Made, Season, 23, Steve McLaughlin, 1994 (29 attempts in 12 games)
NCAA record: 31, Billy Bennett, Georgia, 2003 (38 attempts in 14 games)
Arizona’s offense in 1994 relied on Steve McLaughlin to put points on the board when in enemy territory. Much like Larry Smith’s belief that Max Zendejas could make most drives salvageable, Dick Tomey had the same trust and expectation of McLaughlin. The kicking game and Desert Swarm defense helped put the offense in a better situation and the offense delivered enough to give McLaughlin plenty of opportunities.
He fulfilled his responsibility by making a school-record 23 field goals in 1994, a number that almost equaled the amount he made in the previous three seasons of career: 27.
Only five Arizona placekickers have made 20 or more field goals in a season: Max Zendejas, Gary Coston, McLaughlin, Jason Bondzio and Casey Skowron. The list:
McLaughlin – 23 (1994)
Zendejas – 20 (1983), 21 (1984) and 22 (1985)
Coston – 21 (1986)
Bondzio – 21 (2007)
Skowron – 20 (2014)
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.