2016 Arizona Wildcats football season countdown: No. 61 individual record

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER!

FBCountdown201661


CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS

Only 61 days separate us from the start of Rich Rodriguez’s fifth season, when the Arizona Wildcats football team plays 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.

No other freshman quarterback in the annals of Arizona football season had as many yards passing (3,793) than Anu Solomon in 2014.

In past years, we have counted down the top games and highlighted players and some of the top plays in Arizona Wildcats football 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:

No. 61

Most Passing Yards by Freshman: 3,793, Anu Solomon, 2014

NCAA record: 4,057, Jameis Winston, 2013

Anu Solomon culminated his prolific freshman season in 2014 by leading the Wildcats to the Fiesta Bowl.

Arizona may never see another freshman season by a quarterback like Anu Solomon displayed in 2014 after redshirting a year following a stellar career at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School.

Solomon’s numbers in 2014 far exceed the previous Arizona record holder for most passing yards by a freshman — Ortege Jenkins in 1997 with 1,660 yards while completing 115 of 235 pass attempts.

Solomon completed 313 of 540 attempts and tied a school record for touchdowns in a season with 28 while throwing only nine interceptions. Jenkins connected for 19 touchdown passes and only five interceptions in his freshman season.

Jenkins’ record at the time occurred only a year after Keith Smith broke Ronald Veal’s freshman passing mark. Smith passed for 1,450 yards in 1996 while Veal had 1,239 in 1987.

Before all of them, Tom Tunnicliffe set the freshman passing standard with 1,204 yards in 1980, but Tunnicliffe was not a regular starter until halfway through that season, Larry Smith’s first with the Wildcats.

MOST YARDS BY ARIZONA WILDCATS
FRESHMAN QB IN PAC-10/12 ERA

Compiled by AllSportsTucson.com

Yards Year QB Att Comp Int TD
3793 2014 Anu Solomon 540 313 9 28
1660 1997 Ortege Jenkins 235 115 5 19
1501 2003 Kris Heavner 237 131 15 8
1450 1996 Keith Smith 193 117 6 11
1239 1987 Ronald Veal 153 75 9 4
1204 1980 Tom Tunnicliffe 173 96 9 8
1105 2005 Willie Tuitama 142 82 5 9
950 2004 Richard Kovalcheck 168 80 7 6
381 1989 George Malauulu 35 19 2 4

Other Solomon Arizona records listed before in this countdown:

65. Most Attempts Without Interceptions, Game: 72, vs. USC, 2014

85. Total Offense, Most Yards Gained: 566, vs. Cal, Sept. 20, 2014 (520 yards passing/46 rushing)


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.

Share this post