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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 46 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.
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:
Anu Solomon’s school-record 520 yards passing against California in 2014 topped the 380 compiled by this year’s No. 1 draft pick, Jared Goff.
ARIZONA MOST PASSING YARDS IN A GAME
|510||Willie Tuitama||(51-38-1-5)||at Wash||2007|
|492||Jason Johnson||(45-31-1-4)||at Cal||2002|
|491||Matt Scott||(69-45-1-3)||at Stanford||2012|
|448||Nick Foles||(54-29-1-3)||at Oregon||2010|
Most Passing Yards, Game: 520, Anu Solomon, vs. California, Sept. 20, 2014
Pac-12 and NCAA record: 734, Connor Halliday, Washington State vs. California, Oct. 4, 2014
Of the school-record 520 yards passing Anu Solomon achieved against California on Sept. 20, 2014, everybody will remember most the last 47 yards.
That was the “Hail Mary” connection to wide receiver Austin Hill as time expired, giving the Wildcats the improbable 49-45 win at Arizona Stadium. Not only was that a thrilling winning pass, it allowed Solomon to pass Willie Tuitama’s previous school record of 510 yards achieved at Washington on in a 48-41 win Oct. 26, 2007, over the Huskies.
The exploits of Solomon and Tuitama fueled dramatic comebacks in each game. Arizona trailed Washington 41-26 with 12:32 left in the 2007 game. The Wildcats were down 45-30 to the Golden Bears with 3:31 remaining in the 2014 classic.
Solomon attempted a school-record 73 passes against Cal, connecting on 47, also a record mark at Arizona that will be ranked later in this countdown. Tuitama completed 38 of 51 pass attempts against Washington.
Solomon’s 520 yards as a school record may be short-lived judging how Arizona’s passing yards have become inflated over the last 15 years.
At the turn of this century, Tom Tunnicliffe held the Arizona record with 427 yards against Pacific in 1982. Tunnicliffe, Keith Smith (418 at Cal in 1996) and Bruce Hill (406 in 1975) were the only Arizona quarterbacks with more than 400 yards passing in a game at the time.
Since 2002, 14 times has an Arizona quarterback reached at least 400 yards in a game, including Solomon’s record performance against Cal in 2014.
Previous Solomon records at Arizona listed in this countdown:
48. Most Touchdown Passes, Season: 28 in 2014, tied with Nick Foles, 2011, and Willie Tuitama, 2007.
52. Most Passes Without An Interception, Consecutive: 232, 2014-15 (Nine games from Boise State, Dec. 31, 2014, to Washington, Oct. 31, 2015)
61. Most Passing Yards by Freshman: 3,793, 2014
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.