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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 45 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:
Dennis Northcutt is one of three Arizona Wildcats who led the Pac-10 (at the time) in all-purpose yards in a season with 2,249 in 1999. The others are Derek Hill (1,672 in 1987) and Bobby Wade (1,949 in 2002).
PAC-12 MOST ALL-PURPOSE YARDS SEASON
*-Vacated for violation of NCAA rules
|2328||James Rodgers||Ore St.||2009|
Most All-Purpose Yards, Season: 2,249, Dennis Northcutt, 1999 (1,422 receiving/436 punt returns/191 kickoff returns/200 rushing)
Pac-12 and NCAA record: 3,865, Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 2015 (645 receiving/130 punt returns/1,070 kickoff returns/2,019 rushing)
Dennis Northcutt’s all-purpose yard production in 1999 was the most the Pac-10 (at the time) had seen in 18 years, since Marcus Allen of USC put together a Heisman-winning season in 1981.
Northcutt’s 2,249 yards in 1999 via the run, reception, punt return and kickoff return, broke a 45-year school-record held by Art Luppino. The “Cactus Comet” amassed 2,193 yards in 1954.
Ka’Deem Carey came only one yard shy of Northcutt’s total with 2,248 yards in 2012, but most of his yards were rushing the ball with 1,929 that season. Northcutt was versatile receiving the ball and with his returns, particularly with punt returns. He led nation in punt returns in 1999 (18.96-yard average).
He also rushed for 200 yards on only 14 carries, many of them on end-arounds. He started his career as a running back as a freshman at Arizona and switched to cornerback then receiver.
“He was devastating on offense because he could take a short one and turn it a long one, while being fast enough to get behind the defense, too,” former Arizona coach Dick Tomey told Anthony Gimino in a Tucson Citizen report in 2013.
Previous records set by Northcutt at Arizona ranked earlier in this countdown:
68. Career 100-Yard Receiving Games: 13, 1996-99
72. Highest Average Per Punt Return, (Min. 10): 18.9, 1999 (23-436)
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.