2016 Arizona Wildcats football season countdown: No. 23 individual record



51 BYU

Only 23 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:

Trung Canidate’s 96-yard touchdown run against San Diego State in 1997 broke a 37-year-old record set by Bobby Thompson, who ran for an 88-yard score against UTEP in 1960.


Yds Player Opponent Year
96 Trung Canidate San Diego St. 1997
94 Nic Grigsby NAU 2009
91 Daniel Jenkins NAU 2013
88 Bobby Thompson at UTEP 1960
85 Nick Wilson UNLV 2014
84 Willie Hamilton at Oregon 1972
82 Willie Lewis Wyoming 1970
82 Eddie Wolgast ASU 1950
81 Eddie Wolgast at Colorado 1950
81 Bill Hargis at Cal Tech 1930

No. 23

Longest rushing play: 96 yards, Trung Canidate vs. San Diego State, 1997

Pac-12 record: 98 yards, Mark Malone, ASU vs. Utah State, 1979; Bill Powell, California vs. Oregon State, 1951

NCAA record: 99, ten players tied, most recent is Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech vs. Louisiana-Lafayette

Trung Canidate’s 96-yard run against San Diego State in 1997 was overshadowed by him having to walk off the field later in that game on crutches because of a severely sprained ankle.

Trung Canidate’s 96-yard sprint for a touchdown against San Diego State 19 years ago stands as Arizona’s school record, eclipsing at that time the standard of 88 yards set by Bobby Thompson against UTEP in 1960.

Since Canidate’s historic run, in which he showed his breakaway speed by distancing himself from San Diego State’s secondary, the Wildcats have featured two backs with at least 90-yard runs: Nic Grigsby’s 94-yard dash against NAU in 2009 and Daniel Jenkins’ 91-yard score against NAU in the 2013 season-opener in place of the suspended Ka’Deem Carey.

Arizona junior Nick Wilson broke loose for an 85-yard touchdown run against NAU in his freshman season. That ranks fifth all-time in Arizona history behind Canidate, Grigsby, Jenkins and Thompson.

Wilson has the speed to go the same distance as Canidate, although obviously that has to happen in the “right” situation with Arizona up against its end zone. Canidate also had 80-yard touchdown runs against ASU in 1998 and 1999. It will be hard for any back to top the breakaway quickness he possessed.

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.

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