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CATCH UP ON THE COUNTDOWN BY VISITING: ARIZONA’S TOP 100 INDIVIDUAL RECORDS
Only 11 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:
Jackie Wallace’s school-record 11 interceptions in 1971 ties the most in the Pac-12 since that season with ASU’s Mike Haynes matching that mark in 1974 and UCLA’s Carlton Gray in 1991.
ARIZONA SEASON INTERCEPTIONS
Most Interceptions, Season: 11, Jackie Wallace, 1971
Pac-12 and NCAA record: 14, Al Worley, Washington, 1968
This is from the 2016 NCAA college football record book recently published. Jackie Wallace’s 1971 effort of 11 interceptions should be listed but it is not.
For reasons unknown, the NCAA record book does not list Jackie Wallace’s school-record 11 interceptions in 1971 among the all-time season leaders.
Wallace achieved the 11th interception in Arizona’s last game that season in an otherwise forgettable 31-0 loss to ASU in Tempe. He picked off Danny White early in the fourth quarter, tying the WAC record of 11 interceptions in a season set by ASU’s Seth Miller in 1969.
The 1971 season was a memorable one for Wallace as he also set the school record with a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown against UCLA and produced three interceptions in a game against Wyoming and BYU.
Wallace is also in the Arizona record books with his four interception returns for a touchdown in his career from 1970 to 1972.
Arizona coach Bob Weber did not have a more versatile player than Wallace, who was an exceptional returner in addition to being a shutdown defender in the secondary.
“They run him ragged chasing down receivers all during the game,” Weber told the Tucson Citizen during the 1971 season of Arizona’s defensive coaches. “Then he is on the kickoff unit and punt return unit. This week we will put him on the kickoff return unit.
“I wonder if he can kick.”
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.