Arizona football: seen and heard

2012-11-24T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T16:05:28Z Arizona football: seen and heardPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 24, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Senior Night

Rich Rodriguez celebrated his first Senior Night in Tucson, and it wasn't that different than the format used by Mike Stoops over the years.

About 15 minutes before kickoff, the UA band formed an L-shaped tunnel in the north end zone, leading from the Wildcats' locker room to the "Z" of "Arizona" painted in the end zone.

The Wildcats introduced each of the 21 seniors.

Rodriguez hugged each player, as well as their families, under the white "Bear Down" sign, and they walked through the L-shaped tunnel and to midfield.

Quarterback Matt Scott, escorted by his parents and brothers, was introduced last and received the loudest ovation.

Our favorite scene, though, involved little-used running back Elliott Taylor. He was escorted by UA deputy athletic director Kathleen "Rocky" LaRose, who wore his navy No. 45 jersey.

About those seniors …

The Wildcats' senior class had significant success.

Entering the game, the UA's senior class had gone 26-23 over a four-year span and, in the case of redshirts, 34-28 over the past five seasons.

The players who redshirted will leave the program having reached bowl games in four of their five seasons, the first time that's happened in Tucson since 1994.

The Sun Devils boasted 17 seniors, including running back Cameron Marshall and linebacker Brandon Magee.

Those ASU players who stayed four years went 22-26 before Friday night's game; over a five-year span, they went 27-33.

Face paint

When the Wildcats lost by 56 to UCLA in the Rose Bowl, many of the Bruins' coaches were wearing black face paint, meant to inspire their players.

On Friday, UA defensive tackle Sione Tuihalamaka took that idea to its logical conclusion: he painted half his face solid black.

The boisterous junior covered the right side of his face in grease paint. Shown on the UA's scoreboard right before kickoff, it sure was scary.

Uni watch

For the first time, the Arizona Wildcats wore all red uniforms Friday night.

The Wildcats debuted their red football helmets for Arizona State, resurrecting a hue they wore atop their heads from 1968 to 1971 and from 1977 to 80.

Even Wilbur and Wilma got into the "red-out." The mascots wore red get-ups - a jersey and hat for him, a cheerleader outfit for her.

The Sun Devils, meanwhile, wore black helmets and pants and white jerseys.

ASU has plenty of options. The Sun Devils have worn the same uniform combination only twice this year. ASU wore black helmets, white jerseys and black pants in a 27-17 win at Cal on Sept. 29.

The UA never wore the same home uniform all season.

The big number

42

Territorial Cup games witnessed by UA communications services director Tom Duddleston, who was honored Friday and will retire in January.

PAT no good

We tried to ward off the jinx, we promise.

But Friday night, hours after we wrote in the newspaper that "we're probably jinxing" Wildcats kicker John Bonano by writing he was 74 for 74 on PAT attempts, the senior missed his first try of the night.

That meant the Wildcats had missed their last three home PATs against Arizona State.

The last two tries were Alex Zendejas' blocked kicks in the 2010 rivalry game. Bonano's miss came in the same end zone as Zendejas - the north side. Creepy.

Tweet of the day

"I don't understand how the kid from Arizona gets no hype he's leading the nation in rushing, just saying."

- San Francisco 49ers and ex-Oregon running back LaMichael James, who was watching the game from home.

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