Rudy!

The Arizona Wildcats this week nominated Victor Yates for the Rudy Award, given each year to a player that shows character, courage, contribution and commitment to his team.

Yates, a walk-on defensive back from Palo Verde High School, is one of 55 players nominated.

The winner will be decided by committee and fan voting at www.collegerudyawards.com. Fan voting ends Dec. 13.

Rudy Ruettiger, the Notre Dame player featured in the movie "Rudy," will present the award Jan. 11 in Dallas.

Another game

Internet griping about the affiliation of retired Pac-10 referees Jim Fogltance and Bobby Rauh working the television replay booth at Arizona Stadium caused a tweak in the system Thursday.

Fogltance and Rauh, UA graduates, were not allowed to work the game, apparently because of that fact. They were sent to work the Apple Cup on Saturday, while the officials from the Washington-Washington State game traveled to Arizona.

Conspiracy theorists disgusted with alumni working replay booths have pointed to a game earlier this year between San Diego State and BYU. Two BYU graduates, one an athletic department employee, botched a replay review that led to a Cougars score in a 24-21 victory.

The big number

14

Punts by both teams combined in the first half. ASU and the UA had 18 punts in last season's game.

Finale

Enjoy the rivalry game being the regular-season finale.

It won't happen next year, when the Arizona Wildcats will finish with a home game against Louisiana-Lafayette and the Sun Devils will host Cal.

Asked earlier this week whether he liked the idea, ASU coach Dennis Erickson said an early rivalry game only happened a few times in his career.

In his first year at Washington State, in 1987, the Cougars played the Apple Cup in the second-to-last week. WSU traveled to Japan to play Cal in the Coca-Cola Classic, a regular-season finale.

"It was a 17-17, awful football game," he said of the game in Japan. "You talk about some worn-out guys."

Age-old question

In one of the nation's most popular retirement states, maybe it's no coincidence that Arizona State's coaches are among the nation's most experienced.

Defensive coordinator Craig Bray has coached for 35 years, while offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has 32 years of experience. Combined, their 67 years make them the fifth-most experienced coordinator duo.

Miami (Ohio) coordinators Morris Watts and "Bull" Reese lead the nation with 81 total years.

Good calls

The Daily Star's "Mr. Football" doesn't like to brag. That's not the way he was raised - presumably by Ma and Pa Football. Still, Greg Hansen's game-day column has been eerily accurate in predicting winners and scores.

Entering Thursday's game, Hansen was 11-0.

Here's a look at his score predictions, and the actual outcomes.

Hansen Actual score

Arizona 31, Toledo 17 41-2

Arizona 34, The Citadel 2 52-6

Arizona 31, Iowa 30 34-27

Arizona 30, Cal 27 10-9

OSU 31, Arizona 27 29-27

Arizona 34, Wash. St. 23 24-7

Arizona 37, Washington 35 44-14

Arizona 23, UCLA 19 29-21

Stanford 42, Arizona 24 42-17

USC 34, Arizona 31 24-21

Oregon 52, Arizona 27 48-29

Honored

UA alum Tedy Bruschi was named a recipient of the Walter Camp Alumni Award on Thursday. The award is given to players on a basis of their athletic, personal and charitable contributions.

Bruschi, a three-time All-Pac-10 player, will be honored at a Jan. 15 dinner in New Haven, Conn.

Patrick Finley