News and Notes: ASU

It was a game where the Wildcats finished the day without their leading passer, leading receiver and their two top rushers. Also gone was their starting tight end, who moonlights as their holder on place kicks.


Syndric Steptoe. Steptoe had a huge game with 11 receptions for 121 yards. Both of those numbers led the team. He did not have a touchdown reception in the game, but he was instrumental in every drive.


In the second quarter, on third down, Willie Tuitama threw a lateral screen to Anthony Johnson who passed the ball to Mike Bell for a 34-yard gain.


Arizona led 20-12 and was driving down the field until Willie Tuitama threw an interception while being hit and was injured on the play. ASU came down the field and later punter after the Arizona defense made a huge stop on 3rd and 16 in Arizona territory.

Kovalcheck entered the game and went three and out on his first possession forcing an Arizona punt from deep in their own territory. ASU received the punt and returned in for a touchdown. The Sun Devils then converted a two point conversion tying the game at 20 a piece with 7:52.


Syndric Steptoe's streak continued as he caught at least one reception in 17 straight games played. Steptoe ended the game with six receptions for 86 yards.


Entering the game, Mike Bell was 165 yards short of gaining 1,000 for the season, and was fifth all-time with 3,048. Hubie Oliver was fourth with 3,096. Bell got close early and following the second drive, he moved to within 10 yards of Oliver, finishing with 3,086 rushing yards for his career.

By the end of the first quarter, Bell needed a mere seven more rushing yards to tie Oliver, and by mid way through the second quarter, he was standing alone as fourth all-time in the history of the UA.

In the third quarter of the game, Bell suffered a thigh contusion and a concussion and needed to sit out for much of the rest of the game. As a result, he tallied 12 yards in the third quarter, giving him 112 for the game.

By game's end, Bell had 27 carries for 117 yards, giving him 952 for the year, and 3,165 yards in his career.

TUITAMA TIME Freshman QB Willie Tuitama appeared unfazed in his first start against ASU throwing 19 of 25 for 194 yards and a touchdown. The end result was not as strong as he threw an interception on his last place as he was trying to get rid of the ball while being sacked. He was injured on the play and did not return.


"Money" Mike Thomas played very little in the game, not having a single reception as he had a broken hand and was wearing a soft cast.


Brad Wood hurt his knee in the first quarter. He would not return, but Travis Bell would fill his void. Preliminary reports are a torn ACL and possibly other damage

Gilbert Harris then left the game later in the first half with a hip flexor, but would return. He later suffered a high ankle sprain and did not return.

The scariest injury came from Willie Tuitama going down after a sack. He went down and walked off the field with what appeared to be an injured right shoulder, but later turned out to be a broken rib. Richard Kovalcheck came into the game with 9:40 remaining in the game and Arizona leading 20-12.


The injury to Wood not only cost the Wildcats one of their best receivers, but their holder on field goals. After Wood left the game the Wildcats turned to sure handed wideout Ryan Eidson. After Eidson took over the Cats made just 1-of-3 field goal tries, one of which Eidson had trouble handling a difficult snap that he never did get down.

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