1991 Arizona Wildcats football
ConferencePacific-10 Conference
Record4–7 (3–5 Pac-10)
Head coach
Offensive coordinatorDick Tomey (2nd season)
Defensive coordinatorLarry Mac Duff (5th season)
Home stadiumArizona Stadium
← 1990
1992 →
1991 Pacific-10 Conference football standings
Conf Overall
Team   W   L     W   L  
No. 2 Washington $   8 0     12 0  
No. 8 California   6 2     10 2  
No. 19 UCLA   6 2     9 3  
No. 22 Stanford   6 2     8 4  
Arizona State   4 4     6 5  
Washington State   3 5     4 7  
Arizona   3 5     4 7  
USC   2 6     3 8  
Oregon   1 7     3 8  
Oregon State   1 7     1 10  
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1991 Arizona Wildcats football team represented the University of Arizona in the Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10) during the 1991 NCAA Division I-A football season. In their fifth season under head coach Dick Tomey, the Wildcats compiled a 4–7 record (3–5 against Pac-10 opponents), finished in a tie for sixth place in the Pac-10, and were outscored by their opponents, 361 to 248.[1][2] The team played its home games in Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona.

The team's statistical leaders included George Malauulu with 674 passing yards, Billy Johnson with 682 rushing yards, and Chuck Levy with 289 receiving yards.[3] Safety Tony Bouie led the team with 86 tackles.[4]

Arizona’s season was mostly affected by a difficult schedule, along with injuries on the offense and inexperienced freshmen, as most of the starters from the 1990 team graduated. Also, the Wildcats lost to rival Arizona State for the first time in the Tomey era.


September 79:30 a.m.at No. 22 Ohio State*ABCL 14–3892,743
September 144:00 p.m.StanfordPrimeW 28–2343,055
September 217:00 p.m.No. 24 California
  • Arizona Stadium
  • Tucson, AZ
PrimeL 21–2346,715
September 287:00 p.m.Long Beach State*
  • Arizona Stadium
  • Tucson, AZ
KTTUW 45–2146,334
October 51:00 p.m.at No. 3 WashingtonPrimeL 0–5472,495
October 123:30 p.m.at UCLAPrimeL 14–5445,944
October 267:00 p.m.No. 2 Miami (FL)*
  • Arizona Stadium
  • Tucson, AZ
KTTUL 9–3653,349
November 24:00 p.m.Oregon Statedagger
  • Arizona Stadium
  • Tucson, AZ
KTTUW 45–2142,082
November 98:30 p.m.at Washington StatePrimeL 27–4021,520
November 167:30 p.m.USC
  • Arizona Stadium
  • Tucson, AZ
PrimeW 31–1441,053
November 237:30 p.m.at Arizona StatePrimeL 14–3773,427
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Mountain time

Game summaries

Ohio State

Arizona began the season on the road against Ohio State. It was only the second meeting between the Wildcats and Buckeyes, with the first one occurring in 1967, when Arizona upset legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes and the Buckeyes. This time, the Buckeyes came out and dominated a rebuilding Wildcat squad (the head coach of Ohio State was John Cooper, who went 0–2–1 against the Wildcats as Arizona State coach from 1985 to 1987 prior to being hired by the Buckeyes).[5]


In Arizona’s second consecutive visit to Washington, the Wildcats would end up getting humiliated by the Huskies, who then went on to share the national championship.[6]

Miami (FL)

The Wildcats hosted second-ranked Miami in a rare October non-conference game. The Hurricanes would outplay an inexperienced Arizona team on its way to a dominant win.[7][8] The Wildcats’ offense was riddled with injuries and used mostly reserved players as starters, whose lack of experience was a factor in the loss.

Due to Miami being favored to win big and the game unlikely to be competitive, as well as a late game kickoff, cable and national networks turned down the offer to air the game, which led to it being picked up by local broadcasters in the Miami and Tucson markets.[9]


In their home finale, the Wildcats hosted USC. Arizona came out hot on both sides of the ball and easily defeated the Trojans.[10] It was the Wildcats’ first home win over USC in their history, as their other wins against the Trojans came on the road. The USC coach, Larry Smith (the previous Arizona coach at the time), lost in Tucson as the opposing coach for the first time.[11][12]

Arizona State

See also: Arizona-Arizona State football rivalry

The Wildcats visited Tempe for the season finale against Arizona State. Arizona would play poorly all night and ASU scored enough to finally ended the Wildcats’ streak of dominance in the rivalry.[13] It was ASU’s first win over Arizona since 1981 (despite a tie in 1987).[14]

A positive moment for the Wildcats occurred late in the game, when they blocked an ASU punt and returned it for a touchdown, which gave them some points.[15] Arizona ended the season with four wins, which snapped a three-year streak of winning records.

Season notes


  1. ^ "1991 Arizona Wildcats Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  2. ^ "Arizona Football 2016 Media Guide" (PDF). University of Arizona. 2016. p. 108. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "1991 Arizona Wildcats Stats". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 3, 2016.
  4. ^ 2016 Media Guide, p. 86.
  5. ^ "UA gets dominated at Ohio State". The Arizona Republic. September 8, 1991.
  6. ^ "Cats get embarrassed in Seattle for second straight season". Arizona Daily Star. October 6, 1991.
  7. ^ "No. 2 'Canes too much for 'Cats". Arizona Daily Star. October 27, 1991.
  8. ^ "Hurricanes blow away Arizona, 36–9". Miami Herald. October 27, 1991.
  9. ^ "Channel 18 to carry UA-Miami game in Tucson as national and cable TV networks pass on airing rights, citing 'lack of competitiveness'". Arizona Daily Wildcat. October 24, 1991.
  10. ^ "It's showtime for Cats' defense; Wildcats get tough and topple the Trojans". Arizona Daily Star. November 17, 1991.
  11. ^ "Wildcats get the best of USC, former coach, again". Arizona Daily Wildcat. November 18, 1991.
  12. ^ "UA cruises to victory over USC, finally beats Trojans at home". Tucson Citizen. November 17, 1991.
  13. ^ "Finally! Devils top Wildcats for first time since '81". The Arizona Republic. November 24, 1991.
  14. ^ "The streak goes up the creek; Sun Devils dominate Wildcats". Arizona Daily Star. November 24, 1991.
  15. ^ "Wildcats get big play late despite rivalry streak broken by Devils". Arizona Daily Wildcat. November 25, 1991.
  16. ^ "UA football will be rebuilding this fall". Arizona Daily Star. March 5, 1991.
  17. ^ "Tomey to be both coach and OC in '91 season". Tucson Citizen. February 1, 1992.