Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Wildcats cranking it up to prepare for Autzen Stadium

UA quarterback Willie Tuitama could have trouble yelling over the loud Oregon Crowd on Saturday.

UA quarterback Willie Tuitama could have trouble yelling over the loud Oregon Crowd on Saturday.

Arizona needs to spend some of its bowl money on a new sound system for next year.

The Wildcats are piping in crowd noise during practices this week to prepare for the high decibel levels they’ll face at Oregon.

Arizona, which is bowl eligible with six wins, plays the Ducks in Eugene at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

“I told them they have to make it louder, but the guy said, ‘Dude, that is the loudest it can go,’ ” UA offensive tackle Eben Britton said. “We need to get a couple more speakers out here.”

Those around the UA practice field near McKale Center might say the noise of crowds cheering and booing is plenty loud enough.

But those people haven’t been to Autzen Stadium.

The Ducks’ home field has developed a reputation for being one of the loudest and most hostile stadiums in the country.

“(It) make the Big House (106,201 seat stadium in Michigan) sound like a pathetic whimper. It’s louder than The Swamp at Florida (88,548), The Shoe in Columbus (more than 90,000), and Death Valley at Louisiana State (92,400),” a Michigan Daily columnist wrote after Oregon’s 31-27 upset win over Michigan in 2003.

“Autzen Stadium is where great teams go to die.”

The 54,000 fans there can seem like twice that amount because of the stadium’s configuration, which puts the crowd right behind the teams’ benches.

Oregon has sold out 60 straight games, dating back to a 1999 game against Nevada.

Arizona won the last time in Eugene, a 37-10 upset in 2006.

“They were definitely quieter (last time), but it was still the loudest stadium I have ever played in,” Britton said.

“Earlier that year we played at LSU. LSU was pretty loud, but Autzen was out of control. (Quarterback) Willie (Tuitama) was under center and I couldn’t even hear him.”

The Wildcats are practicing more silent counts this week in preparation for a crowd expected to be even more fired up to knock off a team that has upset Oregon two straight seasons.

Last year, UA beat No. 2 Oregon 34-24 in Arizona after quarterback Dennis Dixon went out early with an injury.

Saturday, instead of Tuitama yelling out when to snap the ball, he might have to make certain movements to tell center Colin Baxter when to hike the ball.

“I’ve never been to Autzen. I’ve heard it is interesting,” UA offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes said. “All the places in the SEC are loud. Tennessee, LSU. Nebraska is really loud.

“I’m interested to see how it compares. I like it when it is like that. It is fun for your players. It seems like the guys play a little more focused. They have to communicate more.”



Arizona (6-3, 4-2) at Oregon (7-3, 5-2)

When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Eugene, Ore.


Radio: 1290 AM, 107.5 FM

Line: Oregon by 3.5

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

Search site | Terms of service