University of Arizona legend Art Luppino, 57 years after his final carry for the Wildcats, has gained 10 yards.
School career records, which first appeared in the 1961 football media guide, has listed Luppino’s rushing total as 3,371 yards, a likely original typo that has been perpetuated for more than four decades.
While I was researching Luppino’s records this summer for my Top 50 players in Arizona history project, I noticed the NCAA listed his career total as 3,381 — a figure that stood as a major-college record until Eugene “Mercury” Morris of West Texas A&M broke it by 7 yards in 1968.
Cobbling together information from a couple of old media guides, I believed the 3,381 total was accurate and asked Blair Willis of the athletic department’s Communication Services office if he could verify. He poured through the archives to check the game-by-game source material, also coming up with 3,381.
Here is the year-by-year rushing total for the Cactus Comet, who twice led the nation in rushing before a preseason knee injury stalled his senior season:
1956 – 327
1955 – 1,313
1954 – 1,359
1953 – 382
Having the accurate number for Luppino will be nice as Arizona junior Ka’Deem Carey chases the school’s career rushing record.
Carey needs to average 130 rushing yards in the final eight regular-season games to claim the record this season; or he has to average 115.6 yards over the next nine games (including a bowl).
Here are Arizona’s career rushing leaders:
Luppino is No. 5 on our countdown of Top 50 Arizona football players
Rare game footage of Luppino at Arizona