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Arizona football countdown: 22 days, Art Luppino had some fun stats

Gotta love 1950s football stats


Art Luppino found himself in the minds of Arizona Wildcats fans in 2013 as Ka'Deem Carey kept breaking marks that Luppino owned at the time.

Wearing the No. 22 back in the mid-1950s, today is a good day to bring to light some fun stats from Luppino's days in Tucson.

As the official Arizona football countdown points out, Luppino had 228 yards on six carries against New Mexico State in 1954.

This is so great for so many reasons. First, Arizona won that game 58-0 to start the 1954 season 1-0 in the Border Conference. The 38 yards per carry is ludicrous. With just those six carries, this game is the fifth-best single game mark in school history for rushing yards. He also had two more gains in that game for 131 more yards. That's 44.9 yards per touch, which is still a school record as well.

Also in that 1954 season, Luppino averaged 7.59 yards per carry, which is the best in school history with a minimum of 100 attempts. He holds the best career mark with a minimum of 200 attempts, averaging 6.6 yards per carry in his four years.

Before Ka'Deem scored 23 TDs in 2012, the 21 by Luppino in 1954 was the school record. Kind of crazy that record lasted nearly 60 years. His 44 career rushing TDs were taken down by Ka'Deem during the 2013 Oregon game.

The 1954 season for Luppino is the fifth-best rushing season in school history now, as Nick Wilson passed him by 16 yards last year. But Luppino had his 1,359 yards on just 179 carries. Wilson used 236, and Ka'Deem's top two seasons both had over 300 rushes.

Luppino is currently 4th on the school's all-time rushing list, picking up 3,381 total rushing yards. He did that on just 513 carries. Carey had 743 rushing attempts for 4,239 yards, Trung Candidate went 604 for 3,824, and Ontiwaun Carter had 3,501 yards on 805 attempts. Imagine what Luppino could have done with 805 rushing attempts.

Because of the "one-point conversion" back in those days, Luppino has the second-most points scored in Arizona history (337), trailing only Max Zendejas' 360. That 1954 season is the most points put up by a single player in school history (166 points, 24 TDs, 22 PATs). 32 of those 166 points came in that infamous New Mexico State game, which are the most points scored in a single game at Arizona. 25 more points came against Utah later that year, which is the third-most by a player in a game.

Shoutout to the crazy stats put up by Luppino. Imagine if someone was putting up these numbers in this day and age. It would be a Heisman craze. But crazily enough, Luppino was not even an All-American in 1954, and was not on the top ten of Heisman voting that year either, despite leading the nation in rushing.