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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Football set to mix it up

    A new culture usually comes with winning, and the Arizona football team could be heading down that direction after enjoying its first postseason berth and win since 1998 last season.

    And it is happening this spring.

    While the Wildcats are still in the midst of spring practice, the Arizona coaching staff decided to change the format of this year’s spring game, which will be open to the public in Arizona Stadium Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

    “”We’re going to try something a little bit different, try to split our team up,”” said Arizona head coach Mike Stoops. “”We had guys kind of draft players and try to divide up our team as even as we could. Instead of offense/defense, now we’re going to have a true game in the aspect that we tried to even the teams up as best we could.””

    A far cry from what the Arizona faithful has become accustomed to watching at the spring game during Stoops’ time, the Wildcats will play a real game format this season.

    In past spring games, the Arizona coaching staff has had a rather awkward scoring system based on a collection of different criteria like forcing fumbles on defense and first downs on offense.

    “”The offense would score and get six points and then we would recover a fumble and get one point,”” said safety Cam Nelson. “”So it (was) confusing to me. I don’t know if coach had a sheet he was going off of or what.””

    “”I think it will be more entertaining for the fans to see everybody spread out and the talent spread out everywhere,”” Nelson added.

    The Wildcats selected teams in schoolyard fashion, as Nelson and wide receiver Terrell Turner got the honors of being captains. The only variation, however, was a selection process done in order by position with the direction of the coaching staff.

    The first pick, naturally, was the quarterback.

    Nelson selected first-year Wildcat Nick Foles, who will compete with Matt Scott for the starting signal caller position, as the first overall pick.

    “”It says a lot. I got to go against the defense all fall so I guess he saw something,”” Foles said of Nelson’s selection. “”Maybe it’s because I’m a Texas boy. It might be that Texas boy thing, I don’t know. I don’t worry about the (draft) picks or numbers or anything.””

    Because the spring game will revert to the game-style format that plenty of schools use in their spring games, the competition edge has been elevated to an even higher notch.

    Nelson, however, wasn’t ready to begin talking trash.

    “”I know (Turner) is going to guarantee (the win), so I am going to let him do that,”” Nelson said.

    After all, there is plenty at stake.

    “”Winners get steaks and losers gets hot dogs and hamburgers,”” Nelson said. “”It’s a win-win situation to me.””

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