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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Football ready for replica

    With the Arizona football team’s defense already a proven entity, the Wildcats will unveil their highly anticipated spread offense against a squad that has incorporated the pass-happy system for years.

    In last year’s season-opening 16-13 victory over Brigham Young, the Wildcats were fortunate to escape Arizona Stadium with a win after being outgained in total offense, 313-253.

    This season, the Wildcats travel to Provo, Utah, for the season-opening rematch against BYU tomorrow at 2:30 p.m., with the hopes of duplicating the Cougars’ past success on the offensive side of the ball.

    “”I think the personality of an offense really changes every single year,”” said offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes, who implemented Arizona’s new attack after coming from Texas Tech in the offseason. “”I am excited to see how we respond. We have a lot of young guys going into a hostile environment, and I am anxious to see how they respond.””

    Last season, the Wildcats finished 115th of 119 NCAA Division I-A teams in total offense (252.8 yards per game) and ninth in the Pacific 10 Conference in total scoring (16.6 points per game).

    The pressure of remedying those figures falls on the shoulders of quarterback Willie Tuitama, who missed significant time last season recovering from three concussions.

    Tuitama managed to complete 118 of 211 passes for 1,335 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions. The stat that prevented Tuitama from reaching the potential he showed as a freshman was the 21 sacks he absorbed.

    Tuitama said he knows how much his play will determine whether the offensive scheme is a successful one and added that he is well prepared to be an effective field general.

    “”There really isn’t any added pressure on me entering this season. I just need to get the ball to the open guy,”” he said. “”Going out there may be a little tougher because both teams are kind of doing the same thing, but what basically matters is who goes out on the field and is able to execute it right.””

    To help the Wildcats cope with the adversity of a loud Provo crowd, Stoops incorporated speakers that played BYU’s fight song at the practice facility Wednesday as the team went through its workouts.

    But senior cornerback Antoine Cason said the Wildcats are used to playing in loud surroundings, and that the noise “”is just going to show our maturity and our ability to play hard on the road.””

    “”You definitely hear the crowd,”” Cason said, “”but you have to block it out and play your game.””

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