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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Lack of Beck a UA boon

    If there’s one thing about tomorrow’s matchup with Brigham Young that Arizona head coach Mike Stoops is happy about, it’s that he won’t have to see John Beck in the pocket.

    Last year’s Mountain West Conference Player of the Year didn’t throw any touchdowns in last year’s 16-13 season-opening loss in Arizona, but Beck had a whopping 76 percent completion rate, going 28-for-37.

    The Miami Dolphins drafted Beck in the second round of April’s NFL draft.

    “”It gets kind of scary,”” Stoops said. “”I can’t sleep at night thinking about watching those plays that John Beck made last year, because those were some of the most incredible plays.

    “”I just can’t believe how well he played last year. It’s easy to see why he was picked as the third quarterback in the draft.””

    Now the reins have been handed to sophomore quarterback Max Hall, a transfer from ASU. After sitting out the entire 2006 season watching Beck handle the offense, Hall was named the team’s starting quarterback following spring drills.

    The scouting report on Hall is that he shares many traits with Beck. The two both grew up in the same offensive system at Mesa’s Mountain View High School.

    “”I have no feel for how he’ll play,”” said defensive coordinator Mark Stoops. “”They won 11 games last year, so I don’t think they’ll change their whole offense because of that guy.

    “”I’m sure he’s good. I’m sure BYU’s got a stable of quarterbacks up there, and if he won the job I’m sure he’s more than capable.””

    The Cougars also share a very similar offensive plan as Arizona. Their offensive coordinator, Robert Anae, worked under Sonny Dykes at Texas Tech as the offensive line coach from 2001-2004.

    “”I think philosophically you are going to see two teams that mirror each other in a lot of different ways,”” Mike Stoops said. “”That team competed for 13 weeks as well as anybody. … I am glad we are playing a team like this off the bat because they get your full attention.””

    Cornerback Antoine Cason added: “”You can’t sleep on anybody. The way they throw, anything can happen. We can’t sleep anyway. We weren’t a team that was a big powerhouse where we can just fall asleep then wake back up.

    “”When you throw the ball 50 times a game, they’re gonna get something. You just have to limit.””

    Arizona did just that last year, as last year the defense held the Cougars 152.5 passing yards below their season average of 465.5 per game. After that game, BYU won 11 of its next 12 games, scoring an average of 36.8 points per game.

    Ultimately, the Cougars ended their season with a 38-8 win over Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl.

    Late hits

    The Cougars head into the game with a chip on their shoulders after last year’s 16-13 loss. They started a countdown for tomorrow’s matchup in the team locker room in May and put a new paper out every day with the new number of days remaining, according to the Deseret Morning News.

    The Cougars have also been talking up their team, downplaying any chance of an Arizona victory.

    “”You can say whatever you want, but at the end of the day you still have to go out there and play,”” said UA quarterback Willie Tuitama.

    “”They’re confident in themselves,”” Cason said. “”That’s all you can ask for in an opponent.””

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