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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Stoops satisfied with running

There are still a lot of question marks, but head coach Mike Stoops seemed pleased last night with the way his team has performed in its first two games of the season.

“”All in all, offensively, we’re running the football and we’re controlling the game with our ability to run the football and that’s kind of how we have made up this team over the past couple years,”” Stoops said in his weekly Monday press conference.

The rushing attack has been phenomenal, especially junior Nic Grigsby and his 207 yards last Saturday against Northern Arizona University. The Wildcats plan to hit the ground running at the University of Iowa on Saturday, but they know they can’t completely rely on their ground game.

“”We haven’t really had to throw it as much as we probably would have liked, and as the games move forward it’s going to be harder and harder to rush the ball,”” Stoops added. “”It’s going to be a lot more difficult, but we have to continue to try to improve our ability to throw the football.””

The struggles of the passing game have been well documented, but Stoops believes that they have been just a few small mistakes so far this season. The hope is that the aerial attack will be better this week, and they plan on using threat of the run game to compliment it.

“”We need to keep creating play-action passes and boot passes off of our run game,”” Stoops said. “”I think offensively we’re close and we’re getting better.””

Offensive line leads the way

All of the attention has gone to Grigsby and running quarterback Matt Scott, but the rushing attack has been able to flourish thanks to the offensive line.

“”I thought our offensive line did a really good job blocking,”” Stoops said. “”I think they’re probably the most consistent groups we have right now. They pass blocked well, they ran blocked well, so that was a very positive aspect of our team.””

Looking at the numbers, Arizona performed well against a fairly good NAU defense. NAU limited opponents to less than 100 yards rushing per game last season, yet Arizona combined for 365 rushing yards on Saturday.

Injury update

Junior tight end Rob Gronkowski was in pads on Monday for the first time this season.

Gronkowski missed the first two games of the season while nursing a lower back injury, but according to Stoops, he is probable to play this weekend at Iowa — which would be a huge help to the passing game.

“”(Having Gronkowski back) certainly opens up another aspect of our offense,”” Stoops said. “”If we can get that injury under control then that opens up another dimension of our team.””

Junior wide receiver Delashaun Dean and sophomore offensive lineman Vaughn Dotsy suffered minor concussions that forced them to leave the game on Saturday but both are expected to be in the lineup this week.

Junior defensive back Trevor Foster is out for the season after tearing his ACL in his right knee.

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