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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Dykes ignoring critics, focusing on offense, NAU”

    Place kicker Jason Bondzio  prepares for a kickoff during Arizonas 20-7 loss to Brigham Young on Saturday. Though Bondzio had no field-goal attempts, he said he remains confident in his ability to do so.
    Place kicker Jason Bondzio prepares for a kickoff during Arizona’s 20-7 loss to Brigham Young on Saturday. Though Bondzio had no field-goal attempts, he said he remains confident in his ability to do so.

    Entering Saturday’s game at Brigham Young, the expectations for a high-flying offense were through the roof. The thoughts of production reaching 400 or more yards were fresh in the minds of the Arizona football team’s followers.

    But with offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes calling the plays for the first time in his career, the scheme was much more conservative than expected.

    And though the blame is pointed in Dykes’ direction, he has chosen to ignore the critics and continue focusing on the preparation for this weekend’s home opener against NAU.

    “”I just have to do the best that I can do,”” Dykes said. “”I have experience in this offense. I have been in it for a while, and sometimes you struggle a little bit, but we are working through it and we will be better on Saturday.””

    The offense the Wildcats were interested in resembling when hiring Dykes away from Texas Tech scored 49 points and put up 554 total yards in its victory over Southern Methodist on Monday.

    Red Raiders starting quarterback Graham Harrell threw the ball 58 times, completing 43 en route to 415 yards and four touchdowns.

    After an opening weekend Arizona might like to forget, Dykes and the Wildcats are striving to put up comparable numbers.

    “”The (offensive philosophy) will be the same, we will do what we do and try to get the ball down the field a little more,”” Dykes said. “”We mixed the sets at Tech, played with the tight end and played with the fullback some, but we are just going to focus on what we do well.””

    Dykes said the lack of pass attempts is directly due to the poor offensive execution, as the Wildcats were only able to run 64 plays.

    “”The key is keeping the ball longer,”” Dykes said. “”There are a lot of things that figure into whether or not you’re throwing the ball throughout the course of the game.

    “”If we get a lot of snaps, we will probably throw it a lot.””

    Bondzio remains confident

    Arizona placekicker Jason Bondzio said he successfully made a 54-yard field goal attempt after yesterday’s practice.

    Just three days earlier against BYU, Wildcats coaches decided not to trot out Bondzio on fourth-and-five inside the Cougar 30-yard line early on in the first quarter.

    The Wildcats weren’t in position to take another stab at a field goal the rest of the contest.

    “”He has done an excellent job and really kicked well in camp,”” UA head coach Mike Stoops said of Bondzio. “”We feel comfortable with him anywhere from 50 yards and in.””

    But despite the opportunity to score first against BYU, Stoops said he didn’t want to throw Bondzio in because it was a “”tough kick.””

    The Wildcats failed on the fourth-down conversion.

    Dykes maintained the decision wasn’t based on lack of confidence in the first-year kicker, but was more of an offensive decision.

    “”We felt like we could make the first down,”” Dykes said. “”It was just one of those deals where we didn’t, but I guess in hindsight you obviously wish you kicked the field goal – it could have changed the game.””

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