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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Position battles nearing end

    Defensive end Louis Holmes walks with defensive coordinator Mark Stoops after practice yesterday. Stoops said Holmes would be part of a three-man crew rushing the quarterback from the defensive end position.
    Defensive end Louis Holmes walks with defensive coordinator Mark Stoops after practice yesterday. Stoops said Holmes would be part of a three-man crew rushing the quarterback from the defensive end position.

    Less than two weeks before his team’s season opener against Brigham Young, Mike Stoops’ depth chart is beginning to take shape.

    “”By the end of the week, we’ll put out a two-deep (depth chart),”” the third-year head coach said. “”But we know who we’re working with and who we’re going to play. We’re pretty close to knowing about 15 or 16 guys on both sides.””

    The battle to replace former team captain Darrell Brooks at the free safety spot was a three-man race between junior Dominic Patrick, sophomore Brandon Tatum and junior college transfer Nate Ness at the onset of fall camp, but as camp wound down, Patrick and Tatum emerged as the leaders.

    One day into regular season practice, not much has changed.

    “”Both Dominic Patrick and Brandon Tatum are playing pretty well at free safety,”” defensive coordinator Mark Stoops said “”So we’ll continue to look at both of those guys at free.””

    The battle on the defensive line was more defined.

    On the interior, juniors Yaniv Barnett and Lionel Dotson will get the nod, and a three-man platoon of redshirt senior Marcus Smith, junior Louis Holmes and sophomore Johnathan Turner will see the majority of the playing time on the outside end spots.

    “”Louis is doing very good,”” Mark Stoops said of the junior college transfer. “”He’s coming along, he’s very natural. He’s still got to learn some things within our defense, but he’s got a lot of ability.””

    In both cases, Mark Stoops said the designation of playing with the first team would be more of a title than anything else.

    “”It doesn’t mean a thing,”” he said. “”Our guys are going to play, and everybody’s got to contribute. We’ll continue to evaluate that and look at it here for the next couple of weeks and look at it after the first game.

    “”They’re all competitive. It does mean something for them to start in their eyes, but to us, we need depth, we need guys to play a lot of snaps and play equal amount of snaps and play championship-level football. We don’t want any drop off there.””

    Toledo added to ’08, ’10, ’12 slates

    Arizona will have a new opponent beginning in 2008 after adding the Mid-American Conference’s Toledo Rockets to three future schedules.

    The Wildcats will host the Rockets in 2008 and 2012, and will travel to Toledo’s Glass Bowl in 2010.

    The 2010 game will mark a homecoming of sorts for the Ohio-born Stoops brothers.

    “”It’ll be fun,”” Mike Stoops said. “”I wanted to get back there at some point to play, and we got a two-for-one out of the deal.

    “”They’re a good program, and it’ll be a good game. They’ve been a bowl team the last few years, so it’s a good game. MAC teams always play well.””

    The Rockets have been to four bowl games in the past five seasons, including a 45-13 win over Texas-El Paso in last year’s GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

    Late hits

    ? Freshmen Cory Elmore, an offensive lineman, and D’aundre Reed, a defensive lineman, still haven’t been cleared to resume practice less than a week after NCAA Clearinghouse issues forced them off the practice field. Said Mike Stoops: “”We’re still waiting.””

    ? Fellow freshman Braylon Broughton, a defensive end, is in the same boat, though he has yet to see the practice field.

    ? Arizona resumed practice yesterday after two days off. Though they’re still working on their own schemes, Stoops said the team has started to game plan for BYU.

    ? Coaches are still considering whom to redshirt in 2006, Mike Stoops said.

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