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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Philipp likely lost for another season, Tuitama recovering from calf bruise”

    Redshirt senior defensive tackle Paul Philipp walks off the field using crutches after Arizonas 20-3 loss to USC Saturday night at Arizona Stadium. Philipp tore a ligament in his left knee and is likely out for the season.
    Redshirt senior defensive tackle Paul Philipp walks off the field using crutches after Arizona’s 20-3 loss to USC Saturday night at Arizona Stadium. Philipp tore a ligament in his left knee and is likely out for the season.

    Injuries have gotten the best of defensive tackle Paul Phillip once again.

    Phillip, a redshirt senior who missed three games last season after shoulder issues that ended his season in 2004 crept back up, will likely be lost for the season after straining a ligament in his left knee during Arizona’s 20-3 loss to No. 3 USC Saturday.

    “”He’s most likely done,”” UA head coach Mike Stoops said yesterday at his weekly press conference. “”He’s just had a tough career with that many injuries.””

    Added tight end Brandyn McCall: “”He works his butt off, but he just always gets hurt.””

    In addition to Phillip, who had four tackles and 0.5 sacks this season and also recovered a fumble against Brigham Young in the season opener, quarterback Willie Tuitama was in a boot yesterday morning after limping to the sideline late in the fourth quarter and missing Arizona’s final drive against USC.

    Tuitama’s injury, which was originally thought to be an ankle sprain, turned out to be “”more of a calf bruise,”” according to Stoops. The sophomore was held out of practice yesterday evening but is expected to return to the field today.

    Also sidelined yesterday was wideout Syndric Steptoe, who suffered a deep thigh bruise in Saturday’s fourth quarter. Steptoe, who couldn’t handle his usual punt-returning duties after the hit, said after the game that he got to the point where he “”could barely move (his) leg.””

    Though Steptoe should return to practice this evening, defensive tackle Yaniv Barnett remains questionable for the third straight week.

    After injuring his elbow against Louisiana State Sept. 9., Barnett was held out of Arizona’s 28-10 win over Stephen F. Austin and didn’t play this past Saturday against USC.

    Stoops said yesterday that Barnett’s elbow isn’t even the main concern, as it was discovered that the junior had an irregular heartbeat.

    “”He had an irregular arrhythmia in his heart that (trainers) monitored, but I think that they got that in line,”” Stoops said. “”That’s something you have to watch, and we’ll continue to monitor that. … He obviously wouldn’t be playing if we didn’t have everything under control, and hopefully, he’ll be back soon.””

    Offense remains in neutral

    Arizona’s offensive woes continued Saturday night as the team finished with negative rushing yardage for the first time in nearly four years.

    And while the message remained unchanged for what the team needs to change – execution – Stoops hinted yesterday that some things might change in the offensive game plan.

    “”We were limited,”” he said, noting that the team’s 12 carries, including a direct snap to Steptoe, weren’t enough.

    “”That’s not enough attempts, and that’s something we have to get better,”” he said. “”We have to get our backs running the football.””

    Still, the third-year head coach pointed out, playing two top-10 teams in three weeks doesn’t exactly facilitate offensive growth.

    “”We haven’t played a bunch of dogs, that’s for sure, and I’m not going to lose confidence in what we’re doing,”” Stoops said. “”We just have to find ways to execute. … We’re a work in progress. We’ve just got to get better.””

    Freshman wideouts ‘need a lot of work’

    After not seeing any action in Arizona’s first three games, a third of the Wildcats’ much-heralded trio of freshman receivers finally saw the field Saturday.

    On Arizona’s final drive against the Trojans, Terrell Reese did more than just run routes, with backup quarterback Adam Austin – playing for the injured Tuitama – twice throwing in his direction. Though Reese didn’t come up with either ball, it marked the first time he’d seen the field in collegiate action.

    Outside of Terrell Turner seeing a few plays against LSU – and combined with DelaShaun Dean’s redshirt to fully recuperate from a knee injury suffered in high school – the opportunities for the three freshmen to see the field have been limited.

    “”The games just haven’t presented themselves that way,”” Stoops said. “”We got Terrell (Reese) in a couple plays the other night, but they just need a lot of work, too, a lot of fundamentals.

    “”It’s hard for a freshman to play, and especially a true freshman that hasn’t been in the system very long to come in and play and compete against the quality of opponents that we have faced.””

    rotherly affair

    Arizona may have an extra edge in preparation come Saturday: Bob Stoops.

    Stoops, the elder brother of Arizona’s Mike and defensive coordinator, Mark, faced Arizona’s opponent this week, Washington, in Week 2 as the head coach at Oklahoma.

    After the success Bob’s Sooners had against the Huskies (winning, 37-20), it comes as no surprise that the younger Stoops’ will tap on their oldest brother this week.

    “”(Oklahoma) did an awful good job,”” Mike said. “”That was probably the worst game – Washington will tell you – they played, (but) Washington was really in the game up until the third quarter of the game until it got away.””

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