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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Football to unveil new offensive attack

    Arizona’s new spread offense will make its public debut tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Arizona Stadium during the Wildcats’ intrasquad scrimmage.

    Offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes brought the system – characterized by as many as five receiving options on every pass play – from Texas Tech in the offseason.

    Head coach Mike Stoops has said that Arizona could attempt up to 50 passes a game this fall.

    Coaches have slowly sprinkled in aspects of the scheme since spring practice began March 21, and the end result should be plenty of “”big plays”” made tomorrow, wide receiver Mike Thomas said.

    “”I think we’ll be pretty good,”” he said. “”We’ve had some time this week to get some unity.””

    Tomorrow’s event will begin with players working apart in groups according to position and move into an offense-on-defense scrimmage.

    As in years past, the offense will start the ball at the 25-yard-line and run simulated drives, complete with referees and down markers, until either a turnover or a touchdown. Drives typically move closer to the opposing end zone as the scrimmage progresses.

    Arizona’s offensive formation will resemble that found at Brigham Young, which lines up three wide receivers and a tight end.

    Stoops has said the team will frequently line up two running backs, composed of any combination of Chris Jennings and Xavier Smith and halfback Earl Jennings.

    “”I feel good about where we’re at,”” Stoops said. “”Obviously, when you get out there live and in a scrimmage situation, there are things we can learn.

    “”I think we’re in pretty good shape. We’re picking things up at a rapid pace.””

    Cornerback Antoine Cason said the defense is looking forward to seeing the offense operate as a whole. He said defenders have kept up a steady stream of teasing as motivation during practice.

    “”You got to keep them into it and keep them going,”” Cason said. “”You just got to keep talking back and forth.””

    Cason said that despite the early positive signs he’s seen from the offense, the unit is still a bit out of sync.

    “”They need to step up a little more, is what I think,”” Cason said. “”The quarterback needs to step up a little more. … Mike (Thomas) has played a lot of football here. He needs to step up as well.””

    The scrimmage is expected to run until about noon. Students and other members of the public get in free and can sit in the bleachers on the east sideline.

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