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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Foles can get on track by doing less

Colin+Prenger+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat+%0A%0AThe+UA+football+team+faced+the+Utah+Utes+Friday+Nov.+5+at+Arizona+Stadium.+The+Utes+upset+the+Wildcats+in+a+34-21+victory.+
Colin Prenger
Colin Prenger / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA football team faced the Utah Utes Friday Nov. 5 at Arizona Stadium. The Utes upset the Wildcats in a 34-21 victory.

Things have looked better for quarterback Nick Foles during his time at Arizona.

Throughout his last two games, the senior has thrown five interceptions, doubling his season total in losses to Washington and Utah.

The Arizona football coaching staff says the constant pressure that Foles puts on himself is finally getting to him after a season lacking any form of team consistency.

“Early in the year, he played the game,” quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo said. “Now he’s trying to do more than what he should be doing.”

With the struggle to win plaguing the Wildcats every week, Foles is trying to create things on the offense he normally wouldn’t have tried before.

“You gotta play the game the way it’s supposed to be played,” Scelfo said. “You can’t throw 14-point touchdown passes, and sometimes the play’s not there and sometimes you gotta throw the ball away. You can’t force things into coverage like he’s done.”

Scelfo was quick to point out that Foles’ struggles are directly related to the way the team was performing.

“We weren’t having success on the scoreboard but he was having success back there in the pocket,” he said. “He wanted to do more and continue to push the envelope, and you just can’t.”

This two-game stretch does not define Foles by any means. After all, he still leads the Pac-12 with 3,260 passing yards this season, and is having a statistically better season than last year, but the amount of pressure riding on him at this point seems to be getting the better of him.

To Arizona interim head coach Tim Kish, Foles’ perfectionist mentality can sometimes come back to hurt him.

“He expects himself to do the perfect thing every play, that maybe (it’s) a little much for him to be thinking that way,” Kish said. “He just feels like if he doesn’t make the perfect throw and have the perfect movement out of the pocket when there’s pressure on him and that type of thing, that he’s letting the team down. He’s gotta get rid of that. That’s not what it’s all about.”

Kish also said he would never fault Foles for striving for perfection, because that’s what he wants all of his players to aim for.

Both Kish and Scelfo know that Foles’ struggles are only a blip on the radar, and his desire to finish out his final season is evident at every practice.

“I think he’s real tuned in, his practices have been great, he knows what’s going on,” Scelfo said. “He understands how important this game is and how every game is. He’s not going to be defined by one throw or one play. He’s got to embrace what he has in front of him and just go after it.”

His teammates see that same desire.

“I know Nick prepares harder than anyone,” wide receiver Dan Buckner said. “He’s in the film room all day, even at home. I know Nick’s harder on himself than anyone is going to be on him, so there’s really nothing to say to him.”

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