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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Football notes: Arizona welcomes explosive Oklahoma State offense to Tucson

    Colin Prenger/Arizona Daily Wildcat

    In the last two years, Arizona has played Oklahoma State on two separate occasions, and it has never been much of a contest. The Wildcats took two on the chin from the Cowboys, first in 2010 in the Alamo Bowl and last year, a 37-14 drubbing in Stillwater, Okla.

    The Cowboys don’t appear to be slowing down either, scoring 84 points in a shutout against Savannah State on Saturday night, while the Wildcats needed overtime to take down Toledo.

    Arizona has Mondays off throughout the season, meaning that Sunday, less than 24 hours after defeating the Rockets, Arizona coaches and players began preparing for Oklahoma State, even with limited game film as most of the Cowboys’ starters were taken out of the game in the first quarter in anticipation of a blowout.

    “We won’t take a whole lot from the game,” Rodriguez said. “(Oklahoma State) kept it pretty generic. They weren’t worried about getting their kids hurt, because they were on the sidelines for three quarters of the game.”

    Oklahoma State scored each of the first five times it had the ball Saturday night, racing out to a 35-0 lead before Savannah State had their second first down of the game.

    The Cowboys started true freshman Wes Lunt at quarterback and he completed all 11 of his pass attempts, in just one quarter of action, for 129 yards.

    “He wasn’t challenged at all,” Rodriguez said. “That’s what you want out of your quarterback.”

    Lunt’s early departure means that Wildcat coaches and players have almost no film of him competing in a collegiate game, while the Cowboys have a full game plus overtime’s worth of film on Arizona’s starters.

    Rodriguez plans to re-watch Arizona’s last two games against the Cowboys.

    “I’ll watch it just because they’ll do similar schemes,” Rodriguez said. “We’ll watch quite a bit of their defense even though they have some new things this year.”

    Fischer honored by Pac-12

    After recording a career-high 13 tackles, with 2.5 for loss and a forced fumble in Saturday night’s 24-17 overtime victory over Toledo, junior linebacker Jake Fischer was named the Pac-12 defensive player of the week on Monday.

    “I think I played all right,” Fischer said. “Obviously there were plays I could have done better on. It’s an honor. Trying to become the best player I can be is what I’m focused on.”

    Fischer made his ninth career start after spending the entire 2011 season sidelined with an ACL injury, making Saturday his first appearance in a game since the 2010 Alamo Bowl.

    Rodriguez not worried about missed kicks

    Arizona is no stranger to kicking woes.

    After former kicker Alex Zendejas’ two missed PATs in 2010’s Territorial Cup against Arizona State, it all went down hill at the position, at least until John Bonano took over last season after Zendejas and Jaime Salazar continued to struggle.

    In 2011, Bonano was 8-for-12 on field goals and did not miss an extra point, nailing all 24 attempts.

    Saturday night however, Bonano missed two field goals of less than 30 yards, one in the third quarter at 26 yards, and with the game in the balance at the end of regulation, Bonano missed a 25-yarder. In terms of handling kickers when they are struggling, Rodriguez said he doesn’t really have a strategy.

    “I’ve never been one to sit down and have a Dr. Phil moment with any of the players, kickers or otherwise,” he said. “Just go work on it. If there’s something not right and you’re not doing something as well as you can then go practice it more. If you’re not making your free throws, go shoot free throws. If you’re not making kicks, go kick.”

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