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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mark Stoops named NCAA coordinator of week

    UA defensive coordinator Mark Stoops was more than pleased with his unit’s effort in a 31-10 win over ASU Saturday night.

    Little did he know his defense’s performance would earn him the honor of being the National Coordinator of the Week by Rivals.com.

    Stoops, who is in his fifth season in charge of the Arizona defense, devised a game plan to shut down the Sun Devils and his group of players responded by nearly doing just that.

    At halftime, ASU had a three-point edge despite having fewer than 70 yards of total offense.

    “”I felt like we were going to be OK. There was no panic,”” Stoops said after Saturday night’s win.

    “”There was some sense of urgency like, ‘Hey guys, nobody’s going to give anything. You have to make plays and earn it and get it,’ and that was just the message (to the team at halftime).

    “”It was just, ‘Hey, we’re fine but we’ve got to go make it happen and go make plays,’ and that’s what we did,”” he added.

    After the intermission, the defense didn’t allow the Sun Devils to score, as the visitors ended the game with 162 yards of offense. In fact, ASU’s 10 points were set up by special teams plays. Its field goal was aided by a long kick return following a UA touchdown, and the other following a mistake by Arizona punter Keenyn Crier in which he fielded the snap with his knee down.

    Six of ASU’s 12 offensive possessions went three-and-out, the Sun Devils converted on just three of their 12 third-down plays, ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter was sacked three times and the UA defense forced a key turnover.

    Senior cornerback Marquis Hundley picked off an errant throw by Carpenter and returned it 47 yards to set up a UA score in the third quarter. In all, it was arguably one of the UA defensive unit’s most dominating performances of the season.

    “”I think it was just good team defense. (ASU has) had their struggles on offense with their line, but they still have good skill,”” Stoops said. “”They still have good receivers and a quarterback and their backs, so you’ve got to go out there and execute.

    “”We just made it a point to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to leave it all on the field,'”” he added. “”We dedicated ourselves for two weeks to do whatever we can to go out and play a great game and leave it all on this field (Saturday).””

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