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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Football notes: First day in shoulder pads, Jack Baucus moves to tackle”

The Arizona football team finally got to hit on Saturday, at least a little bit. The Wildcats added shoulder pads to their practice attire, inching closer to practices in full pads. The Wildcats had their team photo day this morning, which doubled as a media day for the local media, so these notes are a little later than usual. But here’s what happened in Saturday morning’s practice: 

  • The offensive sets showed some diversity built toward personnel. When Matt Scott took 11-on-11 snaps, Arizona ran a few option plays with him, along with working to get him out of the pocket. Arizona also showed a wildcat formation with Richard Morrison lined up at quarterback. 
  • Ka’Deem Carey got his first reps in a live drill. Though he didn’t get a handoff, Carey was in for a couple snaps on 11-on-11 drills. His first play was a play-action fake, and he later lined up at receiver in a five-wide set. It looks like Arizona is trying to find different ways to get him on the field. 
  • Head coach Mike Stoops said that Keola Antolin and Daniel Jenkins are the clear-cut top-two running backs, with everyone else competing for the third spot right now. It looks like the coaching staff is going to give Carey every chance to be the third option there, and ultimately give him a chance to take carries away from the top two backs. 
  • In the first day of practicing in shoulder pads, Arizona’s offensive line was much improved. Stiil a little inconsistent, but Foles had time to at least find a check-down option when he dropped back, and the running backs found some lanes. The line also gave Foles a nice pocket to step up into a couple of times, letting the defensive ends’ speed take them out of the play.
  • Mohammed Usman is going to be a pain for opposing teams to deal with. He’s so quick off the ball that he will be able to run right around most tackles he lines up against. He’ll still need to add a few more pass-rush moves for when he’s going against more athletic linemen, but he looks good so far. 
  • Arizona’s young group of D-tackles looked pretty good Friday. They were able to get into the backfield occasionally on run plays, though it was usually on slow-developing type counters. They also provided a little bit of a pass rush. Kirifi Taula looks like he’ll be in the rotation when the regular season starts. 
  • Tight end Jack Baucus has been moved to tackle, and will wear No. 67. Stoops said that Baucus is up to around 270 pounds, and he expects him to be around 285 or 290 by the time the season starts. Baucus said that he’s going to do his best to add the right kind of weight, which will be more difficult for him. 
  • Baucus didn’t wait long to get in the middle of camp’s first big skirmish. Baucus and D-end C.J. Parish went after each other after they were locked up during a run play, which brought nearly the entire team out to try to break it up (or join it, it was about half-and-half). 
  • Arizona’s offense put points on the board again in the two-minute drill, except it was a field goal today. Foles made a highlight play on a 3rd-and-long, avoiding pressure and rolling out to his right before finding Dan Buckner streaking toward the sideline. Arizona’s next play was a deep ball that Juron Criner sprawled out to catch. The offense then had 1st-and-goal from the five yard-line, but elected to set up a field goal. Alex Zendejas split the uprights, and the kick had plenty of height on it. 
  • Sophomore cornerbacks Shaq Richardson and Jonathan McKnight both made nice diving plays to break up a pass attempt in 7-on-7 drills. Arizona’s secondary is going to be very deep this season, especially if safety Adam Hall is able to contribute at some point. 

That’s all from today’s practice. Sunday’s practice is closed to the media, so the next update will be on Monday. 

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