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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Football searching for ‘O’

    UA running back Chris Jennings carries the ball up field in Arizonas 20-7 loss at Brigham Young last Saturday. Jennings rushed for 42 yards against the Cougars, but he ran wild for 201 yards the last time the Wildcats faced a Division I-AA in Stephen F. Austin last year, which will be the case again when NAU heads to Arizona Stadium for tomorrows 7 p.m. contest.
    UA running back Chris Jennings carries the ball up field in Arizona’s 20-7 loss at Brigham Young last Saturday. Jennings rushed for 42 yards against the Cougars, but he ran wild for 201 yards the last time the Wildcats faced a Division I-AA in Stephen F. Austin last year, which will be the case again when NAU heads to Arizona Stadium for tomorrow’s 7 p.m. contest.

    Arizona’s new spread offense: take two.

    After a sub-par debut for the Wildcats’ new offensive scheme in their season-opening loss at Brigham Young last Saturday, in which Arizona only managed to gain 255 total yards (41 yards in the first half) and score seven points, the team will look to get its high-flying offense on track.

    And the Wildcats (0-1) are happy to see a Division I-AA opponent due up on their schedule. The last time the Wildcats faced a sub-divisional opponent – Stephen F. Austin last year – Arizona posted 28 points while gaining 407 total yards bolstered by Chris Jennings’ 201 yards on the ground.

    Arizona would like to put a repeat performance on display, as the Wildcats will play host to Division I-AA NAU (1-0) for their home opener at Arizona Stadium tomorrow at 7 p.m.

    “”We played a little tentatively last week and hopefully we will come out and play a little more freely and be able to execute some things better,”” UA head coach Mike Stoops said. “”Every game we approach the same way. … (NAU) is a very talented team that can make you look silly if you are not prepared.””

    So expect the Wildcats to come out firing.

    Though offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes said after Tuesday’s practice that his offensive philosophy will be no different, he did say the Wildcats will look to achieve big plays while keeping their offense on the field for as long as possible.

    Arizona’s play selection was in question after Dykes, who called the plays for the first time in his career Saturday, put on a rather conservative attack, showing a lack of passes downfield out of the spread formation.

    “”We did the best that we could do Saturday, and obviously we struggled a little bit,”” Dykes said. “”But this week in practice we are working towards getting better and hopefully running a more effective offense.””

    With much expectation of a pass-heavy offensive arsenal, Arizona’s offensive personality resembled the Wildcats’ scheme from last year, not the Texas Tech offense Dykes hailed from.

    The Red Raiders threw the ball a total 66 times en route to scoring 49 points and 553 total yards in its first-week victory over Southern Methodist on Monday.

    But if there is one positive that could be found in the rubble of disappointment, it’s that the Wildcats took care of the ball, making it the third time in the last four contests that Arizona did not commit a turnover dating back to last year.

    Quarterback Willie Tuitama proved to be ready to shoulder the load, as the junior went 26-for-36 for 216 yards while completing a 7-yard pass to Earl Mitchell for Arizona’s lone touchdown.

    “”Either way we have a game to play this weekend, and it doesn’t matter who we are playing because we need to improve,”” Tuitama said. “”We just need to go out there and do the things we have been practicing to do and perform.””

    He added that the offense has much growing to do, especially after the problems it encountered last weekend.

    “”Our offense is going to change every week depending on our opponent and how we want to expose them,”” Tuitama said. “”We will just see how we perform week by week.””

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