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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Football notes: Arizona not looking past Toledo

    Just days after perhaps one of the Arizona football team’s biggest season-opening victories in recent memory, the Wildcats are already focusing on their next opponent.

    While Arizona certainly enjoyed the 70-0 rout of Idaho on Saturday, the coaching staff has made sure the team doesn’t enjoy it too much.

    After all, the Wildcats’ next opponent on the schedule is Toledo of the Mid-American Conference. While it may not seem like an opponent to circle on the schedule, UA head coach Mike Stoops hails from Youngstown, Ohio, and linebackers coach Tim Kish comes from Westerville, Ohio – both fully understand the tradition of the MAC and football in the state.

    “”There is a lot of football tradition in the state of Ohio,”” said Kish, who went to Bowling Green, another Ohio school in the MAC. “”The Canton Hall of Fame, high school football is a big deal there, and all the colleges that exist, and obviously Woody Hayes and Ohio State.

    “”You have three of us from Ohio here on this staff and several more from the Midwest, so that is our background,”” Kish added. “”I have been at MAC schools. I have been at Ball State and I have been at Ohio University and the last thing you want to do is ever do is to think that is a lower level school. The MAC has proven itself very well against upper-tier talent and have been very successful in the past.””

    And the first week of the season was no different for the MAC in terms of their success, as Bowling Green already showed upset capability when it knocked off No. 25 Pittsburgh.

    Although Toledo hasn’t played a game yet this season, the coaching staff fully understands that the MAC isn’t a conference to look past, particularly teams that have experienced success in the past like Toledo.

    “”We will face some tough challenges against Toledo. That MAC always plays well,”” Stoops said. “”The (MAC) is a good football conference.””

    Arizona pleased with receiver depth

    Arguably the most important thing Arizona gained from the blowout of Idaho was the opportunity to play just about every eligible player.

    While it was certainly important for the Wildcats to start their season off on a fast note, Stoops was more pleased with the amount of work a wide variety of players got in the game against the Vandals.

    Even more impressive for the head coach wasn’t the amount of time the reserves got, but rather, how they looked when playing.

    “”Our ones obviously took care of business but I felt like our twos there wasn’t a significant drop off,”” Stoops said. “”To go out there and execute the gameplan pretty flawlessly was pretty good, so that gives us a lot to look forward too. I think you can get a lot of games like that even though it is a much lesser opponent then we are going to see throughout the season.

    “”The experience some kids get in game situations is very, very valuable, so it was good to get kids a lot of work, and significant work,”” Stoops added. “”Any time you can add depth, and not just depth by numbers, but depth by quality players really puts pressure on the people above you to perform.””

    Offensively, the Arizona coaching staff was quite pleased with the bulk of receivers that put in quality work. Nine different players caught passes in the win over Idaho, including touchdown receptions from Mike Thomas, Terrell Turner, Chris Gronkowski and Nick Booth.

    Arizona was also satisfied with the consistent play of youngster wideouts William “”Bug”” Wright, David Douglas and Dave Roberts.

    Delashaun Dean showed he is going to be an integral part of the Wildcat offense this season with a first half explosive when he caught five quick balls in the first half for 77 yards. Dean was excited about the amount of looks he was getting and felt he can be a big contributor for the Wildcats this season.

    “”I just want to be able to contribute. Whatever I can do I am going to do it,”” Dean said. “”Pretty much on Saturday I was just trying to find an open spot and (quarterback Willie Tuitama) just found me.””

    Offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes couldn’t comment enough about the importance of depth at the wide receiver position in Arizona’s spread offense and added the Wildcats could use up to 12 different receivers per game.

    Dykes was excited about the multitude of impact makers the Wildcats have at the receiver position.

    “”We would like to play 10 or 12 (receivers) a game,”” Dykes said. “”You would like to have two deep and maybe a third guy for each spot if you are going to play four wide, and that includes with (our offense) tight ends, too.

    “”We are not there yet,”” Dykes added. “”We are still trying to develop more depth at some spots but we saw some good things from the young guys.””

    Late Hits

    Just removed from minor surgery to remove a cyst from his back, Arizona punter Keenyn Crier had another minor run in with the injury bug.

    Crier, who had a rare mishap in the Idaho game with a two-yard punt that he dropped caused by “”wet ball and wet hands,”” rolled his left ankle on the play. The sophomore punter wore a protective boot on his left foot Monday and is expected to be back in practice today.

    “”I will be fine, just a little mild sprain,”” Crier said. “”I will be kicking “”(today).”” …

    Cornerback Mike Turner has been suspended from the team indefinitely, but there was no comment from team representatives Monday as to why.

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