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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Offense flexes power

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Wildcats football team played its annual spring scrimmage game Saturday, April 16, 2011, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcats football team played its annual spring scrimmage game Saturday, April 16, 2011, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.

The offense gave Arizona football fans a taste of what could be in a 70-minute spring game on Saturday at Arizona Stadium.

Using a scrimmage-style scoring system, the offense defeated the defense 53-10. The Wildcats’ offense had 60 plays for 462 yards and 27 first downs — 16 of those coming through the air, an indication of the offense’s philosophical shift toward the pass.

Four quarterbacks saw the field for Arizona, combining for 380 yards through the air. Starting quarterback Nick Foles finished 11-of-16 for 133 yards with a 23-yard touchdown to receiver Richard Morrison, who had four catches.

Morrison connected on another score with Bryson Beirne, the presumed backup to Foles, should the coaching staff decide to redshirt Matt Scott.

Receiver David Roberts also added four receptions and Juron Criner, Dan Buckner, Terrance Miller and speedster Garic Wharton each had three. Buckner and receiver Tyler Slavin also scored for the Wildcats.

“”Certainly, we feel like we have a great group of skill guys,”” Stoops said. “”We have a plethora of receivers and they’re really starting to mature and come on.””

Despite surrendering two sacks, Stoops said the young offensive line continued to improve. This was the first time fans had a look at the new line since the departure of familiar names like Colin Baxter, Adam Grant, Conan Amituanai and Philip Garcia.

“”The scrimmage was really good for the offense,”” said center Kyle Quinn, who with one start has the most game experience of the entire offensive line. “”We’ve taken huge strides since day one. Out here was the best protection we’ve had in a month.

“”From where we’ve started, we’ve come a long way,”” Quinn said after the scrimmage.

Another Wildcat injury

Strong-side linebacker Jake Fischer injured his right knee with less than three minutes left in the scrimmage. The injury could be another potentially crippling blow for the Wildcats because they are lacking depth at linebacker after R.J. Young and Trevor Erno quit the team. Stoops said he wouldn’t know the extent of the injury for a few days.

“”We’re thin. We need to just get healthy and really work hard this summer,”” said linebacker Paul Vassallo.

Arizona was also bitten with the injury bug earlier in the spring. The Wildcats are already without starting safety Adam Hall and running back Greg Nwoko.

“”It’ll be disappointing if it’s significant,”” Stoops said about Fischer’s injury. “”That’ll be another major blow for us.””

Special teams

Punter Kyle Dugandzic booted the only punt of the game, and impressed the 4,500 fans in attendance with a 72-yard punt.

Kicker Alex Zendejas connected on three of his four field goal attempts. He made field goals from 50-yards and two from 32-yards away. He missed on field goal from 40-yards.

The senior said the coordination on field goal attempts was something the special teams unit would try to improve during the summer.

“”We’re not where we want to be right now, but that comes over time,”” Zendejas said. “”It’s a new snapper, it’s a new holder, eventually that comes over time.””

While Stoops said the punt by Dugandzic was impressive, he said there was still major work to be done with the special teams until.

“”I thought our kick offs were good, and our field goal kicking needs to improve,”” Stoops said. “”The inconsistencies are really bothering us.””

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