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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Antoine Cason named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week

    Arizonas Antoine Cason pressures Oregon State quarterback Matt Moore during the Wildcats 17-10 loss to the Beavers Oct. 21. The junior cornerback was named Pacific 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career yesterday.
    Arizona’s Antoine Cason pressures Oregon State quarterback Matt Moore during the Wildcats’ 17-10 loss to the Beavers Oct. 21. The junior cornerback was named Pacific 10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in his career yesterday.

    Add another award to Antoine Cason’s trophy case.

    The junior cornerback, who had six tackles, forced a fumble and broke up four passes in Arizona’s 27-17 win over Washington State Saturday, was named the Pacific 10 Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week yesterday.

    “”I thought I had a pretty good game, but you never know, so I wasn’t expecting too much,”” said Cason, who was also named a preseason All-American by a number of publications – including the Sporting News – before the season, and is also on the Chuck Bednarik watch list, an award given to the nation’s top defensive player.

    “”It feels great to be the player of the week, and it helps me practice better even though I’ve still been at it,”” he added. “”It’s a confidence booster as well.””

    This isn’t the first time Cason has been honored by the conference. The Long Beach, Calif., native also won the award as a freshman after his first career game in 2004 against NAU.

    Cason will have his hands full this weekend when he faces the Pac-10’s other reigning players of the week in California quarterback Nate Longshore and his teammate, wideout DeSean Jackson.

    “”That’s going to be exciting because their confidence is probably just like mine, and they’re going to work this week as well,”” Cason said.

    Longshore, a sophomore, garnered his third Offensive Player of the Week honor of the season after throwing for three touchdowns and 266 yards on 20-of-24 passing in his team’s 38-24 win over UCLA.

    Jackson, also a sophomore, was named Special Teams Player of the Week after returning a punt 72 yards for a score against UCLA. It was his third return of the season and fourth of his career, both of which tied conference records.

    “”I plan – hey, go out and get it again, because this is national TV (and) the team is playing well,”” Cason said.

    Arizona’s only previous honoree this season is kicker/punter Nick Folk, who was named Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week following his game-winning field goal in Arizona’s 16-13 win over Brigham Young Sept. 2.

    Injury updates

    Safety Dominic Patrick, who was injured against WSU and didn’t return, practiced last night but didn’t participate in contact drills.

    UA head coach Mike Stoops said Patrick had a “”stinger,”” an injury usually associated with injuring nerves in the neck.

    Stoops added that defensive end Jonathan Turner, who missed the game against the Cougars with back spasms and didn’t practice last night, is expected back for Saturday’s game against Cal.

    A sore foot also kept nickelback Marcus Hollingsworth out of practice last night.

    Tuitama’s return sparks offense

    The UA offense clicked Saturday night, holding the ball for nearly 36 minutes, and a big reason for that was the return of quarterback Willie Tuitama, who had missed the past 2.5 games with a concussion.

    “”I think he brings some more stability, but I think that game gave him more confidence going into these last three games,”” Stoops said. “”I’m sure it was hard for him to get back out there.

    “”I’m pleased that he had a really solid game,”” Stoops added, “”and he hung in there on that third-down play (in the third quarter on a drive that led to a touchdown), took a hit and threw the ball to (UA wideout Syndric Steptoe).

    “”Those are things you look for, and those are things we have to have from him. And he gave ’em to us. I think he’ll gain more confidence from that.””

    Kickoff moved up, tickets dwindling

    Fans expecting to wake up late and then head to Homecoming festivities had better rethink their plans.

    Saturday’s kickoff, which had tentatively been set for a 4 p.m. start, has been moved up to 1:30 p.m. to accommodate the regional broadcast on ABC, with the annual Homecoming Parade starting at 10 a.m.

    As of yesterday morning, about 5,700 tickets remained for the game itself, said James Francis, a UA assistant director of athletics who handles marketing and ticket sales.

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