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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “‘Tui’ takes another hit, misses second half”

    EUGENE, Ore. – Willie Tuitama missed part of the second quarter and all of the second half of Arizona’s 37-10 win over Oregon Saturday night after taking a hard hit early in the first quarter.

    Tuitama, who’s had two concussions this year, threw two touchdowns before he was taken out with Arizona up 21-10 with three minutes to play in the second quarter. But UA head coach Mike Stoops said after the game that the decision was precautionary.

    “”Willie’s good, he…was just a little bit not quite 100 percent, so we didn’t want to chance it and get him hit again,”” Stoops said.

    “”He felt like he could go back in, and he went in the next series. He just didn’t feel normal, and we just didn’t want to risk any further injury, that’s for sure.””

    After the hit, the sophomore quarterback remained on the ground, sitting up for a few moments, then slowly walked to the huddle 20 yards up the field following his completion to wideout Mike Thomas.

    The next play, Tuitama threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to H-back Earl Mitchell. After a scoring pass to running back Chris Henry two series’ later, he was replaced by redshirt senior Adam Austin, who finished the half without attempting a pass.

    Tuitama was 8-of-9 with 120 yards before the injury.

    After Tuitama got hit, Austin immediately started to warm up.

    “”It wasn’t as bad (as the concussions earlier in the year). He was still pretty alert, but I could see in his eyes that just everything wasn’t there,”” Austin said. “”But after every time I came to the sidelines (as the game went on), he was more alert and alert. He’s fine now.””

    Wideout Syndric Steptoe also took a big hit, with his coming just four minutes before Tuitama’s on a hit from Oregon’s Walter Thurmond. Steptoe didn’t return and finished the game without a reception, ending his personal 27-game stretch of consecutive games with a catch.

    Like Tuitama, Stoops said the decision to hold Steptoe out was precautionary.

    “”We feel good about having both of them next week,”” Stoops said.

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