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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Countless ‘Cats could compete in conference clash vs. crumbling Cougars

    UA reserve quarterback Matt Scott (4) tries to escape the grasp of defensive back Breyon Williams in a 70-0 win over Idaho at Arizona Stadium on Aug. 30. Scott and other reserves on the team are anticipating ample playing time at Washington State on Saturday.
    UA reserve quarterback Matt Scott (4) tries to escape the grasp of defensive back Breyon Williams in a 70-0 win over Idaho at Arizona Stadium on Aug. 30. Scott and other reserves on the team are anticipating ample playing time at Washington State on Saturday.

    As the 39-point favorite Arizona football team takes on Washington State on Saturday with bowl eligibility on the line, several new names could take the field for the Wildcats if the team gets a substantial lead.

    Out of 119 Football Championship series teams, the Cougars rank 118th in total offense, 111th in total defense, average slightly more than 12 points per game (118th), allow 49 points per game (119th) and have 20 more giveaways than takeaways (tied for 118th).

    Given Arizona averages of 36.6 points per game (16th) and 18 points allowed per game (21st), there’s a good chance the Wildcats could follow USC’s example and empty their bench in the second half.

    “”Hopefully that happens,”” said quarterback Willie Tuitama. “”Hopefully we’ll be able to get up on ’em and we’ll get a whole bunch of other guys in the game to just go out there and play and have fun in the rain.””

    Freshmen Matt Scott and Robert Golden, both highly touted coming out of high school, could potentially see a lot of playing time against Washington State, which would greatly benefit their progression as players. Both came into the season with high ratings and there was speculation that Golden could even start at nickel back, but neither player has seen the field as much as anticipated.

    “”That’s why watching film every day is a great thing to do,”” Golden said. “”Being patient and waiting our turns, that’s a great thing to do because you learn from the guys who are out there making plays now. I’m just trying to learn every day.””

    UA head coach Mike Stoops would like to give lots of younger players a chance to play in game situations because “”that’s why they practice all week.”” He’ll try to do that this weekend if the situation calls for it.

    “”We try to play players and I think that helps develop your program,”” Stoops said. “”We haven’t had the luxury of that in too many games around here, but we’re starting to put some things together and you’re starting to see our younger players develop.””

    Even if the journey to Pullman is long and the weather is crummy, all signs point to Scott getting his opportunity at quarterback for a considerable chunk of the game. The combined score of Washington State’s last two home games is 132-14 and that will help not only him, but the program’s future as well.

    “”I think it’s pretty important. This being my freshman year, I need to get acclimated with college and the speed and everything,”” Scott said. “”I think this will be a good chance for me to get out there and get experience for next year.””

    Scott was able to get touches and make plays in the 70-0 demolition of Idaho and wins over UCLA and Washington, but more snaps against the Cougars could show a glimpse of what he’s capable of in the years to come.

    “”Matt, he’s ready. He goes every day through practice just watching and learning,”” Tuitama said. “”He goes out there and makes the right reads and gets the ball to the right people. If he does get a chance to play, which hopefully he will, then it should be fun to watch.””

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