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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Scott’s patience pays off

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Wildcats take on The Citadel Bulldogs Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson Ariz. The Wildcats rolled the Bulldogs 52-6 to earn their second win of the season.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcats take on The Citadel Bulldogs Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson Ariz. The Wildcats rolled the Bulldogs 52-6 to earn their second win of the season.

Heading into the 2010 season, quarterback Matt Scott’s future at Arizona was uncertain.

The 6-foot-3 dual-threat quarterback came to Tucson as a four-star recruit and started the first three games of his sophomore year.

But Scott couldn’t keep the starting gig, as Nick Foles emerged as not only the starter, but also Tucson’s cover boy and the Wildcats’ so-called savior.

Foles’ face was plastered on every poster and billboard around town, and the Corona, Calif., native was left behind the eight ball — sharing the same year as Foles, with no redshirt eligibility and practically zero chance to shoot up the depth chart.

Scott said he “”put in a lot of thought,”” into transferring and “”looked around at a couple schools,”” which was only natural given the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Foles standing in his way of playing time.

“”As a quarterback, there’s one position that starts and there’s not multiple guys rotating in and out so I think it was normal for me to think about transferring,”” Scott said. “”But at the end of the day, I love Arizona and I wanted to stay here.””

Scott decided to remain a Wildcat for the time being, but standing on the sidelines watching was no easy feat.

“”It was real tough,”” Scott said of seeing limited minutes in the last year or so. “”I gave all of my power to stay here. I think all odds were against me I feel like, and I did everything in my power to stay here. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but it turned out for the better.””

All of that patience finally came full circle for Scott when Foles went down Saturday with a knee injury that will sideline him for at least a few weeks. Scott called Foles’ injury “”unfortunate”” and spoke to Foles briefly on Sunday about his health.

But there’s no question that after initially relinquishing the job to Foles, Scott is chomping at the bit to prove what he can do.

“”I’m really excited. Coming off of last year after the Iowa game, it was really disappointing for me,”” Scott said. “”Unfortunately Nick got hurt, but that leaves me with another opportunity. I’m really excited for the opportunity, and I’m going to take full advantage of it.””

Scott certainly believes in his abilities, and there’s no shortage of confidence coming from his coaches and teammates either.

Head coach Mike Stoops has raved about Scott all season long, and starting center Colin Baxter said, “”I have full confidence in him. He’s just like another first string quarterback. He has the talent and he knows what he’s doing back there.””

Scott now features a “”shorter release”” to ensure better accuracy, and also feels more comfortable in the pocket. In years past, he was criticized for fleeing from the pocket too soon, which he fully admits to.

“”I think my first couple of years I just didn’t really know the offense that well,”” Scott said. “”When I didn’t see anybody open my first thought was to tuck it and run.””

But after another season learning the plays and watching Foles run the offense, Scott said he feels a lot more comfortable in the pocket and doesn’t feel the need to tailor the offense to his strengths.

“”To me, really I don’t think anything should change,”” he said. “”I feel real comfortable with what the offense is doing right now, with what the offense has been doing for the past for the past four or five weeks. I just feel real comfortable and I think I can do the same thing Nick was doing.””

Despite Scott’s beliefs, there’s no question the offense will have to be altered slightly to get the dual-threat quarterback on the run. He doesn’t have nearly the same arm strength as Foles, meaning less deep balls to Juron Criner.

Nic Grigsby, Keola Antolin and Greg Nwoko will most likely all see more carries with Scott under center. But regardless of the changes, Scott is just happy to be back on the field again.

He went through a ton of internal struggle when deciding whether or not to stay at Arizona, and whether it’s for two games, or the rest of the season, Scott once again has a shot as a starter.

“”I’m not sure yet what it is,”” Scott said of his opportunity. “”I’m just worried about me and worried about this team and getting Ws.””

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