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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Rockets set for season blastoff, to provide tough task for UA”

    Arizona vs. Toledo

    Arizona football head coach Mike Stoops looked at the box score and the film from the Wildcats’ 70-0 season-opening victory over Idaho.

    Something was different.

    As hard as Stoops looked, it was tough to come up with anything crucial to fix before Arizona (1-0) welcomes Toledo into Arizona Stadium on Saturday for the Wildcats’ second nonconference game.

    “”After watching the tape (Sunday) it was good and pleasing to see the way we played,”” Stoops said. “”Doing what we were supposed to do was nice to see and to do it that consistently throughout the game, I was really happy with the play of virtually everyone on our team.

    “”I think you can get a lot out of games like (the Idaho game), though it is a much lesser opponent than we are going to see throughout the course of the season,”” Stoops added. “”I think the experience the kids get in game situations is very, very important.””

    But when Arizona takes on Toledo – a Mid-American Conference team playing in its season opener – it won’t be the same.

    While the Wildcats feel they have made big strides since the end of last season – and it surely showed in the win over the Vandals – Toledo will most likely be considerably tougher than the showing Idaho had last weekend.

    Evidence as to how tough the MAC can be could be seen in games last Saturday, particularly in Bowling Green’s 27-17 upset of then-No. 25 Pittsburgh.

    And though some may have thought Arizona saved some plays from the Idaho game to throw at Toledo, offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes affirmed the Wildcats will have the same type of gameplan to attack the Rockets.

    “”We have to try and approach every game with 100 percent of everything we have,”” said Dykes of his offensive gameplan for the Rockets. “”That’s the thing – you can’t take any games for granted and really we put in everything we felt we needed to put in to have a chance to win (last) Saturday and we will do the same against Toledo.””

    One of the more encouraging things Arizona felt it took from the Idaho game was the emergence of newly-found depth on both sides of the ball. Stoops said he was impressed with the lack of drop-off between the starters and the reserves on both offense and defense.

    But the Wildcats will surely be counting on their veterans against Toledo, particularly in quarterback Willie Tuitama, who went 17-for-21 for 179 yards and three touchdowns against Idaho.

    Tuitama said he is confident the Wildcats won’t dip below their performance against the Vandals.

    “”We have done a good job of staying focused and taking it one day at a time,”” Tuitama said. “”We just need to stay within ourselves and make sure that we do the things we are supposed to do each and every day and make sure we are ready.

    “”We have prepared all week,”” he added, “”watched film, and know what they are trying to do to us.””

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