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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Kish says future of UA is bright despite season

Will Ferguson
Will Ferguson / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA football team faced the Utah Utes Friday Nov. 5 at Arizona Stadium. The Utes upset the Wildcats in a 34-21 victory.

Interim head coach Tim Kish believes that the Arizona football team, with its 2-8 record, has the talent to compete next year under a new head coach.
Though the Wildcats need another victory to match the lowest number of wins since former head coach Mike Stoops’ first year in 2004, Kish said the roster is significantly better as the team again faces a new era.
“There’s more talent on this football team now,” Kish said in his Monday press conference. “No doubt about it.”
Regardless of the team’s success this year, Kish said that the talent would be able to carry Arizona over the hurdle of this tumultuous season.
Arizona football director of performance enhancement, Corey Edmond, who started in 2005, also noted that the program as a whole is in a different place.
Edmond said that whomever assumes the role of head coach for the Wildcats next year will be lucky.
“The guy who inherits this program is going to inherit a pretty doggone good group of guys,” Edmond said. “I think now this is a program that’s better than it’s ever been. You have solid kids all the way around.”
Despite the hole that the team has been in this year, it will not be a continuing decline, according to Edmond.
“It’s not to the point where it’s dipped down (to where it was in 2004),” he said. “It’s to the point where it’s going to get even better. When you have situations like this you find your flaws and you correct them so you can never go back down to them again.”

Future leaders

The Wildcats started this season as an inexperienced team, something that has been a big part of their problem throughout the year. As the younger players start putting game experience under their belts, the Wildcats have the ability to be future contenders in the Pac-12 South.
Defensive back Tra’Mayne Bondurant has been a playmaker for the Wildcats since emerging against UCLA, the first game after Stoops was fired.
He has 30 tackles in the last five games, and his first interception of his career was also capped off by a touchdown return last week against Colorado.
“He’s a tremendous talent, he’s got tremendous passion for the game,” Kish said. “I think he’s a leader right now as a freshman.”
Arizona senior linebacker Paul Vassallo echoed Kish’s sentiments about the young Bondurant, saying that his “lights out” play has been motivation for the Wildcats as they prepare for the last two games of the year.
On the offensive side, regardless of the loss of seniors Juron Criner and Nick Foles after this season, the Wildcats return strong offensive core.
Edmond said that the emergence of freshman running back Ka’Deem Carey is huge for the Wildcats moving forward.
“(If) he keeps on the right path, he could be one of the best or the best back to ever play here,” Edmond said. “He’s a phenomenal talent. I’ve enjoyed working with him.”
Edmond also said that if Carey improves his breakout speed, he could be in the conversation as one of the top backs in the nation.
“I think (his speed is) the only thing that keeps him from being in the elite status of running backs,” Edmond said.

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