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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Offense struggles in first spring football scrimmage

    Grading the performances of both the offensive and defensive units collectively in the spring may be quite the subjective task for the Arizona football coaching staff.

    But after Arizona’s first scrimmage of the spring Saturday at Arizona Stadium, offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes had no trouble evaluating the performance of his offense, and he made it known.

    Following the scrimmage, in which a defense supposedly filled with uncertainties looked far more superior to its more experienced counterpart, Dykes uncharacteristically raised his voice in anger toward players gathered around on their knees.

    His apparent frustration came through in his speech, as he said it was “”embarrassing”” for him to watch the sloppy and lethargic play of his offense.

    “”In the spring it is the same thing, if the offense looks too good then you worry about the defense and if the defense looks too (good) than you worry about the offense,”” Dykes said. “”The effort has got to improve (on the offensive side of the ball). That is the thing we can’t have right now is guys that aren’t playing hard.

    “”You are going to have some days when guys, for whatever reason, don’t play as good during the spring,”” Dykes added. “”…The first couple of practices we were further along than I had expected and the last couple we haven’t been as good as I expected.””

    It is fairly hard to tell whether the offense was struggling or the defense was just playing exceptionally well, but if statistics don’t lie, defensive coordinator Mark Stoops has much to smile about.

    In more than fifteen offensive possessions, they were only able to reach the end zone once on a one-yard touchdown dive by running back Xavier Smith, who had 51 yards on 12 carries. Though the offense also tacked on two field goals, the defense held the more experienced side 13 of the 16 drives.

    “”It is always give and take in the spring,”” Stoops said. “”It is hard for the entire staff to be happy after a scrimmage because somebody has to win and somebody has to lose.

    “”The good thing (the defense) is doing is making the (offense) execute and work,”” he added. “”We have been pretty fundamentally sound for the most part, defensively, so I like the group. They are pretty eager, they are working hard and they are pretty good.””

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