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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Foles still growing for Wildcats

As Nick Foles continues through his final season at the helm of the Arizona offense, there’s one more thing he can write on his resume: play caller.

The Wildcats managed to bombard 48 points on top of the visiting UCLA Bruins last Thursday, and part of that was predicated on Foles’ ability to call plays himself.

“He’s comfortable,” Arizona quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo said. “Hopefully, each week we can give him more and more ownership. I thought he did a great job. We practiced the things he wanted to practice, and I think it allowed us to get out the gate quicker.”

“I thought the first half was probably as good a half as he’s played since I’ve been here.”

Foles’ numbers speak for themselves; he’s thrown for 2,546 yards, good enough for fourth in the nation, and 18 touchdowns so far this season.

However, it is his ability as a leader for the young Arizona team, and the initiative he has for taking charge of the offense, which is what coaches have noticed most.

“Nick’s been kind of wanting to (take charge),” Scelfo said. “(He’ll say) ‘Here’s some stuff I want to do that I think can help us.’ ”

“Nick’s a smart guy,” Scelfo added. “When you have players like him who don’t come along very often, you got to take advantage of them while you’ve got them and you’ve got to appreciate them while you’ve got him.”

Defense rewinding the clock

In order to combat the Bruins’ pistol offense, Arizona interim head coach and defensive coordinator Tim Kish dug into the Wildcats defensive archives and decided to use the “Desert Swarm” double-eagle flex defensive package that the Wildcats utilized under former coach Dick Tomey.

Essentially, the package is a derivative of the traditional 4-3 defensive scheme, where the team still plays four down lineman, but two will line up a yard behind the line of scrimmage with the goal being to funnel the play toward the middle of the field.

While it was successful against UCLA, it might be tough to use it against different offensive sets.

“It was a good byproduct of the offense that we saw with UCLA,” Kish said. “How it fits right now, we just have to kind of wait and see, and see if that’s really in our plans down the road.

“We certainly aren’t going to shelve it for the rest of the year.”

Bondurant breaks out

Arizona freshman defensive back Tra’Mayne Bondurant took over the rover position in the flex defense and showed his capabilities recording eight tackles for the Wildcats.

“The rover position in the flex defense, that’s were the ball goes,” Kish said. “He did a heck of a job for just a week’s worth of practice and understanding what was expected of him at that position.”

Bonano’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed

Arizona place kicker John Bonano was named the Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week after his perfect outing against UCLA on Thursday.

Along with his two made field goals, the longest being from 41 yards, a season high for the Wildcats, he also managed to hit all six of his extra points.

Coming into Thursday’s game the Wildcats were 2-of-6 so far this season on field goal attempts and had also been unsuccessful on five extra point tries.

Despite being originally third on the Wildcat depth chart, Bonano should now be the starter for the rest of the season.

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