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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Quick hits from UA’s 41-2 win over Toledo

Linebackers pass first test

The much-maligned defensive unit clearly outplayed expectations in Friday’s 41-2 win over Toledo, but it was the linebackers that stole the show.

Derek Earls and Paul Vassallo, neither of whom had ever played a down of Division I football, came up big for Arizona and were instrumental in the win.

Vassallo chipped in with a team-high 10 total tackles, and although Earls had just two, he provided the defensive highlight of the night.

After baiting the quarterback into thinking he was blitzing, Earls sank back into zone coverage and made an athletic one-handed interception.

The night was a huge confidence boost for the two junior college tranfers.

“”I thought we played really good,”” Earls said. “”We came out and did what we wanted to do. We wanted to show everyone that we could come out and play and that we were here to play and just, you know, have fun and play hard.””

 

Two heads are better than one

A major question coming into the season for Arizona football was how players would react to a co-coordinator system. After losing former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Sonny Dykes to Lousiana Tech and former defensive coordinator Mark Stoops to Florida State, Friday’s season opener against Toledo was the first opportunity for head coach Mike Stoops to display the co-coordinators system.

Bill Bedenbaugh and Seth Littrell split time on the offensive side while Greg Brown and Tim Kish handled the defense. Littrell and Kish were in the box while Brown and Bedenbaugh controlled the sideline duties.

“”For the most part it was great,”” Kish said. “”I made a great decision to go upstairs and to have Greg (Brown) on the sideline.””

The system seemed to work well for the Arizona players, who excelled on both sides of the ball. Arizona’s offense put up 518 yards while the defense only allowed 183.

 

Golden Corner

Junior Robert Golden made his return to his natural position of cornerback in Arizona’s season opener on Friday.

Golden made three tackles in the game, including one for a loss of three yards.

“”It felt pretty good being at the corner position,”” said Golden. “”I feel real natural out there at the corner.””

In fall camp, Golden made the switch back to cornerback — the position he played in high school. The switch freed up more room at safety for seniors Joseph Perkins and Anthony Wilcox and sophomore Adam Hall as well as newcomer Marquis Flowers and gave Golden the chance to play opposite veteran cornerback Trevin Wade.

Although Toledo attempted to break through the Arizona defense mostly on the ground, Golden’s skills will be tested as the season goes on.

“”They didn’t really get too much action to come my way so just really looking forward to Iowa, Pac-10 games, anything where they can throw the ball and we can really test our skills as a secondary,”” Golden said.

 

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