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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona football unlucky with injuries against OSU

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Larry Hogan / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Head coach Rich Rodriguez admitted during fall camp that the Wildcats don’t have much depth, especially on defense. Through the first four games, the Wildcats managed to avoid serious injuries to key players, but that good fortunate finally ran out Saturday.

On three separate occasions the training staff needed to help quarterback Matt Scott, safety Jared Tevis and center Kyle Quinn off the field. It’d be hard to name a group of players more indispensable for Arizona than those three.

“[Tevis] a really good football player, probably one of our best defensive players,” Rodriguez said. “He makes plays, anybody who watched him in the first four games saw that. But the next guy in has to make plays [as well].”

After the game, Tevis said on his Twitter account that the injury looks like a bad ankle sprain but he is going in for X-rays to verify the extent of the injury.

Arizona doesn’t release injury information until Thursday, so unless Tevis tweets an update, his availability for Arizona’s game at No. 18 Stanford is up in the air.

“Losing a player like Tevis obviously hurts,” linebacker Marquis Flowers said. “But we believe in all our players, and Patrick [Onwuasor] came in and did a great job.”

But the injury bug didn’t just bite during the game — it also made an impact before.

Another senior lineman, right guard Trace Biskin, didn’t dress for the game at all and starting defensive tackle Reggie Gilbert also wasn’t on the field Saturday night.

“Whoever’s in there has got to make the plays … We’re not a real deep team,” Rodriguez said.

At one point, eight or nine starters were out of the game, according to Rodriguez. Scott quickly returned to action after his injury, but the losses of Tevis and Quinn were difficult for a shallow team like Arizona to overcome.

“The guys who went in that were backups played really hard, and I’m proud of them,” Rodriguez said. “Are they as good as the starters? Well if they were, they’d be the starters. At the same time I thought they battled pretty good in there.”

Onwuasor, a converted wide receiver, was the player called on to replace Tevis after he couldn’t return. Onwuasor finished the game with eight tackles, but Rodriguez said he went in because he was just the next player up.

Scott the Warrior

Scott went down on his first run of the night, a 21-yard scramble a few minutes into the third quarter. After the play he had to be helped off the field and receiver Richard Morrison replaced him for the next snap.

But once Morrison’s quarterback sneak resulted in no gain, Scott returned to the field and injected life back into Arizona Stadium.

“He’s a warrior, he’s our general on the offense as well as the team,” receiver Dan Buckner said. “He fights through adversity, he’s our leader. We talk about having a hard-edge as a team and there’s no better representation than [Scott].”

The next 10 plays after Scott returned changed the score from a 10-point Beavers lead to a 21-17 advantage for the Wildcats, their first lead of the night.

“[Scott] has always been a fighter — that’s what I love about him,” receiver Austin Hill said. “I was a little bit worried because I wasn’t sure what exactly had happened. But when I saw him back on the field I was really happy.”

“It did boost moral a bit,” Hill added. “Seeing your leader come back onto the field after just seeing him walk off injured.”

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