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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Austin may replace ‘Tui’ on Saturday

    Less than three days away from a matchup with Stephen F. Austin, the chances that quarterback Willie Tuitama sees the field appear to be decreasing.

    The sophomore, who remains questionable after suffering a concussion against No. 6 Louisiana State on Saturday, was held out of practice for a third straight session last night.

    Should Tuitama not practice this afternoon, redshirt senior Adam Austin would likely replace him in the starting lineup against the Lumberjacks on Saturday.

    “”If (Tuitama) can’t practice (today), then he could be used in a backup role,”” Stoops said. “”But if there’s any questions, we’d probably hold him if he’s not totally symptom-free.””

    The Tigers knocked Tuitama around early Saturday, drilling the young signal-caller to the ground with two helmet-to-helmet hits on the game’s first drive.

    Though Stoops said yesterday that Tuitama was “”pretty much symptom-free,”” the quarterback remained on the sidelines out of concern that his recovery would be affected.

    “”We didn’t want to have him go through even a noncontact practice today,”” Stoops said. “”We just didn’t want to set him back and exert too much energy.””

    Austin, who has been taking snaps with the first-team offense all week, has the chance to realize a lifelong dream.

    “”I’ve been waiting for it my whole life, and I’ve been preparing my whole life for it,”” Austin said of the possibility of starting. “”I’m just going to take it and have fun with it and just play the best I can.””

    Despite his sudden shift into the limelight, Austin said his approach this week hasn’t changed.

    “”These last two weeks, I’ve gone into it like I’m going to play, so I’ve just been preparing myself mentally all week to be ready to play,”” he said. “”I’m just going to go about it the same as I have been.””

    Kris Heavner, who started for Arizona as a true freshman in 2003, is listed as the team’s third-string quarterback.

    Also questionable for Saturday is defensive tackle Yaniv Barnett, who hyper-extended his shoulder last week against LSU.

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