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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Stoops focusing on just football

    Arizona head coach Mike Stoops argues a call during Saturdays 21-20 loss to Stanford. Stoops insists that hes not worrying about rumors regarding his job status.
    Arizona head coach Mike Stoops argues a call during Saturday’s 21-20 loss to Stanford. Stoops insists that he’s not worrying about rumors regarding his job status.

    In just a week – and after a 21-20 loss to Stanford – the focus surrounding the Arizona football team has completely shifted in another direction.

    The spotlight previously on Arizona’s weekly performances now resides on UA head coach Mike Stoops and whether he will return as the Wildcats’ head coach next season.

    But with four games still remaining on the schedule – including two against top-five BCS opponents – Stoops isn’t paying any attention to his critics.

    “”That’s stuff I can’t control and players can’t control,”” Stoops said. “”(The team) probably aren’t hearing a lot of good things. I don’t pay much attention to it. It really has no factor on me. If that’s the way they feel, that’s the way they feel.””

    But the Wildcats’ present situation has drawn some concern.

    Linebacker Spencer Larsen, who had an outstanding individual game – he registered 14 tackles, a forced fumble and an interception – said following Saturday’s loss he felt bad for the coaches.

    “”I feel sorry for everybody,”” Larsen said. “”I feel really sorry for coach Stoops. I mean, that guy

    It is always about trying to find the right pieces for the puzzle, and we are still trying to figure out some personnel things.
    – Sonny Dykes, UA offensive coordinator

    cares more than anybody. You can tell he wants it so bad. I hurt for him and I feel for all my coaches. … We all put a lot into it.””

    Defensive coordinator Mark Stoops said it is a better idea that the coaches ignore what the media is writing and focus on the game.

    “”When the (coverage) is good it does you no good, and when it’s bad it does you no good,”” Mark Stoops said. “”That is why you don’t read it.””

    Stoops thinks sputtering offense up to par

    Although Arizona has particularly struggled on offense of late, Mike Stoops said the new attack has come along at the pace he thought it would.

    The Wildcats started off the season averaging 30.8 points through five games but have only scored 49 in the last three combined.

    “”Well, I wanted (the offense) to be in full-flight by week one,”” said offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes. “”It is always about trying to find the right pieces for the puzzle, and we are still trying to figure out some personnel things.””

    After not scoring an offensive touchdown against Oregon State, the Wildcats only marginally improved against the Cardinal, a team that entered Saturday ranked near the bottom of the Pacific 10 Conference in scoring defense (ninth), pass defense (10th), rushing defense (ninth) and red-zone defense (ninth).

    “”I liked where we were after spring football,”” Dykes said. “”We struggled early, then we played pretty well the next couple of weeks. The problem we have now is rebottling inconsistency.””

    Arizona fails to cash in on turnovers

    The Cardinal turned the ball over three times in Saturday’s third quarter.

    Arizona turned those miscues into only three points.

    “”It certainly was frustration,”” Mike Stoops said. “”It probably cost us an opportunity
    to win.””

    The Wildcats have scored only six times this season after gaining possession off of a turnover. They have forced a total of
    14 turnovers.

    “”One thing we tell our players is important: When we get a turnover, it is all about trying to score a touchdown,”” Dykes said. “”It has kind of been an Achilles heel of ours.””

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