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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Adam Hall makes noise in debut

Although it wasn’t enough to snap Arizona’s losing streak, junior safety Adam Hall made his 2011 debut on Saturday and didn’t disappoint.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound free safety registered a team-high 10 tackles to go along with two tackles for a loss and forced a fumble in Arizona’s 37-27 loss to Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore.

“He gives it everything he has,” head coach Mike Stoops said on 1290-AM postgame radio show. “I’m very proud of him. He pushed himself through it. That first time on the field coming off a major knee injury is always traumatic, and I’m really proud of the way he handled it and moved around.”

Hall tore his ACL during the spring season and underwent surgery soon thereafter. Stoops was unsure how much Hall would be able to contribute against the Beavers, but Hall quickly answered that question on Saturday.

He showed no signs of rust as the Palo Verde High School product looked like the same physical specimen who started seven games at safety in 2010, racking up 54 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, three pass break ups and two interceptions.

“Adam filled his role really nicely and was aggressive. It was good to have Adam back,” said sophomore cornerback Shaquille Richardson, who finished the game with two interceptions and a touchdown. “We like him and Marquis (Flowers), so if they can figure out a rotation then it would be great.”

Hall’s return didn’t come without controversy, however. After tackling running back Jovan Stevenson late in the third quarter, Hall exchanged words with receiver James Rodgers, the same player who Hall tackled in the end zone last season, bending the wide receiver backward and tearing Rodgers’ ACL.

Oregon State tight end Joe Halahuni didn’t appreciate what Hall had to say to Rodgers on Saturday, and pushed Hall’s helmet. Hall lost it and made contact with a referee while pleading his case, leading to a 15-yard penalty. The bad blood between Hall and Rodgers was evident, and Halahuni wasn’t having any of it.

“I just didn’t appreciate how he was talking to my teammates,” Halahuni told the Oregon State media. “A couple times he was in somebody’s face, I was kind of sick of it.”

Hall and Rodgers won’t face off ever again at the collegiate level, but the junior safety will continue to get back to 100 percent for a Wildcats defense that’s giving up a conference-worst 487.7 yards per game. Although he looked healthy on Saturday, Hall’s recovery won’t come without bumps and bruises.

“I haven’t really hit anyone in six months,” Hall told the media after the game. “My body’s got to turn itself to get used to contact all the time.”

Juron Criner leaves game with sprained knee

The setbacks continue for Arizona’s star receiver Juron Criner. The senior wideout, who has undergone appendicitis surgery this season, sprained his knee after fighting for extra yards in the first quarter. Criner did not return and finished the game with two catches for 16 yards.

Stoops told the media that Criner should be back by the UCLA game on Oct. 20 and that the injury is nothing too serious.

But even when Criner’s been healthy, he’s been a shell of his former self. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound All-American has only one game over 100 yards this season and has only gone over 50 yards receiving in two of the five games he’s played.

Junior Texas transfer Dan Buckner, who finished with eight catches for 144 yards and a touchdown, has replaced Criner as Arizona’s most deadly threat this season.

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