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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona Wildcats football report card

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Colin Prenger / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Passing game

Quarterback Matt Scott was efficient all night, missing on only six attempts and completing 13 straight before being pulled for backup B.J. Denker in the third quarter.

While Denker wasn’t spectacular in his first field action for the Wildcats, considering it was against South Carolina State, he at least proved to be a viable option if Scott is forced to miss any action. The two quarterbacks combined to go 36-for-46 for 366 yards and four touchdowns.

GRADE: A

Hands

So far the receiving core has proven to be deep and versatile, and the story was no different Saturday. Twelve different players caught the ball and four different receivers had touchdowns.

Getting open isn’t the problem though — it’s catching the ball and holding onto it. The Wildcats have six total fumbles this season, with five coming from receivers.

Junior Richard Morrison has been the main culprit and he was at it again Saturday. Morrison turned it over once and also muffed a punt that the Wildcats recovered.

GRADE: C

Ground attack

Individually, the numbers aren’t staggering, but as a group the Wildcats ran the ball the best they have all season. Arizona gained 323 yards on 56 attempts and scored four times in a full team effort as Daniel Jenkins, Ka’Deem Carey and Jared Baker all had more than ten carries.

The runs weren’t spectacular, but Arizona finally showed its depth at the position. Plus, Scott continued to run well, adding 61 yards on nine carries, bringing a level of versatility the Wildcats lacked in the past.

GRADE: B

Big Play Ability

This is the one area the offense was lacking in Saturday, and with a game against No. 3 Oregon on the horizon, it’s something the Wildcats need to improve on.

Scott had the longest run of the night, gaining 19 yards on a carry early in the second quarter. He missed on his one deep throw of the night though, and head coach Rich Rodriguez specifically mentioned the play in the post-game press conference.

Receivers Dan Buckner and Sean Willet had 27 and 31-yard touchdown catches, respectively, but both came when the game was pretty much out of reach.

GRADE: C-

Pass rush

Arizona is tied for 99th in the nation with just three sacks in its first three games. Saturday night was more of the same as only reserve linebacker Dakota Conwell came away with a sack.

Getting an FCS quarterback on the ground just once is pretty pitiful, and a bad sign with Pac-12 play starting up.

GRADE: D

Opportunistic defense

The defense came out and did its job Saturday, limiting the Bulldogs to just 154 total yards with only one drive getting past the 50-yard line.

Cornerback Jonathan McKnight made a nice diving interception on an errant throw from SCSU quarterback Richard Cue in the second quarter, and forcing turnovers is something the Wildcats will need to do in order to challenge teams like Oregon and USC.

GRADE: A-

Short Kicking Game

Senior John Bonano again missed from close range, shanking a 25-yarder in the first quarter. It’s hard to expect too much from a collegiate kicking game at this point, but anything under 30 yards should be a gimmie.

GRADE: D

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