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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Arizona Football: They said it

    Arizona Daily Wildcat assistant sports editor Brian Kimball caught up with UA offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes and defensive coordinator Mark Stoops on Sunday afternoon to discuss their thoughts on the football team’s 59-28 win over Washington State on Saturday, what going to a bowl game will do for the program, and how the Wildcats will move forward toward the end of the season.

    Offensive Coordinator Sonny Dykes

    On his unit’s performance against Washington State:
    I thought we played pretty solid. We took care of the ball most of the day. We worked on the run game during the week (leading up to the game) just because we felt like the weather might be an issue. (The running backs) all ran hard, the offensive line blocked well and all the guys played pretty good. Overall it was a pretty good day for us really.

    On how assuring a bowl berth helps the program:
    Obviously it helps in recruiting. It helps in the overall confidence of your program. What I liked about yesterday is we turned the ball over the first drive and all of the sudden look up and it’s 14-14 against a team we felt like we could have a chance to win the game and our guys didn’t panic. We just hung in there and believed in what we were doing, and just kept doing it and tried to do it a little bit better than we had at that point. I think we’re starting to show signs of a team that’s got some confidence and has an ability to not panic and play well on the road, and all of those things are things we needed to improve on.

    On how the team will move forward:
    We’ve just got to go play tough and go play hard on the road. I’ve liked what we’ve done this year. I thought we played pretty well against UCLA on the road and I thought we did a pretty decent job (Saturday). It’s just a matter, for us, of doing what we’ve been doing and understanding how important of a game it is and just getting excited to go play and have a great week of preparation and just go and put it on the line on Saturday.

    Defensive Coordinator Mark Stoops

    On his unit’s performance against Washington State:
    Overall I’m pretty happy. They hit a couple of plays here and there early in the game and they had a couple of short fields. They were able to get a few scores, but it was just kind of a business-like trip. We didn’t play with great inspiration and great energy early, but our guys settled in and managed to make some big plays, some critical plays at times.

    On how assuring a bowl berth helps the program:
    I think it’ll mean an awful lot to our program. It’s really helpful with the development of the younger players and getting a head start on spring practice for next year and all that stuff, so it’s very helpful. We’ve got a relatively young defense. We’ll lose three starters so for the most part our defense will be back. We’ve got some good young players throughout the D-line and in the secondary and that’ll be some very helpful work.

    On how the team will move forward:
    We can look at it as coaches and say the great thing about it is that we went up there and maybe didn’t play our best, but managed to pull out a good victory on the road. It gives us something to kind of get ready, give them something to coach off of. They’ll get out there the next time we head up to the northwest, they’ll be a little bit more focused and energetic. When we take the field next week in Oregon, we’ve got to be a little more energized and ready to play.

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