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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona Football: Defense thrives despite loss against BYU

Sydney Richardson
Arizona defense piles onto BYU running back Jamaal Williams at the Cactus Kickoff at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016.

In his first game as defensive coordinator, Marcel Yates gave Arizona fans what they were hoping for, a decent defense. 

That’s all Arizona fans wanted and Yates, along with the rest of the defensive coaching staff help implement new schemes and techniques to make that happen as evidenced by the Wildcats’ performance in the Cactus Kickoff in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday night.

Early on, a mix of formations and looks presented BYU quarterback Taysom Hill with some challenges as he had a tough time navigating the shifty defense. Hill only managed to get BYU on the board twice in the first half and led the cougars to a 9-0 lead at halftime.

“They’re a good team and athletic,” Hill said. “They did some good things but nothing that we hadn’t seen before.”

It was more of the same story in the second half as the Arizona defense, who was on the field eight minutes more than the Cougars’ defense, continued to fight in the trenches. Arizona held up against BYU’s methodical offense, despite giving up 18 points, including the final three on a game-winning field goal by Jake Oldroyd with just four seconds left in the game.

Linebackers Paul Magloire, Jr. and DeAndre’ Miller were seemingly everywhere, either blitzing or hunting down runners. The two had a combined 16 total tackles, four for loss. However, with every loss comes a lesson something that Magloire was not going to let his team soon forget.

“We could’ve played better,” Magloire said. “We have to fix some things, but we lost so everything we did doesn’t really matter.” 

Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez was pleased with his defense and how they adjusted to everything over the course of the off-season.

“They played well for a majority of the game, especially with the new scheme and being undersized, they played hard.” Rodriguez said.

The Wildcats will look to regroup and get their first win of the season next week on Saturday, Sept. 10 in their home opener against Grambling State University at Arizona Stadium.

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