Aug. 22, 2008
VIDEO: Stoops meets with media after practice on Thursday (8-21)
VIDEO FEATURE: Fort Huachuca Rewind
TUCSON—The day after a scrimmage that saw the offense struggle and the defense stand strong, the Arizona football team returned to the practice field on Thursday to turn its attention to its first opponent, the Idaho Vandals.
“We’ve spent a lot of time watching game tape on Idaho,” Head Coach Mike Stoops told the media after practice. “We are spending time recognizing what their tendencies are, preparing for the unexpected.”
During the shortened 11-on-11 period, senior Willie Tuitama completed two passes in five attempts for 23 yards. Sophomore Nic Grigsby had one carry for two and redshirt junior Xavier Smith had two carries for two yards. Freshman quarterback Matt Scott completed the only pass he threw for three yards to junior Terrell Turner. Freshman Keola Antolin had one carry for four yards.
The Wildcats spent a considerable amount of time working on special teams. During punts, they worked on their punt coverage and punt return units, and for kick offs focused on coverage lanes and blocking assignments for the return team.
The seven-on-seven period saw Tuitama complete 10 of 16 pass attempts for 74 yards. Of the 10 passes Tuitama completed, he connected with eight different receivers. The leading receiver was running back (Xavier) Smith who had two receptions for 16 yards. Freshman cornerback Robert Golden registered a pass break up.
Scott completed seven of nine passes for 69 yards. Scott hooked up with six different receivers, including redshirt junior Rod Rivera who had two receptions for 25 yards. Redshirt senior B.J. Bennard one catch for 17 yards.
The 11-on-11 to finish up practice saw Tuitama complete seven of 11 pass attempts for 36 yards. The longest play came when Tuitama hit freshman Juron Crier over the middle for a 13 yard gain. Redshirt junior Donald Horton Jr. had a “whistle sack” when the pocket around Tuitama collapsed.
Scott completed two passes in four attempts for 11 yards during the 11-on-11 session. He had one pass to redshirt sophomore Delashaun Dean for eight yards and the second one was a three yard reception to Antolin out of the back field. Junior safety Cam Nelson had a pass break up on a pass that was intended for Dean.
Arizona then spent the remaining half hour of practice working on alignments against a scout team to begin preparations for what it will see on Saturday, Aug. 30 when Idaho travels to Tucson. The Wildcats will continue preparing for the Vandals today, but practice is closed to the media and public.