TUCSON?-Arizona defensive coordinator Mark Stoops was named Rivals.com National Coordinator of the Week for the Wildcats’ work in their 37-10 victory at Oregon last Saturday.
UA’s defense held the high-scoring Ducks to 24 points under their No. 12th-rated season scoring average, held their offense to 100 yards below its game average and spearheaded a six-takeaway game with four interceptions ?- two by freshman safety Michael Klyce and one each by linebackers Spencer Larsen and Ronnie Palmer.
The game was pretty much all Arizona in the second half, and defense played a huge role. On the Ducks’ second-half possessions, in order, the Wildcat defense held in UA territory on loss of downs, forced a three-and-out from the UO 26 yard-line, intercepted a pass from the Oregon 27 yard-line, intercepted a pass from the home 30 yard-line, and forced two more possessions to end on missed fourth-down conversions. The Ducks had average field position of their own 20 for the entire second half.
It was Arizona’s third consecutive strong effort on defense against three teams rated among the league’s top four in total offense ?- Washington State, California and Oregon. The efforts have helped the young unit ?- UA started senior tackle Paul Philipp and nickel back Marcus Hollingsworth at Oregon ?- climb into the sixth slot in overall defense.
Naturally, next on the horizon is No. 5 in the league in total offense ?- Arizona State. While seeing some of its typically high passing numbers drop a bit, the Devils have developed the league’s second-best rushing attack and average 359 yards per game, while Arizona gives up 316..
Stoops coaches Arizona’s players in the secondary as well as coordinating the defensive effort, which also gets input from head coach Mike Stoops. Tim Kish coaches linebackers, Mike Tuitasosopo coaches interior tackles and Joe Robinson coaches defensive ends.
"It is amazing, really, the offenses in this league," Mark Stoops told Rivals.com. "It's a lot of fun because it's a big challenge every week. You don't get bored in this league. They (the offenses) are all really well coached and they have really great skill people. We try to get better week, and you have to around here."