Aug. 13, 2011
FORT HUACHUCA - The Arizona football team concluded the football portion of its four-day stay at this U.S. Army post with a 75-play scrimmage in front of more than 200 fans who outlasted afternoon thunderstorms on Saturday at Bujalski Field.
Senior quarterback Nick Folesengineered two touchdown drives in a highly efficient day for the passing attack. Foles led the way with 156 yards on 15-for-21 passing and just one interception. Overall, UA's quarterbacks combined to complete 78.6-percent of their 42 pass attempts for 270 markers.
Defensively, Derek Earlspicked off a Foles pass that was deflected by cornerback Shaquielle Richardson for a key highlight in a scrimmage that resulted in 12 defensive stops. Freshman defensive back Tramayne Bondurant, who played mostly at nickel back, registered a team-high eight tackles, while four players combined for four sacks in the action.
The overall results were surely a mixed bag for both sides of the ball. Offensively, the Wildcats tallied 18 first downs, but also were just 5-for-17 on third downs. Defensively, the 12 stops in the game also included two long offensive drives that resulted in missed field goals.
The defense asserted itself on the opening possession of the scrimmage. After two short gains, Foles was sacked by Kirifi Taulaon a third-and-seven, thwarting the initial offensive possession.
But Foles and the offense quickly responded thanks to a spark from the rushing attack. Daniel Jenkins carried four times for 21 yards on the drive, twice picking up first downs. Meanwhile, Foles connected with five different receivers, including David Douglason a 14-yard scoring play to cap a 10-play, 75-yard drive.
Quarterback Bryson Beirneexperienced a similar fate with the second team offense. The unit was quickly turned away on three plays on their opening possession, before mounting a drive on the ensuing possession.
Beirne picked up two quick first downs through the air, highlighted by Garic Wharton's24-yard play up the sideline as he juked a defender for a big gain. But an incomplete pass was followed by a three-yard loss on the ground, putting the offense behind the chains. The third down play went for eight yards, but forced a 48-yard field goal attempt by Jamie Salazar, which was no good.
A few possessions later, Foles led the offense on a second touchdown drive that was ignited by a 25-yard throw-and-catch to tight end Drew Robinsonover the middle.
Kylan Butler took over from there, rushing five times for 23 yards and two first down carries. That moved the offense inside the five yard line, but a fumbled snap moved the ball back to the five-yard line. That set up a scoring toss to Austin Hillto cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive.
The defense kept the offense at bay over the next handful of possessions, before Foles again played a role in a scoring drive. Foles hit Richard Morrisonon a pair of passes, and found Hill for a 20-yard gain to move into the defense's territory.
Transfer Tom Savagethen entered and completed three modest pass plays. A sack put the unit behind the chains, before Savage picked up seven yards on a scramble to set up a 37-yard field goal that was converted by Salazar.
Several players were held out of the full contact scrimmage for precautionary reasons. Among the players were receivers Juron Criner, Dan Buckner, Dave Roberts and Terrence Miller, along with running back Keola Antolin.
Saturday's scrimmage was the fourth practice since the team arrived at this U.S. Army post in southeast Arizona on Wednesday. Players will stay overnight, before taking on the Leadership Reaction Courses with soldiers on Sunday morning.
"This was another very successful trip down here," Head Coach Mike Stoopssaid after Saturday's scrimmage. "This is a great place to work out. Our players enjoy coming down here and getting to interact with the soldiers. It's a great setting and very beneficial to our development as a team. Certainly we get a chance to learn from the best team in the world - the U.S. Army."
The team will arrive back in Tucson on Sunday afternoon, and then will resume its practice schedule on Monday with a two-a-day practice. The Wildcats are scheduled to work out five straight days at the Rincon Vista Complex, before concluding preseason training camp with "Meet the Team Night" at Arizona Stadium at 6 p.m. next Saturday, Aug. 20.
The 2011 season will begin on Saturday, Sept. 3, against Northern Arizona. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kick off at Arizona Stadium. Season tickets, flex packs and single game tickets are available through the McKale Ticket Office (520-621-2287) or online at www.arizonawildcats.com.
Visit www.everydownbeardown.com for complete ticket options.