Aug. 17, 2001
TUCSON - The University of Arizona football team wrapped up its sessions at the Rincon Vista practice facility Friday morning with a spirited practice in which the defense appeared to show its strength.
The session lasted for nearly two hours and much of the first half was devoted to special teams, including work on punting and punt coverage. Friday's practice marked the last appearance for the Wildcats at the Rincon Vista complex, as the team will finish its fall preparations on campus.
The Cats' evening practice on campus was cut short by a thunderstorm after about 45 minutes of drills.
Following special teams work, the players broke into position drills for individual work. The first half of the session ended with a hard-fought 9-on-7 offense versus defense drill, which tested the No. 1 defense's ability to make key stops. The first-team defense prevailed, stopping the offense in four of seven plays.
"We had some competition with the offensive and defensive units, which was good because the players had a chance to have some fun out there," said Arizona head coach John Mackovic.
A skeleton pass drill followed in which the top three quarterbacks combined to complete 12-of-24 passes. Junior Jason Johnson led the way, completing four passes in seven attempts, while sophomore Cliff Watkins connected on 4-of-8 attempts.
The workout concluded with the first units working against the scout teams. The offense showed a good balance with each quarterback efficient in the passing game, while the running trio of Clarence Farmer, Leo Mills and Mile Detwiler each reeled off 10-yard gains when called upon.
The squad will scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 7:45 p.m. in Arizona Stadium. A Fan Appreciation Night autograph and photo session will be held prior to the scrimmage, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Arizona opens the 2001 season on Thursday, Aug. 30, at San Diego State. Kick off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PDT and will be televised on ESPN2.