TUCSON, Ariz. ?- After taking Friday off, the Arizona Football team held their second scrimmage of the spring on Saturday. The session was the seventh of 15 spring days allowed by the NCAA.
The Wildcats held their two-hour practice session in Arizona Stadium. The team ran 90 plays.
“I’m happy with today. I thought we protected the ball well,” second-year Head Coach Mike Stoops said. “We are starting to understand the plays better. It was a positive day. We’re getting better and there are no major injuries. That is the key during spring ball, to get better and escape injuries.”
Junior Adam Austin continued to take the offensive snaps in place of injured starter sophomore Richard Kovalcheck. Austin finished the day 21 of 35 for 326 yards and one touchdown. The Mundelein, Ill., native connected with Anthony Johnson for a 2-yard touchdown pass.
Johnson was Austin’s favorite target of the day. The 6-2 sophomore, finished the scrimmage with eight catches for 101 yards. ”We told A.J. to play out of the box. Play inside and play physical. Today was a good day for him,” Offensive Coordinator Mike Canales said. Junior college transfer B.J. Vickers caught four passes for 56 yards and Mike Jefferson received three Austin passes for 54 yards.
The strength of Arizona’s offensive game continues to be in the run. Sophomore Chris Henry finished the day with 14 carries for 78 yards including a 13-yard touchdown run. Mike Bell carried eight times for 45 yards and Gilbert Harris rushed for 14 yards in ten carries.
Defensively, the red-shirt freshmen continue to shine. Brandon Lopez finished the scrimmage with seven tackles. Ronnie Palmer ended the day with one pass broken up and four tackles. Linebacker Copeland Bryan tallied three sacks during the scrimmage. Sophomore Lionel Dotson ended the scrimmage with two consecutive sacks.
Red-shirt Freshman Jason Bondizo converted on a 40-yard and 42-yard field goal during Saturday’s scrimmage.
Arizona will return to the practice field on Monday. The weekday practices remain closed to the general public. The Wildcats will hold the third scrimmages of the spring next Saturday. The Saturday scrimmages, which begin at 9:45 a.m., are open to the public. The annual spring game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Arizona Stadium on April 23.
Adam Austin 21-35-0-326, 1 TD.
Chris Henry 14-78, 1 TD; Mike Bell 8-45; Adam Austin 4-21; Gilbert Harris 10-14.
Anthony Johnson 8-101, 1 TD; Syndric Steptoe 2-90; B.J. Vickers 4-56; Mike Jefferson 3-54; Brandyn McCall 2-17; Aaron Butler 1-11; Ryan Eidson 1-7; Mike Bell 1-(-2).
Nicholas Folk (1-3) 42, 31, 52
Jason Bondzio (2-3) 40, 42, 45
PUNTS: Danny Baugher 40, 49, 47, 41
Brandon Lopez - 7; Antonie Cason - 4; Andrew Ford - 4; Marcus Smith - 4; Ronnie Palmer - 4; Jason Parker - 4; Randy Sims - 3; Akin Akinniyi - 3; Wilrey Fontenot - 3; Dominic Patrick - 3; Dramayne McElroy - 2; Michael Klyce - 2; Dane Krogstad - 2; Jimmy Caldwell - 1; Copeland Bryan - 1; Michael Beach - 1; Johnathan Turner - 1; Lionel Dotson - 1; Bryon Smith - 1; Chris Wilson - 1; Lawrence Ball - 1; Yaniv Barnett - 1; James Alford ?- 1.
Copeland Bryan - 3; Lionel Dotson - 2; Marcus Smith - 1; Yaniv Barnett ?- 1; Jason Parker ?- 1.
Copeland Bryan - 1; Ronnie Palmer ?- 1.
Dane Krogstad - 2; Ronnie Palmer - 1.
Chris Henry 13-yard TD run; Anthony Johnson 2-yard TD catch.