TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The Arizona Football team held their first of three scrimmages of the spring on Saturday. The session was the fourth of 15 spring days allowed by the NCAA.
The Wildcats started their two-hour practice session with standard drills of special teams, team and individual drills at the Jimenez Practice Facility before moving to Arizona Stadium where they scrimmaged.
“Today went much better than yesterday. The offense did well and executed. Adam Austin and B.J. Vickers did well today,” second-year Head Coach Mike Stoops told the media Saturday after practice. “We also have three quality running backs. We need to keep finding ways for all three to get touches.”
Junior Adam Austin continued to take the majority of the offensive snaps in place of injured starter sophomore Richard Kovalcheck. Austin finished the scrimmage 16 of 22 for 229 yards and two interceptions. Austin connected with junior Mike Jefferson for a 75-yard touchdown pass.
Junior B.J. Vickers was Austin’s favorite target of the day. Vickers finished the scrimmage with five catches for 60 yards. ”He is a physical receiver. He uses his body well to get open and make the play,” sophomore cornerback Antoine Cason said. Junior Syndric Steptoe also caught three passes for 14 yards.
The running backs had a strong practice. Senior Mike Bell led all with six carries for 24 yards. Bell’s highlight of the day came when he ran over freshman Michael Klyce. Senior Gilbert Harris carried four times for 21 yards and sophomore Chris Henry carried four times for nine yards.
Defensively, junior cornerback Dramayne McElroy and Klyce both had interceptions. Linebackers senior Copeland Bryan, junior Marcus Hollingsworth and junior John McKinney all had sacks. Hollingsworth and McKinney’s sacks both caused fumbles.
Senior strong safety Lamon Means had some big hits during Saturday’s scrimmage. Means forced a fumble during on of his tackles.
Arizona will return to the practice field on Monday. The weekday practices remain closed to the general public. The Wildcats will hold the second of three scrimmages of the spring next Saturday. The Saturday scrimmages, which begin at 9:15 a.m., are open to the public. The annual spring game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Arizona Stadium on April 23.