TUCSON?-The Arizona football team completed its fourth practice of fall camp Monday evening at the Rincon Vista complex. Despite wearing only shoulder pads and helmets, the intensity picked up as the Wildcats gear towards full contact drills and two-a-day practices later in the week.
The team once again went through basic individual drills, special teams and 11-on-11 situations. The coaches tried to limit contact to the upper body as the team worked through two half-hour segments of 11-on-11.
“When we go uppers it’s just like full pads,” said head coach Mike Stoops. “There is not much difference. We go through the same routines so things don’t change.”
The first team segment emphasized passing offense and defense. Sophomore quarterback Richard Kovalcheck completed nine of 14 passes. Junior Adam Austin completed seven of nine pass attempts, while freshman Willie Tuitama finished two-for-three. None of the quarterbacks threw an interception.
The second segment featured both passing and rushing, but the majority of the plays were on the ground. Senior running backs Mike Bell and Gilbert Harris, and sophomore Chris Henry all received carries.
“We are practicing well,” said Stoops. “We have gotten a lot of stuff in. We’re still making some mistakes, but I’m happy with the direction we’re going in. We’re starting to play faster and that’s what we need to do.”
The Wildcats will return to the practice field tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 p.m. in attempt to avoid Tucson’s monsoon thunderstorms.Notes: Of the four fall practices thus far, each has been moved up to a time earlier in the day to avoid the monsoon thunderstorms and all four times the practices have been delay-free ... Senior safety Lamon Means returned to action after working out with the training staff on the side the first three days ... During the special teams segment the Wildcats practiced their punt unit. Senior Danny Baugher handled all the punting duties ... Sophomore multi-purpose player B.J. Dennard has been working out primarily with the wide-receivers, but continues to learn two playbooks. “I’m glad Coach is giving me the opportunity to play both ways,” Dennard said to the media ... Freshman linebacker Ronnie Palmer continues to impress the coaches after red-shirting last season. “I learned a lot [last year],” commented Palmer. “I’ve gained a lot of confidence. Working behind Pat Howard last year helped be a lot. I need to keep learning from my mistakes.” ... Arizona basketball sophomore guard Jawann McClellan was on hand to watch practice from the sidelines.