Arizona Football Report
DOUGLAS, Ariz.--True to his remarks made at football media day in Tucson last Wednesday, Arizona coach Dick Tomey put his team through a more physical regimen on its first day of full contact in pads -- in fact, the team ran nearly 90 plays in a two-hour scrimmage at mid-day Sunday.
"I've never done this before -- ever. Never," Tomey said of the extended live action on the first allowable day of full pads, which included contact by all players except senior quarterback Ortege Jenkins, who wore a "hands-off" yellow jersey. "We wanted to do some (heavy contact) early in camp because we felt that the longer you practice and go at it, the more at risk you are."
"This is day one. I'm tickled to death. We ran a bunch of plays and had no one hurt. We'll get a much better idea of who can do what. I'm guessing some guys will show up on the videotape who will surprise us, and sure some good players didn't play so well. But the attitude and effort was good. I love our enthusiasm and we'll be pleasantly surprised by some players," Tomey said.
UA's defense seemed to get the upper hand, with 15 tackles for losses including sacks by backup defensive linemen Brandon Phillips, Austin Uku, Johnny Jackson, Fata Avegalio and linebacker Aaron Huisman, plus a tag-off sack against Jenkins by starting defensive end Joe Tafoya for a safety. Plus the reserve offensive units suffered six fumbled center-quarterback exchanges.
Leading placekicker Sean Keel booted two 40-yard field goals, including one on the final play of the scrimmage. "Sean was two for two and he's ahead (of contenders Bobby Gill and Doug Jones) right now. They have to beat him out," Tomey said. In 1999, Arizona made 6 of 19 field goal tries, with Keel the best as a true freshman on five successes in eight attempts.
Coaches used considerable numbers of backup and reserve players in the game, notably true freshman running backs Tremaine Cox, Anthony Fulcher, Clarence Farmer and Chris Harris. "We gave them the most work because we need to separate those guys," Tomey said. "One of them is going to have to play. We used Leo (Mills) and Larry (Croom) on passing plays because they went through a bunch of hitting in spring ball. The young guys need a lot of work."
Jenkins, in some limited work, completed five of 10 passes for 78 yards, including a 57-yard throw to wideout Bobby Wade for a touchdown which was called back because of holding. The leading rusher was Farmer, with seven carries for 34 yards, all but seven of those on one 27-yard run against the No. 3 defensive unit.
Later, after the evening practice, Tomey said the day's workouts as a package were among the best he could remember. "The most impressive thing is that after all that work in the scrimmage, the guys came out and were enthusiastic and gave great effort in the evening. That showed a lot of character."
UA will practice at 8:30 and 11 a.m. and at 4:30 p.m. Monday.
NOTES... Backup receiver Gary Love blocked a field goal attempt by Keel, so Keel was actually 2-for-3 though the fault lay in a breakdown of protection on the play by Love... Kicker Bobby Gill missed a PAT and a field goal, but was good on one FG attempt from 35 yards. Doug Jones was wide right from 40 yards but good from 35 yards... Probable starting cornerback Michael Jolivette, a redshirt freshman from Houston, Texas, intercepted his third pass of camp, off Jenkins in an evening passing/coverage drill. Redshirt freshman clay Hardt of Marana, Ariz., picked off his first pass of camp at the end of the evening practice... Defensive end Mike Robertson has been held out of drills for the past several days and is expected to return to Tucson for further medical clearance for an abdominal problem... Tomey cited a play by walk-on defensive back Danny Perry of Tucson as "a tremendous football play" during the scrimmage. "He was absolutely flattened by a blocker, a devastating hit, but bounced back up and got a piece of the tackle on a kickoff return."...