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Morrison, passing attack shine in Arizona’s spring game

Richard Morrison celebrates the first of his two touchdowns in Saturday's spring game. Photo by David Kadlubowski/The Arizona Republic

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Arizona didn’t use any of its up-tempo offense. It used, as is customary in spring games, the most basic schemes from its playbook.

And yet, in a reversal from the spring’s first scrimmage, the quarterbacks could hardly miss and the Wildcats’ passing game carved up the defense for 462 yards and four touchdowns on 60 plays.

“Overall, I think it was a pretty good day offensively,” said coach Mike Stoops. “I thought we moved the ball, threw the ball pretty well.”

Arizona’s three senior quarterbacks — Nick Foles, Matt Scott and Bryson Beirne — combined to complete 31 of 42 passes for 380 yards and four scores.

Beirne — who will be the backup this season as Scott tries to redshirt — got the scoring started with a 26-yard pass on a slant to slot receiver Richard Morrison.

Morrison, a sophomore, also scored the Arizona’s second touchdown on a 23-yard pass from Foles. Morrison caught a short pass on the left side with his back to the end zone, faked outside and then spun inside into open space, running free for the goal line.

Morrison, who arrived at Arizona as a quarterback, emerged late last season as a receiver when Bug Wright was suspended. Morrison caught six passes for 66 yards in the Alamo Bowl loss to Oklahoma State, and he had a 44-yard touchdown reception nullified because of a holding penalty.

With Stoops dismissing Wright from the team after last season, Morrison steps in as the new starter at one of the inside receiver spots.

“I think I’ve matured a lot more and I’m starting to read the defenses better,” Morrison said. “I’m really comfortable at the position.”

The scoring kept coming on a deep 37-yard touchdown pass from Scott to Texas transfer receiver Dan Buckner, and then Beirne hooked up with redshirt freshman Tyler Slavin on a 32-yard score.

Scott was 11 of 14 for 134 yards and a touchdown. Foles completed 11 of 16 throws for 133 yards. Beirne was 8 of 9 for 115 yards. True freshman Daxx Garman hit on 1 of 3 passes for a loss of 2 yards.

Thirteen players caught passes for Arizona. (Arizona’s official site has all the scrimmage stats).

“The strength of this football team, offensively, lies with our quarterbacks and receivers,” Stoops said. “I certainly feel like we have a great group of skill guys. We have a plethora of different types of receivers.”

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