The Arizona Wildcats gained 628 yards on 95 plays in their final scrimmage of fall camp Saturday at Arizona Stadium.
According to a coaches’ scoring system that awards defensive points, the defense won the 90-minute situational scrimmage 50-49, although that’s hard to tell from the stats. On the positive side for the defense was that it did make three consecutive stops from the 3-yard line to end the day’s activities.
The scrimmage was closed to the media, although it was open to members of the Wildcat Club. The school released stats, a story and a highlight video afterward.
Mostly, Arizona’s offense — with senior quarterback Matt Scott, depth at running back and five returning starters on the line — seems ahead of a defense that is thin at most spots and in search of playmakers.
Scott completed 11 of 14 yards for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Backup B.J. Denker was 11 of 30 for 172 yards and a score. Walk-on junior Sean Willet led the receivers with five catches for 113 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown from Scott.
Slot receiver Richard Morrison caught three passes for 54 yards and also scored on a 25-yard reverse.
Kylan Butler rushed eight times for 38 yards to lead the ground game.
Arizona opens the season under new head coach Rich Rodriguez in two weeks — Sept. 1 against visiting Toledo.
“Today was a good test for the freshmen,” said senior center Kyle Quinn, who was made available to the media after the scrimmage and before he was part of a group that delivered season tickets around town.
“They understand now. They’ve been in that stadium. They’ve been on that field. They’ve played on that grass. They know what it’s like in a game-type environment now. And we responded pretty well today to Coach Rod. He wanted us to pick up the tempo, pick up the sense of urgency and we responded pretty well, I think, today.”
For the defense, safety Vince Miles intercepted a pass, safety Jourdon Grandon forced a fumble and six players were credited with a sack each, including running back Taimi Tutogi, who was used — as in the first scrimmage — in a situational pass-rushing role.
“We’re more physical, run more to the ball, start stripping the ball more, more turnovers,” senior safety Mark Watley said about the progress of the defense in camp. “There’s just an emphasis on running to the ball, hustling, going all out every day play.”
Arizona will hold its Meet the Team event Sunday at McKale Center, starting at noon, with an autograph session set from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. … According to a UA release, Rodriguez told his team after the scrimmage: “There were a lot of great plays out here today. But we didn’t have as much enthusiasm as I thought we would. This is a great stadium, a great playing surface and we want you to have fun out here. We start getting into ‘game-week’ from now on.” … Classes start at Arizona on Monday, and the team will begin its in-season routine of practicing in the afternoon, usually starting at 3:45 p.m. … The team spent Friday night at Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, where it also held a talent show. One of the show-stealers was starting punter Kyle Dugandzic with his impersonation of Rodriguez. When Dugandzic was done, Rodriguez reportedly fired back, jokingly, “So, what school are you transferring to?” Said Watley: “We all laughed. We all know it’s all fun and games at a talent show.” … Scott was a combined 27 of 32 for 391 yards in two fall scrimmages.