One week off was good. Two or three would have been better.
The Arizona Wildcats returned to practice Sunday after their bye week, with coach Rich Rodriguez hoping to get several injured starters back for this Saturday’s game against Washington.
“We probably needed more time,” Rodriguez said.
“I think there were something like 13 starters that were out last week, and six or seven of them didn’t play in the last game. I’m hoping with one more week, we get a couple of them back.”
Arizona was without five starters at Stanford on Oct. 6 — center Kyle Quinn (ankle), right guard Trace Biskin (toe), safety Jared Tevis (ankle), defensive tackle Reggie Gilbert (ankle) and defensive end Dominique Austin (foot).
A few others, including slot receiver Johnny Jackson, left the Stanford game with various injuries. Jackson, who had 10 catches vs. Stanford, didn’t practice Sunday, Rodriguez said, although an official injury update won’t be released until Thursday afternoon.
Expect a lot of “questionables” on that report.
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Most of the true freshmen who have played this season are defensive players who can also help on special teams. One exception is offensive guard Cayman Bundage, who has been in the rotation as a backup.
“He’s been doing great,” said running back Ka’Deem Carey.
“I talk to him every time on that field. I tell him, ‘Just keep going, you’re doing the right things.’ Even if he messes up, I say ‘Clear that way,’ because he’s a big physical dude. If he puts his hands on you, he’s going to drive you.
“I love the way he plays. I just love having him out there and I’m looking forward for his future, running behind him. Love him.”
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Arizona enters Saturday’s game four in the nation in total offense (551.3 yards per game) and fifth in passing (368.3 yards per game). Part of the big numbers come from UA’s fast tempo, which has led to 90.5 plays per game, the second-highest average in the nation.
Washington coach Steve Sarkisian was asked Monday about the similarity between the Arizona and Oregon offenses.
“I think the biggest similarity is the tempo in which they operate,” Sarkisian said.
“They both operate at extremely high tempos. Arizona, really, I think the goal is to run about 100 plays a game. If you look at it, USC ran 60 plays last week, we ran 58 — so imagine playing two games, is what it’s like when you play Arizona.
“They’ve got a tremendous running back in Ka’Deem Carey. And then they’ve got two big wide receivers on the outside that they try to get the ball to in one-on-one situations. I don’t know if they’re as multiple as Oregon, but they might even be faster in how many reps they try to get within a game. They’re going to try to repeat calls and go as fast as they can go.”
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Former Arizona All-WAC linebacker Ransom Terrell died Oct. 9 in Las Vegas. He was 60. Terrell, a graduate of Amphi High School, was a first-team all-conference linebacker in 1972 and 1973.