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Arizona’s Matt Scott expects to play Saturday after concussion controversy

Matt Scott

Matt Scott took a hit from USC’s Dion Bailey (behind Scott on the ground) and T.J. McDonald on this play in the fourth quarter. Photo by Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona Wildcats quarterback Matt Scott, saying “I don’t really think I had a concussion,” appears good to go for Saturday’s game at UCLA.

Scott took a couple of shots to the head at the end of a run in the fourth quarter against USC last Saturday, vomiting on the field soon after the play. Officials flagged the Trojans for a personal foul.

Scott said he was “winded” after keeping the ball on consecutive plays. Saturday’s game, only the second played under the sun this season for Arizona, marked the most Scott has rushed the ball since early in the season.

“I ran two plays and got winded, honestly,” he said at the football team’s weekly news conference Monday.

“That’s why I threw up. I felt it coming on two or three plays before that. I was trying to hold it down, but eventually it came up. All summer, when we were working out with the strength coaches and everything and running outside, I was throwing up all the time.

“I was probably throwing up every time we ran. That’s just me. It wasn’t because of the hit or anything like that.”

That the athletic department made Scott available to the media on Monday is a strong sign that he is fine and will play this week. Injured players are almost always off limits.

“After the game, I was feeling good then, and I’m feeling good now,” Scott said. “I was trying to get back in the game but they were just being cautious.”

At issue has been whether Arizona conducted the proper procedure after the hits to the head. Scott remained in the game after a timeout, then a play, then another timeout. Scott came back out to take two more snaps, throwing a 7-yard touchdown pass to David Richards that pushed the lead to 39-28.

After USC cut the lead to 39-36, Scott remained on the sideline while backup quarterback B.J. Denker ran the offense.

Coach Rich Rodriguez fielded four Scott-related questions at the start of the news conference before somewhat testily shutting down the topic. He didn’t say if Scott had failed a concussion test at any time Saturday.

“I’m not going to talk in medical terms. I don’t think it is appropriate to do that,” Rodriguez said.

“I know there was concern that Matt appeared nauseous. In talking to our trainer, I think he was nauseous all day. So, the trainers did the proper procedures and asked the questions. He appeared fine to me after the game and looked fine yesterday at the walk-through.”

Rodriguez was asked if Scott had been evaluated during the first timeout after he vomited.

“When I was there talking to Matt about the next play — actually the next two or three plays that we were calling — I believe the trainer was behind me or listening. I was just talking to Matt. ‘Are you OK?’ ‘Yes.’”

Rodriguez added that “doctors talked to (Matt) during game time when he wasn’t in the series.”

Arizona’s official injury report will be released Thursday afternoon.

Scott looked fine when doing an ESPN interview on the field after the game, and he took a turn high-fiving fans in the stands while doing a victory lap around the field.

Scott completed 27 of 50 passes for 369 yards, with three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran 15 times for a career-high 100 yards and a touchdown. Scott said USC’s defense — with only five players in the box — was allowing for those quarterback runs up the middle.

“If you ask Matt Scott, he loves running the football,” Rodriguez said. “He’s such a competitive guy, he probably wants to run it more.”

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ESPN’s postgame interview with Scott starts at 1:48 of this video:

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