Quarterbacks want to be known for their throwing, not their heaving.
But Arizona Wildcats senior Matt Scott can’t escape discussion of the latter. The TV cameras captured him throwing up on the field again last week at Utah; the producer in the truck called for multiple replays and cued up the video of Scott doing the same vs. USC on Oct. 27.
Thanks for that.
“I heard that so much today with people coming up to me saying, “I’ve seen you on TV” and them replaying it,” Scott said after Monday’s practice.
“It was pretty funny. But I’m done hearing about it.”
Moving on …
Scott has played in two games against Arizona State, but his first start against the Sun Devils will come Friday night (8 p.m., ESPN).
“I’ve been here five years now, and I can’t even explain how I feel about these guys,” Scott said. “Obviously, we don’t like them and they don’t like us.”
The conflicts are especially personal for Scott, who went a different way than many of his teammates from Centennial High in Corona, Calif.
ASU has a trio of players from the high school on the roster — senior linebacker Brandon Magee, junior defensive tackle Will Sutton and redshirt freshman quarterback Michael Eubank — and previously had ex-Scott teammates Vontaze Burfict, Shelly Lyons and Ryan Bass.
“I know those guys from back in high school and, obviously, they went to ASU and they could have gone here, some of them,” Scott said.
“There’s resentment against them I guess you could say. It’s definitely a bigger game just because they’re on the team. I don’t want to lose to these guys and go back home and have those guys talking.”
Scott returned last week after sitting out the Colorado game because of a concussion suffered at UCLA. He played the whole game at Utah, running 13 times for 74 yards, but his passing was sub-standard — 12 of 27 for 160 yards — and he admits too many passes “sailed” on him.
The Arizona coaches, as they have all season, would like to limit Scott’s exposure in the run game, but coach Rich Rodriguez said Scott often made the right decision to keep the ball last Saturday, taking the option the Utes defense was giving the Cats.
“I thought Matt was good,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t think he was his sharpest, accuracy-wise. He missed some throws that he made all year.
“He ran well,” the coach added. “He ran until he threw up.”
That would have been early in the second quarter near the end of a 75-yard touchdown drive. Scott had a 14-yard run, a 9-yard run and a 19-yard run to the Utah 8 on the drive.
“You could tell by the way he was running, the way he was bobbing, that he was a little bit tired,” Rodriguez said.
“There was either a timeout or a break in the action. I said, ‘Matt, are you tired?’ He went, ‘Hell, yeah, I’m tired.’”
Arizona won’t mind if Scott is being busy and productive enough to be that kind of tired against Arizona State. He leads the conference in total offense at 345.1 yards per game and will be making a final case for All-Pac-12 honors.
Arizona brought the Territorial Cup to its weekly football press conference, perching it in front of Rodriguez and a trio of players who followed him at the table.
Said running back Ka’Deem Carey: “You’ve got to bring this home and we’re going to keep this here.”
Arizona junior cornerback Jonathan McKnight started the first eight games but has been limited in the past two as Derrick Rainey drew the starting assignment.
McKnight has been “banged-up a little bit,” Rodriguez said.
“I don’t know if he’s been healthy 100 percent in a week yet this season,” Rodriguez said.
“The offseason is going to be huge (for him). He’s not a really big guy anyway. He might be 175 pounds or something. There is a lot of weight room work we need to do in the offseason.”
McKnight had one of UA’s best plays of the year — a 48-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma State.
He said it
“A lot of people say, ‘If you were going to win just one game, make sure it’s the ASU game, then we’ll be happy.’ No, I don’t think you will be. But maybe it will at least make them less angry if that’s the one game you win.” — Rodriguez