The Arizona Wildcats, who have had only five wide receivers catch passes this season, were hoping this bye week could expand the rotation.
“Y’all know it’s a long season. You can’t play with just three or four guys at wideout in this offense,” said receivers coach Tony Dews.
“Last year, we did that a little bit too much and by the end of the year, Dan (Buckner) and Austin (Hill) had so many reps on their legs, that I don’t think they were as good as they probably could have been at the end of the year because they had played so much.
“Hopefully, we’ll get some other guys to come around.”
One of those is Trey Griffey. The redshirt freshman said that his progress was slowed in camp by a concussion suffered while the team was at Fort Huachuca in the second week of August.
“I’m coming along. I’m starting to get back to where I was,” he said Thursday, the last of three consecutive practice days this week before a break.
A significant contribution could be coming from sophomore David Richards, aiming to return from a foot injury for the game at Washington on Sept. 28. Then there is Griffey and classmate Clive Georges.
Neither has a catch this season.
As for Griffey, Dews said he is looking for consistency.
“He’s working. Trey works extremely hard. He’s very diligent,” Dews said.
“Anybody, whether you’re a coach, an employer or an employee, you want consistency out of the people you’re dealing with. So that’s all I’m looking for — out of all of them. But he physically has an opportunity because he’s strong enough to handle playing in the (Pac-12).”
Garic Wharton is the team’s leading pass-catcher with seven receptions for 109 yards.
“I think we’ve gotten a little bit better each week,” Dews said. “The kids have continued to work hard, so that’s the biggest thing. All the other stuff will come as they continue to work.”
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Senior linebacker Jake Fischer will use his Saturday off to go watch his brother — Pima Community College sophomore safety Mitch Fischer. The Aztecs, coming off a big 21-14 upset of Snow College, play at Scottsdale Community College this Saturday.
The Artichokes are ranked 16th in this week’s NJCAA poll.
This will be the second time this season Jake has had a chance to see his younger brother play; he also did so after UA opened the season on Friday night, Aug. 30, allowing him to catch Pima the next day at Phoenix College.
“Last year, I didn’t really get to see him play,” Jake said. “This will be my second game this year, and I’m happy I get to see him play.”
Mitch, who attended Ironwood Ridge High like his brother, has 16 tackles and two interceptions in four games.
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Two players committed to Arizona will be playing for Scottsdale against Pima — linebacker Antonio Smothers and safety Patrick Glover.
Smothers has 24 tackles, including six for loss and three sacks, through four games. Glover has appeared in two games, making 12 tackles and returning an interception 96 yards for a score.
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The Arizona assistant coaches were hitting the recruiting road Thursday afternoon. Head coach Rich Rodriguez was staying in Tucson through Friday night so he could watch his son, Rhett, play quarterback for Catalina Foothills High School.
The Wildcats resume practice Sunday.