Arizona Preview

Courtesy of, we bring you a breakdown of the University of Arizona Football team by position

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Jason Johnson is having a stellar year in terms of statistics. He has already set a number of Arizona passing marks and with a huge day against ASU could set a few more. When he has time to throw he has the ability to pick apart opposing defenses. What he lacks in arm strength he makes up in intelligence. He's a tough quarterback who can take a hit and he has had to the senior has been sacked 49 times, 44 in the last seven games.

RUNNING BACK: The Wildcats miss Clarence Farmer but had trouble running the ball before the talented junior got hurt. The Wildcats have gone with a running back by committee approach, which has only gained them 464 yards on the ground this year. A trio of freshmen, Mike Bell, Beau Carr and Gainus Scott will get all of the work at halfback, while two other freshmen, Gilbert Harris and Sean Jones will be the full backs. Bell, Scott and Jones are coming off of injuries, but appear to be 100%. Harris and Carr are true freshmen who were pressed into action due to injuries. Bell, a Phoenix native, should get the call as the starter.

WIDE RECEIVER: Bobby Wade is one of the nation's best receivers and is a big play threat every time he touches the ball. Wade as a school-record 1280 yards on 87 catches for the season. He can either stretch the field with the vertical passing game or cut across the middle and make things happen with his great moves and quickness. Andrae Thurman has developed into a reliable second receiver and with a very good game could give the Cats their second 1000-yard receiver of the season.

TIGHT END: The Cats go three deep, but haven't been able to utilize the position as well as they had liked. Justin Levasseur had a huge game against Cal and is the best receiver of the group. James Hugo is the best blocker of the group and Steve Flemming give Johnson a very big target.

OFFENSIVE LINE: This has been the Wildcats' weakness. The Cats have been plagued with injuries and have had to shuttle guys around all season long. The Wildcats have used eight starters including three true freshmen. Another projected starter has missed the entire season with a major knee injury. Six of the eight have started at two or more positions along the line. The unit has not gelled and has been a major reason that the running game has struggled.

DEFENSIVE END: Another area hit with injuries. The Cats have gone with a number of different players and end due to injuries. Two players expected to compete for playing time have missed the entire year. The Cats have had to rely on a lot of converted players at the position. Joe Siofele has moved from LB to DE and played well. Javier Martinez was a JC tight end and didn't make the move until after spring ball. The Cats also use three undersized players in Fata Avegalio, walk-on Copeland Bryan and true-freshman Marcus Smith. The unit has struggled to put pressure on the quarterback, amassing just 9.5 sacks a group with Siofele and Bryan leading the way with four and 3.5 respectively.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE: Another disappointing unit although they have played better than the group did last year. Senior Young Thompson leads the group and is a decent run stopper. Vince Feula has been a pleasant surprise and Carlos Williams gives the team an athletic player inside. Big Carl Tuitavuki has finally started to play his way into shape and may have had his breakout game against Cal.

LINEBACKER: The strength of the Wildcat defense. Lance Briggs is one of the best in the nation and is the unit's playmaker. Ray Wells is a fast player who is especially good in coverage. Briggs and Wells lead the team in tackles with 83 and 65 each. Siofele who plays linebacker in addition to defensive end is third with 62. Spencer Larsen has been a pleasant surprise, the true freshman was not highly recruited but has made an impact this year. Pat Howard and Matt Molina also see time and are solid contributors.

CORNER BACK: Another position racked with injuries. Michael Jolivette, the team's best corner, has missed most of the year with a knee injury and young Darrell Brooks is only now getting healthy. Brooks has been very good for the Cats and will get matched up with team's better receivers. David Hinton, Gary Love and Jason Martin also see time on the corner.

SAFETY: Clay Hardt is a big hitter at the strong safety spot. What he lacks in speed he makes up for in intensity. He'll be spelled by Tony Wingate who is the better pass defender of the two. Jarive Worcester is back from an arm injury and gives the Cats leadership and experience at the free safety spot. Another big hitter, Worcester has a nose for the ball. True freshman Lamon Means is a tall, athletic safety who has played very well as of late for the Wildcats.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A strange unit for the Cats. The Cats have blocked six kicks this year, but had six blocked as well. Bobby Gill will be the place kicker and Danny Baugher should handle the punting chores. James Molina may get the call if the true-freshman Baugher struggles.

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