Arizona's offense had mixed results in Saturday's scrimmage. Read on to see who performed well and what some of the concerns might be.
FT. HUACHUCA, Ariz. - Arizona
concluded Saturday's scrimmage with mixed results on the offensive side of the ball, but showed enough to be optimistic about going forward. There are still a few questions that have yet to be answered, but with three weeks left until game one, there is still enough time to bring everything together.
The scrimmage went about as anyone could have imagined for the offense. The line was up and down and struggled in run blocking situations. The receiving corps showed why they are widely considered the most talented group in the Pac-12 while the running game showed some promise despite receiving limited support from the blockers in front of them.
Here are a few key notes from Saturday's affair.
Nick Foles had a solid outing, completing 15 out of 21 passes for 156 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Foles is also showing signs of being a more vocal leader, constantly giving his teammates encouragement and positive reinforcement after every series.
Foles' accuracy was impressive and he seems to be coming into his own as he enters his final year of college football. His timing with receivers is already on point and he was given ample time to throw by the young offensive line. If Saturday's scrimmage was a sign of what to expect of Foles, 2011 could be a fun year for the quarterback at Arizona.
Gino Crump led all receivers with five catches and 53 yards. After becoming sort of an afterthought in a crowded group of wideouts, Crump has really come on of late. Crump was able to prove himself against UA's first string defense and looked like he could be ready to contribute in his senior season.
Several other receivers were able to make an impact, once again showing why they are the most feared group of players on the Wildcats' roster. There were two touchdowns scored on the evening and both came through the air with David Douglas catching one and Austin Hill the other.
The running game is still a work in progress. Daniel Jenkins had a solid outing with 24 yards rushing on six carries. Jenkins was solid outside of the tackles and even proved to be a difficult player to bring down. If the sophomore can receive a little more support up front from his blockers, he could have a pretty big year.
Ka'Deem Carey had one solid run for 13 yards but was relatively ineffective the rest of the scrimmage. Carey was also the victim of suspect run blocking, often being forced to make something out of nothing.
Kylan Butler had 17 yards on seven carries and struggled carrying the ball up the middle. It's evident that each of UA's backs can make something happen when given space, but that has proven to be a challenge so far.
The starting offensive line was effective in passing situations, which is a good sign for Foles and his receivers. Foles was usually given more than enough time to make plays and was able to get several targets involved while on the field.
Where the line must improve is in running situations. The defensive line won the battle in most running scenarios and the backs suffered because of it. It is something that has been expected of the new line, but run protection must improve if the offense wants to continue to be one of the best in the Pac-12.
Several offensive players were held out of the scrimmage. Receivers Juron Criner, Dan Buckner and David Roberts didn't play, while running back Keola Antolin sat as well.
Fabbians Ebbele, who looked to have lost his job to new offensive lineman Jack Baucus, was back on the field with the first string. Baucus entered the matchup at right tackle for Ebbele early on and was also utilized at center.