Arizona's defense struggled on Saturday. Read on to see why, who stood out, and more.
Fort Huachuca, ARIZ. - Arizona's defense struggled mightily on Saturday, as the offense moved the ball at will early on. There were a few injuries like Reggie Gilbert, Rob Hankins, and Jonathan McKnight, but the problems shown on Saturday go beyond that.
Rich Rodriguez confirmed after the scrimmage that Tevin Hood was able to get a waiver and will be eligible to play immediately, which is a big deal because he is going to get plenty of reps. In fact, Hood had a few in which he played with the first-team defense and more than held his own. He was able to pick up a sack and seems to be one of the more physical defensive linemen that the Wildcats currently have.
Walk-on freshman Shadow Williams got the start and although it is likely because Rob Hankins was out because of injury, Williams played well. He was in on a sack and seemed to be in the right place more often than not. Williams may not start the first game but with a lack of depth and talent, it would be a surprise if he did not play.
It was disappointing to see a few players that ran with the last-team defense, which likely means they won't be playing much, if at all, this season. Willie Mobley continues to struggle in camp and he was joined by Dame Ndiaye and Lamar De Rego with the last-string. Whether or not these players can move up remains to be seen, but obviously they have work to do if that is going to happen.
Keoni Bush-Loo was put in on defense for a few plays and basically asked to attack the quarterback. He was completely unblockable and displayed great speed around the edge. At this point we would be surprised if he was kept on offense because the defense is struggling and he is talented enough to contribute right away on the defensive line.
Jake Fischer was his normal self and probably one of the bright spots on defense. He admitted after the game that the defense had a bad day and his honestly is refreshing because it definitely did. Fischer seems to be the leader on defense, which makes sense because of his consistency.
Marquis Flowers was able to get in on a sack and recover a fumble. He seems to be doing just fine in the defense and may actually be a better fit here than he was in last year's defense. While Flowers struggles a bit in coverage, this defense allows him to play to his strengths and it showed on Saturday. There is a good chance that this is the season that sees Flowers live up to his expectations.