Saturday Scrimmage: Defensive notebook

Arizona's defense had its moments on Saturday. Read on for a look at who stood out in the scrimmage and more.

It is very difficult to analyze the defense too much because there were numerous players held out and the first teamers were combined with the second teamers. There were guys playing that likely won't play a snap all year and if they do, there are bigger issues on the defense. Still, we were able to come away with numerous observations.

  • Dame Ndiaye played what might wind up being the best game of his life. He finished with four tackles, a sack, a pass break up, and a forced fumble. It was nice seeing him perform well especially when you consider that there were some rumors of him transferring that came up this week. Ndiaye has potential and always has, but he has struggled to put that together for numerous reasons.

    At this point, he is likely not slated for a ton of playing time this season. However, if he can carry the momentum of Saturday into the summer, it will be a big step for Ndiaye and the hope is that he will become a player that can make an impact at Arizona.

  • Kyle Kelley has gained good weight since last season and it appears, at least physically, that the redshirt year has paid off. He was able to pick up a sack and looked decent in pursuit of the quarterback. Kelley also finished with three tackles and a pass break up and while he may not start, you have to believe that Kelley is going to see considerable playing time this season.

    He has had his fair share of good and bad days this spring, but there is going to be plenty of playing time if he can consistently get pressure on the opposing quarterback because that has been a weakness of Arizona for a while now.

  • Anthony Lopez only finished with one pass break up and a tackle, but numerous players have said he has been impressive. Lopez is a guy to keep a close eye on this summer because he definitely has the potential to make an impact. He seems to have gained good weight since last year and has solid speed as well. It remains to be seen just how much of a role he will have next season, but his progress is worth mentioning.

  • Jake Fischer did not play on Saturday, but it was only because the coaching staff wants him limited. Arizona is not going to let another major injury happen, especially on defense, and it considers Fischer the leader of that unit. It is nothing to worry about and Fischer is expected to start next season and lead the linebackers.

  • Will Parks had an interception on Saturday and we expect him to have a large role this season. He got lost a few times, but Arizona's offense can really do that to anyone. His interception was a nice read on the ball and he seems to have a knack for where passes are headed. Arizona is desperate for a playmaker on defense and if Parks can be a guy that can force some turnovers, he will see plenty of playing time.

  • Tra'Mayne Bondurant introduced Jesse Scroggins back to competitive football, as he broke on Scroggins' first pass and intercepted it. Bondurant is easily the best on the team at doing that and is developing a solid reputation of making reads and jumping on passes. It is no secret that Bondurant is going to play plenty and he could be Arizona's biggest playmaker on defense.

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