Saturday Scrimmage: Offensive Notebook

Arizona's offense played well on Saturday. Read on for a look at who stood out and more.

Arizona held out multiple players on both sides of the ball in Head Coach Rich Rodriguez's second spring game, but the day was still meaningful for several offensive players. Here's a closer look at what happened:

  • B.J. Denker started at quarterback for the Wildcats. He led multiple scoring drives down the field. In the first series of the day, the senior shined, running three times and completing three of four passes. He found Johnny Jackson across the middle of the end zone for a touchdown.

    Denker finished the day with thirteen completions on twenty attempts. He threw for 246 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. The quarterback also ran five times for 36 yards and a touchdown. If you judge off this game, Denker looked like the solid favorite to win the starting job based on his performance against Jack Nykaza and Jesse Scroggins.

  • Nykaza and Scroggins were the other two quarterbacks to see action on Saturday. Nykaza was the second signal caller off the bench and put up decent numbers. He was eight of twelve for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Nykaza also ran for eleven yards on three carries, but the telling stat was that he was the only quarterback to go without an interception.

    Scroggins didn't even know that he was going to play in the game until the third series of the scrimmage. When he finally got on the field, things weren't great for the junior college transfer. The first pass that Scroggins threw in an Arizona uniform was tipped and intercepted by Will Parks.

    It wasn't the end of the day for Scroggins. The following drive that Scroggins played in, the offense had the first three-and-out of the day, with three incompletions. To his credit, the junior completed six of his next thirteen passes, including a cross-field strike to Jarrell Bennett in the end zone.

  • Tyler Slavin led all receivers with 97 yards receiving, however, it was all on one catch. Early in the scrimmage, with the offense backed up to its own three-yard line, Denker found Slavin with just enough separation from the defender. The receiver caught the ball, gave a stiff-arm to the defender and ran free for the touchdown.

  • A slew of other receivers caught passes in the game. Clive Georges had a game-high five catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. Georges, Slavin, Jackson, Bennett, Trey Griffey, Michael Cooper, Sean Willet, and Josh Kern all caught touchdown passes on the day. Terrence Miller, fresh off the news that he would receive a fifth year due to a medical redshirt, caught three balls for 57 yards.

  • Arizona's rushing game was surprisingly quiet with star running back Ka'Deem Carey. The junior was held out for precautionary reasons.

    Only 19 rushing plays that did not go to the quarterbacks were called all day. Kylan Butler got the ball seven times, rushing for 56 yards. Jared Baker was the second-string runner on the day, getting four carries. He scampered in for a touchdown to go along with his 29 yards. Junior Terris Jones was the only other running back to score, reaching pay dirt on one of his four carries for ten yards.

  • Throughout the scrimmage, the offense looked to have some flow when Denker was in the game. His crew only failed to score once, during the main portion of the scrimmage, which was the series that he threw the interception. One of the main competitions that will be open during the summer and fall is going to be the one under center. As of now, it seems that Denker is the leader of the group on campus. However, with Scroggins getting healthy and the addition of Anu Solomon and Khari McGee, anything can happen in the fall.

  • The final note of the spring for the offense is about a player that is going to be missed for some time. It was officially announced that Austin Hill will be out for an extended period of time with a torn ACL. The junior is the type of player that will not be easily replaced, if it is possible at all, but the play of the deep receiving core in the spring game was promising.


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