Cats strut stuff in first scrimmage

And on the eighth day they tackled. After eight days of practice the Arizona Wildcats had their first full-contact scrimmage. Jason Johnson led the first team offense to two scores, marching the team 80-yards on two possessions.

Despite a solid offensive performance, and numerous quarterback sacks by the defense, Coach John Mackovic was not entirely pleased.

"We have so much work to do," Mackovic said. "The tackling wasn't very crisp, this was the first day we've tackled."

Johnson showed why he is the top quarterback on the very first play. Johnson hit Bobby Wade on a deep out for a 20-yard gain and the drive was alive. Six plays later Johnson hit tight end Justin Levasseur on a six yard scoring strike. The pass capped a seven play, 80-yard drive.

"I though our offense did a good job out there," said linebacker Lance Briggs. "I was happy to see the offense move the ball at the same time I was disappointed in our defense."

The key play of the drive was a third and one conversion. Fullback Mike Detwiler took a pitch and rumbled 30-yards to get the offense down to the 11-yard line.

"The run that Mike Detwiler had was very good on a tough short yardage play," Mackovic said. "I think he's really going to help us."

In what appears indicative of the Mackovic offense, the ball was spread around to a host of players. Eight players carried the ball, while six different players had catches in the 47-play scrimmage.

"We have a lot of play makers," Mackovic said. "If we can get them the ball in the open field, they can make some plays."

Three other Wildcat quarterbacks had less success. Neither Nic Costa, Cliff Watkins nor John Rattay managed a score, although Costa connected on a 55-yard pass to Gainus Scott. Costa and Rattay were sacked seven times and had four fumbled snaps. Costa and true freshman center Thomas Stevens were involved in three of the miscues. Costa has only taken a handful of snaps from Stevens who is still learning the position after having played guard and tackle in high school.

On Johnson's second drive was just as successful. This time the offense marched 80-yards in only six plays. A 20-yard gain by Levasseur put the "O" at the 30. On the next play, Clarence Farmer took a screen pass and broke several tackles on his way to the endzone.

"Besides having some niftiness, he's (Farmer) a big, strong back. If you don't tackle him well, he'll knock some people off and run," Mackovic said.

The team will scrimmage again on Saturday night.


Johnson 7-9 97 yards, 2 tds
Watkins 2-3 22 yards
Rattay 0-2 4 sacks
Costa 1-3 55 yards, 3 sacks

Farmer 5-10
Mills 3-6
Cox 2-21
Fulcher 1-2
Bell 2-4
Detwiler 1-30
Jones 1-4
Love 1-(-5)
Watkins 1-10
Costa 4-(-10)
Rattay 4-(-20+)

Wade 2-36
Levasseur 2-26, 1 td
Farmer 2-40, 1 td
Fluery 1-12
Fulcher 1-10
Scott 1-55

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