Farmer knows the team needs to 'execute'

Clarence Farmer was one of the standouts in Arizona's Saturday night scrimmage. The sophomore running back had 104 yards rushing on only eight carries, including a 65-yard score. Despite racking up some good individual numbers, Farmer was less than thrilled after the scrimmage. Farmer discussed the scrimmage, plus his role in the running backs corps with Cat Tracks.

"To tell the truth I don't feel real good," Farmer said. "As an offense we didn't execute tonight. We have to go back to the drawing board and start over. Tonight I did pretty well, but as an offense we didn't do good."

For many players it was their first chance to play under the lights of Arizona Stadium. Coach John Mackovic admitted that many players had "butterflies", and Farmer agreed.

"I think it was a lot of anxiety," said Farmer. "I think a lot of guys were anxious to come out here and play under the lights. We have several players who were injured last year and a couple of freshmen who just came in. So there could have been a lot of reasons tonight."

Farmer realizes that there is no time for moping. Arizona plays San Diego State in less than two-weeks, and the team needs to focus on improving.

"We played mediocre tonight. We have to bounce back; everybody needs to bounce back. We can't do anything but bounce back. Personally I want every player on our team, offensive and defensive, to go out there and do their best. Tonight we all tried, but we came up short. A lot of people need to come out there and play hard."

At one point during a time-out Farmer was visibly upset in the huddle. While quarterback Jason Johnson was on the sideline getting instruction, Farmer was trying to fire up the troops.

"I saw how we were performing tonight and it became overwhelming, Farmer said. "We were jumping offsides. We weren't executing plays. Things were just going wrong. Being just a sophomore I don't consider myself a leader, but I do feel like I have some kind of obligation to this team. I fell like I had to let them know ‘we have twelve days before we have to play San Diego State, and if we play out there like we did tonight we have no chance for success.'"

Two starting linemen were held out of the scrimmage, and another key reserve did not play as well. Despite missing some key blockers, Farmer wasn't making many excuses, he realizes that injuries are a part of the game.

"It made a difference, but I look at it as a reality. At any point and time any one can leave. I can leave, some receivers can leave, our quarterback can leave. As you can see, tonight two linemen didn't come out. The thing is you have to be ready at all times, on your toes, ready to step up."

Freshman runner Mike Bell turned in another good performance. Bell scored two touchdowns in the contest, including a 17-yarder. I asked Farmer if he had taken Bell under his wing, or at least given him some advice.

"Every day, day in and day out I continue to motivate the running backs corps. It's not necessarily that I took him under my wing, I just told him, ‘no matter what happens be positive, run hard, play like you always play.' That's basically what I tell all of my running backs."

So does Farmer consider himself the leader of the Arizona running backs?

"I don't consider myself the leader. I do consider myself a leader. I don't want them to think that I'm the egotistical running back on the team. I just want to be level headed and let them know how I feel. I want to lead by example. I've been here two years. That's all I have over some of the running backs. As far as being the leader, I consider all of us equals trying to play the game."

When asked what they had to do to get ready for the Aztecs, Farmer had a simple response.


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