Grading the Wildcats

It's been a long tradition that message board contributor "Triangle and Too" posts his position by position grades after every game. Here is how this longtime Wildcat fan sees the Arizona football performances were against NAU.

QB
Heavner was 19 of 24 for 181 yards with 1 TD and no INT. He threw mostly short stuff. He looked in control most of the time. Certainly, this was an improvement over the true freshman he was last year. The job is undoubtedly firmly his. Costa took 2 snaps – neither went well.
GRADE B

RB
30 carries for Mike Bell???? 108 yards???? Too many carries. Not enough yards. No one to back him up. No other UA player made it into double-digits in yards.
GRADE B-
O-LINE
One would expect them to dominate NAU. They did not. Holes were hard to come by and Heavner was under pressure much of the night, although he was only sacked once. They must do better and must work together better as a unit. There was little evidence of increased strength.
GRADE C-

WR
Steptoe had a nice game – with 4 catches for 75 yards and a TD. Fleming caught 3 for 17. The rest of the unit was pretty quiet, the routes were less than impressive, and unless someone steps up, this is going to be an Achilles Heel all season.
GRADE C-

KICKING GAME
Baugher averaged only 33 yards on his 6 punts. The Kickoffs are TOO short – going only to the 10-yard line. NAU out-kicked us in punting and kickoffs. We saw no field goals attempted, but extra points were made with plenty to spare, making one think a 40-yard field goal should not be a problem.
GRADE C-

D-LINE
Gave up 101 yards to Robinson on 20 carries, but there were no gaping holes. The line also recorded NO sacks. Basically played the NAU inexperienced O-Line to a draw. No UA player stood out.
GRADE C-

LB
Were running hard to the ball and did a fine job filling gaps. Made some solid hits.
GRADE B

DB
Brooks REALLY laid a hit on Mahr. 3 interceptions was a nice number. Were burned for long gains only twice all night (28 yards and 23 yards). Allowed no TD's against a fine QB, and with minimal pressure on the QB.
GRADE B

RETURN TEAMS
Not much action on either side of the ball. NAU did not return a punt, and their kickoff returns were less than spectacular. On offense, Steptoe returned 1 KO for 22 yards. Eidson ran back 2 punts for 27 yards. 18 came on one play when the NAU man out-kicked his coverage.
GRADE B-

COACHING
Mike Stoops won in his first game as a head coach. He won!!!!!!!!. So it was 21-3, he won!!!!!! Either the gameplan was purposely vanilla or the offense is slowly being installed. The defense showed a bend-but-don't-break philosophy more than a reckless abandon philosophy. Stoops was very animated on the sidelines. Hopefully, his passion will be used to teach and not berate. Too saw no berating.
GRADE A

Overall Grade 2.50
Season to date 2.50

This game was a real sleeper. We waited all night for either team to make a big play, and neither ever did. BUT – a win is a win. How will the fans react? This game probably dampened the excitement level a bit, and a good effort against Utah will be needed to energize the community. We leave tonight's game not knowing much more about our Cats then we did before the game. After NEXT WEEK we will have a much better feel for the type of season it might be. At the moment, 3-8 or 4-7 seems to be a real possibility.

If you think they are TOO low, realize that Too gave USC a 2.67 for their opening day win.


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