Cats gear up for spring game

The practice portion of spring football is now done. The Wildcats went through their final practice and all that is left of the spring ball 2002 is the final spring scrimmage. Practice ended with a longer than normal talk from coach John Mackovic. After breaking up into squads for the Red/Blue game there was a strange mix of relief and sadness for the whole team.

The Cats went all out despite not being in full pads. Practicing in only helmet and shoulder pads did not limit the intensity. The Cats went through their normal paces and finished practice with an 11-on-11 scrimmage. After running several series, they finished it off with a 2:00 drill. The offense moved the ball down field, but had a tough time doing it. They converted a couple of fourth down conversions and had a highlight reel play to give them a chance to score late.

With the ball at the 30 Jason Johnson hit wide receiver Ricky Williams in the hands. Williams was unable to reel the pass in, but the ball deflected into the arms of Lance Relford who came down with it at the five. The next play Johnson found Bobby Wade for the score.

Mackovic seems very excited about the chance to debut the 2002 Wildcats.

"The two teams are very evenly matched," Mackovic said after the team was split into two squads. "It should be a close game."

Mackovic gave the fans a hint on what to watch at the scrimmage.

"I'd be watching Costa and redshirt freshman halfbacks Gainus Scott and Mike Bell. On defense, there are a number of people like (redshirt freshman tackle) Brad Brittain and (sophomore tackle) Carlos Williams, plus the Kat (strong) safeties."

The scrimmage will be played like a regular game except for the kicking. There will be no kickoffs and punts won't be returned. Following scores the ball will be placed at the 35.


*Running back Chris Harris has a viral infection and will not play in the spring game. Offensive lineman Brandon Phillips has also been battling an infection but will play in the game.

*Tanner Bell, a Wildcat signee is spending his spring break in Tucson. He and his family drove 14 hours to get to town and have been watching all of this week's practices.

*Wildcat players will be at the pre-game Pigskin Pigout before the scrimmage. They will pose for pictures and sign autographs between 11:30-12:00.

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