Pro & Con: Should Tuitama play?

After the Wildcats' stunning loss to Stanford, the greatest topic of conversation was whether or not the Wildcats should pull the redshirt from first year players. Specifically the fans are wondering if quarterback Willie Tuitama should play. We'll take a look at the pros and cons of the move.

As of Sunday night no decision had been made on Tuitama playing. As far as we had been able to gather, no discussion on the subject had occurred, but that those conversations were expected.

At the very least, it would be an absolute stunner if the rookie from Stockton, CA did not at lest get some practice reps with the first team.


*If Tuitama is destined to be the quarterback of the future, then it is better to have him get five games of work this year instead of throwing him to the fire next year.

*Richard Kovalcheck has had his two worst games as a Wildcat starter in the last three weeks. Despite a fine performance against USC, he struggled against Cal and Stanford.

*Tuitama became the scout team quarterback after the Utah game and is getting more familiar with the Wildcat offense.

*The crowd was smaller for Stanford than it was the previous home game against Purdue and an even smaller crowd may show up for Oregon. Tuitama's debut could be the shot of excitement the fans need to go out to Arizona Stadium.

*Like the fans, the team may be a shot in the arm. Tuitama may be able to give the team some added adrenalin for a tough game against Oregon.

*If Tuitama is as good as advertised, then he may not be here for a fifth season. Some feel he has a pro arm, so get as much out of him while he's still on campus.

*Tuitama wants to play and his family is not sour on the idea.

"Ideally it would be nice to redshirt Willie, but this is football," said his father Lui Tuitama. "Whatever is good for the team is good for us."

*The offensive staff spent several weeks with the Louisville staff. The Cardinals were one of the few teams who were able to balance dual quarterbacks a year ago. If that is the direction they decide to go, then they have those discussions with the Louisville staff to draw on. Last year Stefan LeFors was the starter, but knowing that Brian Brohm was the future, the Cardinals got him into 11 games and 98 pass attempts.


*The season is half over and in reality the Cats are not playing for anything. The Cats would have to win out to even be in bowl contention. That task is daunting, but it is even more daunting with an unproven true freshman.

*If they play him, they will lose any chance of having Tuitama as a fifth-year starter. It is reminiscent of 1991 when the Cats had to play a ton of true freshmen due to injury and then lost out on having some key members of "Desert Swarm" for an extra year.

*Tuitama does not know the entire offense and will be playing with a somewhat scaled down version of a playbook that currently isn't being fully utilized.

*If he struggles, there is a chance that his confidence could be shot for next year.

*The offensive line has been up and down and you don't want to risk an injury.

*Kovalcheck is only s sophomore and it may be too early to close the book on him. He has played two of his worst games in the past three weeks, but he also had one of his better games against USC. If you sit him down now you risk shattering his confidence.

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