Monday practice report

Arizona enters the last week of fall camp with a lot of expectations, excitement and some sore bodies. The Cats had another two-a-day session and the coaches seemed quite pleased with how the team is faring.

The morning session saw the Cats in full pads, while they donned just shells that evening. Willie Tuitama was sharp in the morning completing a combined 13-19 passes in the 7-on-7 and team drills. Terrell Turner had a couple of big plays, including a long touchdown pass from Tuitama.

The evening session saw the Cats go to 11-on-11 rushing drill very early and Brandon Lopez was impressive. The sophomore fullback had a short scoring run and then caught a short pass for a good gain. The offense did mishandle two snaps during the drill, but finished off in fine fashion with a nice run from Chris Henry.

The special teams drills in the evening focused a lot on situational punting. On a few occasions they worked on pinning the ball deep and Kyle McQuown had one die inside the five. Special teams coach Joe Robinson said that that he was pleased with Syndric Steptoe and Mike Thomas as returners. He would not say whether McQuown had done enough to win the job but admits that Keenyn Crier must be more consistent to earn work with the first team punt unit.

In the morning the team worked on the kickoff teams and Robinson was also impressed with the way they looked on both returns and coverage.

Tuitama was a bit off in the evening 7-on-7's but he went deep more often than we are used to seeing. He and Anthony Johnson connected on a tough pass over the middle. Although Johnson is feeling the pressure from the three freshmen receivers, he has really stepped up his game and made some tough catches.

Adam Austin found a streaking Delashaun Dean down the right sideline after the freshman receiver got behind his defender but Dean could not haul in the pass. A few plays later Wilrey Fontenot stepped in front of Eric Sheehan and took an Austin pass to the house. Although it was not a good decision by Austin, the coaches were more mad at Sheehan for running a bad route.

Austin was victimized again in 11-on-11 drills. This time it was Corey Hall taking an interception to the house.

B.J. Dennard had a spectacular catch that was very similar to his catch against ASU a few years back. Dennard made a diving catch on the sideline and somehow stayed in bounds. It was one of the few highlights for Dennard who needs a few more big plays to keep his spot on the depth chart.

The offense was not as sharp as they have been but they are still lacking a number of offensive linemen. Offensive coordinator Mike Canales also feels as if the defense has seen the offense so much that they are able to anticipate things pretty well.

Henry did have another big run towards the end of practice. He took a handoff around the left side and got to the corner for a sizeable gain. The Cats are slated to practice Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at Rincon Vista.

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