Another Look: QBs and RBs

Game week is just days away and for the most part the Wildcat football team is shaping up. The depth chart is close to being set and most of the position battles are shaping up. We'll take a look at what has been settled, what is close to being settled and what is still up in the air. First a look at the quarterbacks and running backs.

QUARTERBACKS
What We Know:
*Willie Tuitama is the man. He went into camp as the No. 1 and at no time did he even come close to losing reps. In two scrimmages he was 26-37 for 251 yards and a pair of scores. Mike Stoops heaped praise upon Tuitama at the conclusion of fall camp.

*Adam Austin is the No. 2. He had a rough start to camp but rallied towards the end and showed great touch and accuracy. In his two scrimmage performances Austin was 25-37 for 184 yards.

*It took nearly a week and a half for Tuitama to throw an interception in fall camp.

*Austin did throw a number of interceptions early in camp, a few that were run back for scores, but he worked exclusively with the second team and sometimes with a patchwork line.

What We Don't Know:
*What can Tyler Lyon and Kris Heavner do? They got limited reps in team situations and scrimmages.

*Why Austin struggled early on. His arm did not look strong and he threw the picks. Some of the interceptions were the fault of the receives and others were due to a lot of pressure from the defensive line, but a few were all on him.

*What got into Austin? Austin rebounded and looked excellent late in camp. He threw a number of perfect touch passes in a redzone drill that had all in attendance amazed.

*What happens if Austin and Tuitama go down? Would they go with Heavner or Lyon?

What We Think:
*Don't expect a sophomore jinx. Tuitama will receive Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 honors or better. With a number of new or inexperienced starters, Tuitama has a great chance to do something no other Arizona quarterback has done.

*Although Austin is as capable a back-up as there is in the Pac-10, the team needs to keep Tuitama healthy.

*Tyler Lyon will be a good quarterback down the line, but don't expect him to see the field.

RUNNING BACK

What We Know:
*Chris Henry, Chris Jennings and Xavier Smith will get the bulk of the carries to start the season.

*Henry appears to have held onto his starting job through fall camp, despite a push from the other two backs. Henry showed almost no signs of the fumbling issues he had a year ago.

*In the scrimmages Henry had 11 carries for 46 yards, Smith had 76 yards on 20 rushes, while Jennings picked up 105 yards on just 11 carries. Of the top three, Only Jennings scored a touchdown.

*The three players give Arizona three different looks, which makes things tougher on a defense.

*Freshman Glyndon Bolasky was the only other running back to score a touchdown in the official scrimmages.

*Brandon Lopez and Earl Mitchell will play at fullback.

What We Don't Know:
*How will the tailback spot shake out? You can't imagine that the three running backs will all get their fair share of carries. At some point a primary ball carrier will have to emerge.

*Can Jennings do it against D-I teams? He looked great in fall camp, but walk-on running backs don't just explode on the scene every day.

*Will Bolasky redshirt? It seemed like he was destined to redshirt, but the freshman has looked good in fall camp.

*Will Brooks Reed play? Reed had a great fall camp, but do the Cats have room for three fullbacks?

What We Think: *Three different ball carriers will lead the team in rushing in games this year. Expect Jennings, Smith and Henry to all have their day in the Sun.

*No Wildcat runner will rush for 1,000 yards, but the team will rush for over 1,500 yards.

*Reed, Mitchell and Lopez will all factor into the fullback/H-back spot. Reed and Lopez will each have a touchdown catch.


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