Stoops reported that the team is very healthy heading into the BYU game. Only Adam Grant and Bobby McCoy are out, and both were hurt prior to fall camp, allowing the Wildcats time to prepare for their absence.
Grant appears to be done for the year, while McCoy could be back in 2-3 weeks. Although Brad Wood was limited in fall camp, Stoops feels that he should be just fine for the game on Saturday.
TO REDSHIRT OR TO NOT REDSHIRT
Stoops won't have a full grasp on who will redshirt and who will play out of the freshmen class, but he did list a handful of players that he felt would see the field right away. He was quick to mention WR Terrell Reese, WR Terrell Turner, FB Earl Mitchell, DB Michael Turner and DB Cam Nelson. He also mentioned DB Devin Ross, but as of Monday morning he had not been cleared by the NCAA to become game eligible.
Stoops was ready to announce the starters at a few positions that were still up for grabs. On the offensive line Peter Graniello (LT), Adam Hawes (LG), Erick Levitre (C), Joe Longacre (RG) and Eben Britton (RT) will get the call, but expect Daniel Borg, Blake Kerley and Bill Wacholz to see the field.
Chris Henry will get the call at RB and will get every chance to be the primary ball carrier. Stoops suggested that either Xavier Smith or Chris Jennings has a chance to be the back-up, but he was not sure how they would be used.
Dominic Patrick will get the call at free safety. Either Earl Mitchell or Brandon Lopez could get the call at FB, but both will play. It sounds like Johnathan Turner and Marcus Smith will start at DE, but Stoops mentioned that Louis Holmes would get a ton of time, especially if BYU passes as much as everyone believes.
Stoops coached against BYU while at Oklahoma, but they had a different coaching staff. He said the offense is structurally the same as Rick Leach's at Texas Tech. Stoops is familiar with Leach's schemes. They coached together with the Sooners and against each other before Stoops left for Arizona.
The BYU offensive line averages almost 317 pounds. Take out 290-pound center Sete Aulai, and the Cougars line averages 323 pounds. Conversely, the Wildcats have just two projected starters who weigh more than 300 pounds.
The two teams were constant opponents in the old WAC, but have not faced off since BYU beat Arizona 34-14 in 1977. Arizona leads the series 10-8-1, but BYU has a two-game win streak. Arizona is 7-5-1 against the Cougars in Tucson.
HOME SWEET HOME
Arizona has won 17 of their last 18 home openers. The lone loss was to Ohio State in 2000.