Holmes living up to the hype

For Louis Holmes it was the culmination of a long journey. Since committing to Ohio State three years ago, Holmes has been to a prep school and a junior college in an effort to get eligible to play college football. On Saturday night Holmes finally took the field and actually managed to live up to the hype.

Saturday morning Holmes was excited. He called friends and sent out a load of text messages. A few days before he shaved stars into the sides of his head, replacing the block ‘As' that had grown out.

No one was more excited when the Cats took the field to work out. There was Holmes, a bundle of nervous energy. He got into the game on BYU's second possession and on their first possession of the second quarter he had his first tackle. From there it was all good.

Holmes came in with a lot of hype. Even though he was a five-star recruit and one of the top JC recruits in the country, he probably had too much hype. He has pro size and athleticism, but he had never had played a down of D-I football.

He may have been the highest profile recruit in the history of the program and there was almost no way he could live up to the hype and expectations of the fans.

Or could he?

Holmes is by no means a finished product and has a lot to learn, but he lived up to the billing. Even fans with the most unrealistic expectations had to be pleased with what they saw from the junior.

Officially Holmes was credited with three tackles, two of them for sacks, a forced fumble and a pass break-up. What the stat book does not show is the passes the 6-6 Holmes made John Beck alter or the fits that Holmes gave the tackles of BYU who have not faced a player with his speed.

The scary things for offenses going up against Arizona is that Holmes still has a lot to learn. Sometimes he was so fast that he actually got too deep into the back field, going deeper than the quarterback. Holmes also has to learn to battle bigger, stronger offensive linemen. On numerous occasions he'd get deep but could not figure out a way to get around or through the tackle.

Eventually Holmes will pick up the nuances, until he does he is still pretty darn effective.

12 other newcomers made their Wildcat debuts.

Blake Kerley, Eben Britton and Daniel Borg all started on the offensive line but had mixed results. Earl Mitchell played early and often a fullback. He had a couple passes thrown his way but did not have a chance to make a catch.

Chris Jennings and Xavier Smith came off the bench to play tailback. Jennings had seven yards on six carries, while Smith did not touch the football.

On defense redshirt freshman defensive lineman Donald Horton saw some time. He was credited with two tackles. His high school teammate and fellow redshirt freshman DB Cory Hall had one tackle. Redshirt freshman linebacker Xavier Kelley also had a single tackle.

True freshmen defensive backs Devin Ross and Cam Nelson both played on special teams.

Kyle McQuown made his Wildcat debut. The transfer from Idaho State punted three times for an average of 44 yards, but was pulled because he did not have enough hang time on his punts. He did do a great job on the hold on the game winning field goal as the holder, pulling down a high snap.


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