Tuitama back, no starter named

Arizona got some good news when quarterback Willie Tuitama was cleared for contact late last week. Even with that piece of information, the team was not ready to name a starter for Saturday's game against Washington State.

Tuitama was cleared for contact late last week and conventional wisdom would have him starting on Saturday in Pullman, but Mike Stoops was not ready to go that far during Monday's press gathering.

"I am not going to name a starting quarterback at this point," Stoops said. "Willie was cleared for contact, we will take it from there. We will look at all of our options. We will name a starting quarterback toward the end of the week."

Tuitama has been out since the UCLA game with his second concussion of the season. He suffered the first against LSU in week two. The Cats have been cautious to bring him back and have fitted him with a new helmet that is designed to reduce concussions.

Adam Austin replaced Tuitama both times, but was injured in the first half of the Stanford game. Austin hurt his MCL and was held out of the Oregon State game. He has not been cleared for practice, but that is not out of the realm of possibility.

"He is coming along," Stoops said of Austin. "Whether he is cleared for full practice I'm not sure. He will be partially. We will see how he does through some fundamental periods and take it from there."

Kris Heavner received the bulk of the reps in the place of Austin and Tuitama, though receiver Anthony Johnson actually started the Oregon State game and played the entire first series.

All three passers are completing over 50% of their passes, even if the scoring production has not been where anyone wants it. Tuitama has played in six games, throwing for 818 yards, three touchdowns and five picks. Austin has seen duty in five outings, starting two. He has thrown for 405 yards on 40-of-76 passing with a touchdown and four interceptions. Heavner has been solid as well, completing an impressive 21-30 passes for 171 yards and two interceptions.


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