Thursday means two-a-days

Arizona went through their first two-a-day sessions and had two solid practices. While two-a-days are no longer what they once were, it was still a long day for the players.

The morning session was mostly uneventful. The team went through their normal reps and drills. The biggest thing of note was the heat. It was pushing 90 degrees by 9:00 a.m. and the humidity was high as well.

During 7-on-7 drills all three Wildcat quarterbacks completed a high percentage of passes, but most were underneath and short. Willie Tuitama was a solid 10-12, while Kris Heavner and Tyler Lyon were 6-7 and 2-3 respectively.

Tuitama and Heavner took all the reps in the 11-on-11 drills. Tuitama was again solid, completing 10-of-12 passes. Heavner was not as sharp, connecting on just 2-of-5 passes.

To close out practice, the team worked on their goal line drill. It would be the defense that came away the victors. Chris Jennings was stuffed on first down, then on second down Tuitama could find no open receivers. Jennings was stopped on a third down run. On fourth down the team tried play action, but the defense was ready.

The weather got nicer for the evening session. After a morning in full pads, the team was in shells for the evening session.

7-on-7 drills saw the team use a lot of second and third teamers. Lyon took the first snaps and completed 3-of-7 passes. He hit Travis Bell on his first throw and then found Brandon Lopez on back-to-back plays.

Heavner came in next and looked sharper. He completed his first 10 passes and was 11-15 altogether. Heavner spread the ball around, with David Roberts being the main recipient. The true freshman four passes, including a perfectly thrown touch pass that went for a long gain. Heavner also showed off his arm strength on the very next play. After showing his touch on the long bomb he rifled a pass into coverage and found Aaron Anderson on the sideline. In the drill Glyndon Bolasky twice, and also found Bell, Terrell Reese, Terry Longbons and A.J. Simmons along with Roberts and Anderson.

The first team offense took the field for 11-on-11's minus Tuitama. Kris Heavner took the first reps and was again solid. He connected on his first three passes, despite a good push from the defensive line. That pressure paid off as Jason Parker blew by Peter Graniello for a sack.

The sack took the offense out of their rhythm. Anthony Johnson dropped the next pass and Heavner missed on his next attempt. However, he'd make up for the incompletion on the very next play. Rob Rivera took advantage of a miscommunication by Wilrey Fontenot and Cam Nelson and was wide open on the right sideline for a long bomb.

Two plays later Tuitama rejoined the offense. After a run and an incompletion, he connected on his next five passes. The fifth one was a thing of beauty. Isolating Nicolas Grigsby on Spencer Larsen, Tuitama dropped a perfect pass into the arms of the freshman running back. Larsen was draped all over Grigsby and actually punched at the ball to try to force a fumble, but it was to no avail.

The defense got a small manner of revenge with a sack of Tuitama. He did a nice job stepping up into the pocket to avoid the blitz, but the coverage was excellent and he was sacked.

Practice ended with the 2:00 drill. Like the morning goal line drill, the defense got the better of things.

The situation was 2:00 left in the game, the ball on the 25 and just one timeout. On first down Tuitama tried to go deep to Johnson but Dominic Patrick was all over the coverage and actually sealed Johnson off from the ball and it fell harmlessly out of reach. Patrick was in the right place at the right time on second down as Tuitama missed a receiver over the middle and Patrick was there for the pick.

The offense was given another chance, but this time it was Louis Holmes who was the big play man. On first down Tuitama was swarmed by Holmes for a seven yard loss. On second down a screen pass to Grigsby went for a short gain. On third down Tuitama was again too fast for Eben Britton and was credited for the sack on the last play of practice.


*Peter Graniello is working as the first team left tackle, while Daniel Borg is starting at left guard.

*The Wildcat defense is working on a variety of safety tandems. The most common first unit has seen Dominic Patrick, Cam Nelson and Michael Klyce.

*Marquis Hundley sat out the practice with his left foot in a boot. It is not expected to be a long term injury.

*Although there has been no announcement, it appears as if the kicking job is Jason Bondzio's to lose. He has shown great accuracy and his leg may actually be stronger than it was during the spring.

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