Bumped from the Fanposts. Great write up.
Well, the scrimmage was shortened by a lightning storm, so take what you will from my comments on the play of the Wildcats that night. It looks like Coach Stoops wants to try to squeeze in a full scrimmage either tonight or Monday night, and it's probably a good idea.
I'm taking a lot of positives from the scrimmage. First, despite reports that Matt Scott has improved greatly under new QB coach Frank Scelfo, he appears only slightly improved. Scott got progressively worse at passing throughout the scrimmage. It started off with the passes floating just a little too high, and ended with his WRs and RBs having to adjust to bad throws. Foles is clearly the better QB at this point. And let it be known, I am not a Matt Scott basher. I was as excited as anyone about his debut in Tucson. I couldn't shut up about him being a Joe Montana QB of the Year Award finalist. (He finished in second place.) Or how his moves on the ground would open up the Arizona offense. My buddy was about to choke me for getting so hyped for a freshman that had yet to play a down of NCAA football. I'm on the team that wants Scott to succeed. That said, he's the backup QB, and rightfully so.
Nick Foles impressed as usual. He looked much more confident in the pocket than last season, and gave signs that the Arizona passing game would be a force to be reckoned with this coming season.
Grigsby looked amazing, both as a RB and as a receiver. He was clearly unafraid to put his shoulder into a defender, and did so effectively several times. This is great news for the Wildcat faithful. Grigsby was mentioned as a Heisman candidate last season before his shoulder injury put the brakes on him, and he should be a legitimate contender for the Heisman if he stays healthy. I am giddy with the prospect of what a healthy Grigsby could do for the Cats this season.
RB Greg Nwoko really impressed me. He made a great catch in the game and looked solid with the exception of a fumble at the end of a great run. Coach Stoops got on him and promptly sent him to the bench, but he returned to the game shortly thereafter and continued to impress. I continue to campaign for Nwoko to be the #2 RB, based on his production last season as well as his combo of size and speed, with Keola Antolin as a situational and change of pace guy.
RB Keola Antolin started off ice cold, but was soon back to form. He continues to boggle the mind. That size, (He and Kylan Butler are the two shortest members of the entire Wildcat football team) coupled with his amazing speed would lead you to think scat back. But he is utterly fearless. Taking on the entire defensive line in some cases in his bruising runs. I continue to see his value as a situational guy as opposed to the clear cut #2, but I came away impressed as usual with Antolins performance.
WR David Roberts had an amazing TD catch in traffic. This guy will be a weapon in the red zone this season. WR Tyler Slavin dropped a Nick Foles pass that bounced off of his number. But he was in good position, and seems to be on track to be an effective WR. WR William ‘Bug’ Wright impressed. Great moves, and more speed than I remember him possessing last season. He seemed very aware of both the defense and the ball. He adjusted effectively to passes that were a bit off target and turned them into some good YAC.
K Alex Zendejas looked good. He was kicking into the wind and a wall of dust that, to me, looked biblical. He put it through the uprights, just inside the right post. This, coupled with positive reviews coming out of camp this year, leaves me hopeful that he will have a solid 2010 season.
On the Defense. Ok, so they don't look amazing. However, there are some positives. CB McKnight looked good on the kick return, showing good moves and avoiding the temptation to participate in the trend of spinning and dancing like an idiot while the kicking team bears down on you. Robert Golden looked great, and I can't wait to see this guy against Toledo. He clearly is ready to start. As usual, Trevin Wade looked good. DE Brooks Reed had a good TFL, and looks to be back to his dominant form. The LBs as a group seemed almost afraid to go full speed. As if they were worried about hurting the offensive players. I'm hoping that the first two games of the year will get them into shape.
As a whole, I'd say the defense will be good, but not great. Still, look for Trevin Wade to have some electrifying INTs and to lock down his side of the field.