Andrew Fielding-US PRESSWIRE
Greg Byrne discussed Matt Scott and Hank Hobson's injuries on Monday, and looking ahead, it appears the pressure is on the Arizona Wildcats' run game.
Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne attended Monday's weekly football press conference to clear up what we here have been discussing lately. Matt Scott did suffer a concussion against the UCLA Bruins this week in a 66-10 blowout, but he did not against the USC Trojans the week prior, just as he said he didn't.
While that was questionable, mostly because the team ended up pulling him from the game without explanation, Byrne said Scott underwent the highly-regarded imPACT testing during the week and cleared it to play against the Bruins, according to the Arizona Daily Wildcat.
"Our medical staff has conducted daily evaluations and continuously monitored Matt," Byrne told the Wildcat. "Last Friday we did final evaluations and did an imPACT test. Matt was medically and clinically approved to play."
Byrne also confirmed that linebacker Hank Hobson returned to Tucson from a Los Angeles area hospital after what was deemed a nerve injury, something Hobson has a history of.
Looking toward the Buffs
Moving forward, the Wildcats must expect that Scott will be out for Saturday's homecoming game -- he and Hobson are questionable at best. At least, they must prepare for it.
Backup quarterback B.J. Denker promptly fumbled the ball once he took over for Scott against UCLA. Later on he showed enough speed to be effective, but it's wonder how much worse off the Wildcats are without Scott.
On the positive side of things, Rich Rodriguez knows how to coach a team without a quarterback. Without taking a direct shot at any of his past quarterbacks, it's safe to say Scott is the most quarterback-like quarterback Rodriguez has coached.
So reverting to a run-heavy game shouldn't be so bad, right?
Of course, Denker's ability to hang onto the ball will be key if they want to give the Buffs a heavy dose read-option plays, but Arizona still has a dangerous offense. Ka'Deem Carey should touch the football no less than 30 times unless the Wildcats can get the game out of hand early. Taimi Tutogi missed last game, but if he returns should shoulder an important role in blocking for the run, protecting Denker in the pocket and perhaps being used on short dumpoffs that mistake-prone teams like Colorado won't cover.
If Tutogi doesn't return, then it's an open opportunity for one Daniel Jenkins. He saw time in the backfield with Carey in two-back sets against UCLA, and Jenkins is likely itching for such an opportunity to be counted upon.
And if Rodriguez feels like slinging it around without Scott, Arizona's receiving group is, by my count, still pretty talented.