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Arizona Football Scrimmage: Passing Game, Defense Show Promise

Rich Rodriguez's first summer in Tucson is coming to a close, and a team scrimmage on Saturday appeared to have left the first-year coach in good spirits. At least, the comments were more positive and the results brighter than what we might expect from a team undergoing some renovations just as deep -- if not moreso -- than the Arizona Stadium they played within.

The odd part of Saturday's scrimmage? The heavy amount of passing yards to run yards.

There were 59 passes thrown to 36 rushes, and quarterback Matt Scott led the way with 198 yards on 11-of-14 completions, according to an unofficial box score released by the team. Perhaps Rodriguez was getting a feel for his receiving group -- he already knows he's got a stable of running backs, and Ka'Deem Carey and Daniel Jenkins combined for only five carries and 33 yards.

Kylan Butler led the way with eight rushes for 38 yards and a touchdown. In the passing game, former walk-on Sean Willet caught five balls for 113 yards.

There were positives on the defensive side of the ball, too. On the second possession, Jourdon Grandon stripped Dan Buckner after a catch. To end the scrimmage, Vince Miles picked off freshman quarterback Javelle Allen in a goalline situation. And in something we didn't see at all last year, the defense combined for six sacks by six different players, perhaps the first taste of a 3-3-5 defense that's role is to blitz from every which way.

Via the press release:

"There were a lot of great plays out here today," head coach Rich Rodriguez told his team. "But we didn't have as much enthusiasm as I thought we would. This is a great stadium, a great playing surface and we want you to have fun out here. We start getting into ‘game-week' from now on, so we have to play with more enthusiasm and execute better."

Here are the unofficial stat totals, via the athletic department.

PASSING (28-59-449 yards, 3 TD)

Scott 11-14-198 yards, 2 TD; Denker 11-30-172 yards; Allen 4-7-172 yards, TD; Isham 1-4-5 yards; Nykaza 1-1-7yards ; Kern 0-3-0 yards

RECEIVING (28 receptions, 449 yards, 3 TD)
Willet 5-113, TD; Morrison 3-54, TD; Buckner 3-37; Hill 2-46; Miller 2-22; Jackson 2-20; Taylor 2-12; Bennett 2-8; Georges 1-36, TD; Sullivan 1-23; Robinson 1-22; Butler 1-17; Richards 1-16; Slavin 1-14; Jenkins 1-9

RUSHING (36 carries, 179 yards, 4 touchdowns)
Butler 8-38, TD; Denker 7-6; Washington 4-22, TD; Jenkins 3-19; Tutogi 2-17; Carey 2-13, TD; Scott 2-8; Baker 2-6; Kern 2-3; Morrison 1-25, TD; Taylor 1-11; Isham 1-10; Allen 1-1.

DEFENSIVE HIGHLIGHTS

INT
Miles

PBU
Allah

Forced Fumble
Grandon

Fumble Recovery
Brady, Merrill

TFL
Mobley, Merrill, Sanders, Melvin, Bondurant, Tutogi, Tevis

SACKS
Merrill, Sanders, Melvin, Bondurant, Tutogi, Tevis