Remember the Mike Stoops era, when Arizona Wildcats games on TV often had a camera solely focused on Stoops to see how he might—would—react outlandishly to a call or play? It’s happening again.
But instead of training a lens on Kevin Sumlin, the broadcasts have turned their focus on Khalil Tate. Particularly on his left ankle and how it’s affecting him on each and every play.
Tate was noticeably limping on several occasions during Saturday’s 24-20 home loss to USC. He ran for a season-best 38 yards on 13 carries but on numerous occasions, when the chance to head upfield was there, he either hesitated or turned toward the sideline.
Sumlin noted after the game Tate wasn’t 100 percent, and it stands to reason that may remain the case for a while, possibly until he’s able to take some time off. Arizona doesn’t have a bye until the second week of November, with five more games in between now and then.
Might the answer be sitting Tate for a game? Sumlin didn’t immediately shoot down the idea.
“That decision’s not made on Sunday or Monday,” Sumlin said. “Those decisions are made in consultation with our medical people and him. There’s a lot of things involved with that decision.”
Sumlin confirmed a report by ESPN’s sideline reporter from Saturday night that Tate has been limited in practice, also noting that Arizona’s other quarterbacks are getting considerably more reps than before Tate initially injured the ankle Sept. 8 at Houston.
Tate’s injury has affected Arizona’s ability to run its desired offense completely, Sumlin said, though he wouldn’t indicate what percentage of plays have to be scrapped with the junior unable to run well.
Despite the injury, Sumlin has been happy with what Tate has been able to do with his arm.
“He made some throws at the end to give us a chance,” Sumlin said. “You could tell by his body language after the game he was frustrated.”