May 10, 2006
Tucson, AZ (CSTV U-WIRE) -- The Arizona football team showed throughout its spring practice schedule that its stingy defense has both the talent and the attitude to keep the Wildcats in every game this fall.
Yet while that unit's potential should grow even larger this summer with the addition of No. 1 junior college recruit Louis Holmes, a defensive end, the onus rests on the offense, led by sophomore-to-be quarterback Willie Tuitama, to figure out how to consistently put points on the scoreboard.
A potent mix of up-and-down play at running back and protection problems from a short-handed offensive line hindered Tuitama's ability to string together productive drives during the team's three open-to-the-public scrimmages.
The young signal caller also struggled in his own right, often missing open wide receivers downfield and taking more than his share of sacks from an aggressive defensive front.
Arizona head coach Mike Stoops said developing focus under pressure is a top priority for the coming months.
"Just overall, consistency is something we lack, even last year and ever since (I've) been here," he said.
Stoops said he tried to limit the number of plays during the spring scrimmages to emphasize quality over quantity.
"We've had good (offense) on good (defense) all spring, so I think it's helped us," he said. "We still haven't become tougher mentally, a tougher team in tight situations. We haven't shown a great propensity to do that throughout (my) tenure here."
"That's the thing that we have to be better at because we played a lot of tight games last year and came up short on a lot of plays."
(C) 2006 Arizona Daily Wildcat via CSTV U-WIRE