Football Training Camp Notes - Day 14

Aug. 20, 2003

TUCSON, Ariz. - Arizona Football Training Camp Report...

... After 14 days of training camp, the University of Arizona football team has completed 18 practice sessions, with two days remaining on the schedule before game-week preparations begin for the season opener against UTEP on Saturday, Aug. 30. The Wildcats will have a scrimmage Thursday, Aug. 21, in Arizona Stadium, and the session is closed to the public. 'The scrimmage is going to be very similar to last Saturday, but what we do and how much we do will depend a lot upon how healthy we are,' said head coach John Mackovic...

... In Wednesday's double sessions, quarterbacks Nic Costa and Ryan O'Hara got nearly all of the work, as expected at this point in the training camp. 'With the quarterbacks, we are looking for patterns with regard to incomplete passes and interceptions. We are looking to see if they are trying to force the ball into places that they should not, and then we look to see if they do it again after that,' Mackovic said...

... In a two-minute offensive period Wednesday morning, the quarterbacks appeared to struggle a bit. O'Hara completed 2-of-8 passes for 35 yards, and an interception by Michael Jolivette thwarted O'Hara's final drive. O'Hara hit true freshman Anthony Johnson for passes of 15 and 20 yards. Costa completed 4-of-11 passes for 41 yards, including a 20-yard pass to Johnson and a 10-yard pass to sophomore walk-on Eric Sheehan...

... After the morning session, Mackovic had some praise for senior linebacker Joe Siofele, who moved inside after spending the 2002 season at defensive end. 'Joe has played better there during camp. He is strong, physical, and he dropped some weight. He really has improved his pass defense, and I think he feels more comfortable in this position than at defensive end. He was our most productive player throughout the year last season,' Mackovic said...

... In the evening session, the Wildcats practiced in full pads, and the offense clearly had the upper hand in the last three drills. During the 7-on-7 situational session, O'Hara completed 3-of-4 passes for 24 yards, while Costa completed 2-of-5 passes for 25 yards. The freshmen - Kris Heavner and Richard Kovalcheck - also earned some reps, as Heavner completed 3-of-6 passes for 21 yards, and Kovalcheck was 2-of-4 for 11 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Biren Ealy had five catches during the 7-on-7 and team periods, and junior Ricky Williams added two catches.

... In the 9-on-9 rushing period, the defense caused a fumble and had two stops, but senior Clarence Farmer and sophomore Mike Bell each had two plus yardage runs. Farmer and Bell each produced two 3rd-down conversions for first downs in the down-and-distance drill, as well...

... The Wildcats ended practice with a spirited goal-line drill, and the offense produced seven touchdowns in nine tries, all of which were inside the 5-yard line. 'We went to the goal-line period, and the offense did as good a job for this stage as we could expect. They did as good a job as I have seen since I've been here. The offense did a good job, and the quarterbacks worked hard tonight. The defense did a better job in the field even though they didn't stop the offense,' Mackovic said...

... Following the evening session and final practice at the Rincon Vista facility, Mackovic offered some praise for the Wildcat punters - sophomore Danny Baugher and senior James Molina. 'We are kicking really well. Both punters are kicking better than they did last year. We still don't have a clear-cut starter, much like the quarterback situation. We will have to see what happens,' he said. Mackovic also stated that senior Bobby Gill will be the go-to-guy for field goals and point-after-touchdown attempts, and redshirt freshman Nicholas Folk will handle the kick-off duties...

... The team is set to close training camp with a light workout on Friday, Aug. 22 at the UA practice facility before taking the weekend off. Practices will be closed to the public beginning Monday, Aug. 25. 'Well, we are winding up, not winding down even though training camp is ending,' Mackovic said.

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