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LOS ANGELES \u2014 A lot went wrong in Arizona\u2019s 56-30 loss to UCLA last season. Among the many problems: The Wildcats did not sack Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen in the first half, when UCLA built an insurmountable 42-14 lead against turnover-prone Arizona.

The Cats got to Rosen twice in the second half, but by then it was too late. They can\u2019t let that happen again. The UA can\u2019t allow Rosen to stand in the pocket and enjoy the view of the San Gabriel Mountains at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.

\u201cWe\u2019ve got to get home,\u201d Arizona defensive lineman Sani Fuimaono said. \u201cIf we\u2019re getting to the quarterback, getting off blocks quicker, penetrating upfield and just having a party in the backfield all night, I think it\u2019s going to end well for us.\u201d

The Wildcats are hoping to party like it\u2019s 2011. They\u2019re seeking to end a four-game losing streak against the Bruins. The first step is to get pressure on Rosen.

Although he has yet to live up to expectations this season, Rosen remains perhaps the most talented passer in college football. There\u2019s no throw he can\u2019t make when given time to scan the field.

\u201cGreat arm. Good vision. He scans the field well,\u201d Arizona defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said. \u201cHe\u2019ll go from his first read all the way back to his third or fourth read. He\u2019s very good in the pocket.\u201d

In a way, Arizona got a sneak preview of Rosen last week. Washington\u2019s Jake Browning has a similar profile. Both are sophomore pocket passers capable of making \u201cwow\u201d throws if allowed to operate without harassment.

The Wildcats held Browning relatively in check. He completed 14 of 21 passes for only 160 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Arizona sacked him four times but didn\u2019t pressure him consistently.

Surprisingly, two touchdowns represents Rosen\u2019s best output of the season to date. He hasn\u2019t put up the eye-popping numbers everyone expected \u2014 just five touchdown passes and four interceptions through four games.

Some of Rosen\u2019s struggles (which might be too strong a term) stem from UCLA\u2019s transition to a new offense. The Bruins are still adapting to a radically different system, a phenomenon the Wildcats can relate to on the other side of the ball.

\u201cAll the position groups are adjusting to the new way of the world in-season,\u201d Fox Sports college football analyst Petros Papadakis said of the UCLA offense. \u201cThey\u2019re not there right now.\u201d

The transition is rife with challenges. Spring practice and training camp provide ample opportunities to learn the plays and get used to a new way of doing things. But in-game adjustments require a level of comfort and familiarity that can be attained only in, well, games.

\u201cThe guys that grow up in a system, so to speak, it\u2019s easier to do that with,\u201d UA coach Rich Rodriguez said.

He was referring to his defense. He just as easily could have been talking about UCLA\u2019s offense. He continued.

\u201cOur guys are going to grow up in this system,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cRight now they\u2019re still learning it. Offensively, it\u2019s easier to make adjustments. For our defensive guys, it\u2019s all new.\u201d

UCLA parted ways with Noel Mazzone in the offseason, elevating Kennedy Polamalu to the coordinator role. The Bruins had an up-tempo, spread-style offense similar to Rodriguez\u2019s. Now they\u2019re more apt to feature a fullback or two tight ends. Rosen is under center more often.

One of the ideas behind that shift: Provide Rosen with better protection.

\u201cNo quarterback likes getting hit,\u201d Papadakis said. \u201cThat\u2019s why they moved to this offense. They wanted to keep him clean in the pocket.\u201d

That plan generally has worked \u2014 since the opener, anyway. Texas A&M sacked Rosen five times. Not coincidentally, he had his worst game that day, throwing three interceptions.

Since then, Rosen has suffered a total of five sacks (including the spread-busting sack/fumble/touchdown at the end of the Stanford game) and has thrown only one interception. Rosen\u2019s completion percentage and efficiency rating have risen each week.

\u201cThe numbers aren\u2019t staggering, but he\u2019s moving in the right direction,\u201d UCLA coach Jim Mora said. \u201cHe\u2019s reading his progressions better. He\u2019s understanding our scheme better. He\u2019s making better decisions. He\u2019s taking care of the ball better, believe it or not. \u2026\u2009

There\u2019s a lot of little things that maybe aren\u2019t showing up completely in the stat sheet.\u201d

Rosen is experiencing incremental progress despite the new offense not achieving one of its other main goals.

UCLA ranks last in the Pac-12 and 113th in the nation in rushing at 117.8 yards per game. (If Brandon Dawkins were his own school, UCLA would rank behind him, too.) The Bruins are averaging an anemic 3.2 yards per attempt. Even pass-obsessed Washington State is better.

Yates knows better than to assume those numbers are gospel. His defense just surrendered 352 rushing yards to Washington \u2014 whose ground game supposedly was struggling \u2014 and again will be without linebacker DeAndre\u2019 Miller (ankle) and nose tackle Parker Zellers (knee).

\u201cWith the game we just had,\u201d Yates said, \u201cI would have to be thinking they\u2019re pretty excited to run the ball against us.\u201d

Arizona doesn\u2019t want this to be the week when UCLA rediscovers its running attack. Or when Rosen finds his form.

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New information in the death of Arizona Wildcats offensive lineman Zach Hemmila suggests that he didn\u2019t have prescriptions for the two medications that killed him.

Hemmila\u2019s autopsy, released by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner this week, listed his cause of death as a toxic combination of oxymorphone, an opiate painkiller, and alprazolam, an anti-anxiety medication.

Hemmila, 22, died on Aug. 7 or 8. His death was ruled accidental.

Hemmila\u2019s cousin, whom he was living with at the time, discovered Hemmila\u2019s body shortly before 7 a.m. on Aug. 8, when she went into his room to talk to him, according to the Pima County Sheriff\u2019s Department investigative report, obtained by the Star through a public records request.

When deputies arrived, they found Hemmila lying on his back on the bed with his feet planted on the floor. He was wearing a headset and had a video game controller in his hand, the report said.

In interviews with the cousin\u2019s husband, detectives learned that Hemmila had been taking hydrocodone, an opiate that\u2019s commonly known as Vicodin. The man also said that Hemmila \u201cmay have been high\u201d when he saw him at 10:30 p.m. the night before.

Detectives took photos of five prescription bottles found in Hemmila\u2019s backpack, none of which were alprazolam or oxymorphone, according to department officials.

The investigative report showed at least three of the prescription bottles had another person\u2019s name on the label, but the names were redacted.

During the investigation, one of Hemmila\u2019s family members handed detectives a few \u201cunknown pills\u201d that Hemmila reportedly purchased about a week before, Capt. Gary Anderson, head of the Sheriff\u2019s department criminal investigations bureau, wrote in an email.

When asked if the pills had been tested or identified, Sheriff Chris Nanos said that the request fell under federal health privacy laws, known as HIPAA.

A large portion of the 29-page investigative report was redacted.

The day after Hemmila\u2019s death, detectives interviewed two employees of a northside insurance agency who said they \u201chad significant contact\u201d with Hemmila and knew him well. Their connection to the victim is unclear from the reports, and the contents of their interviews were redacted.

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For a long time, recruiting in Southern California went something like this:

USC gets whichever players it wants. UCLA is up next.

The Arizona Wildcats battle everyone else for whoever is left.

Since Rich Rodriguez was hired in 2012, though, the Wildcats have made a more concerted effort to recruit Southern California. With cornerbacks coach Donte Williams and defensive coordinator Marcel Yates on board, the UA is making even deeper inroads.

Eleven Southern California players have committed to the Wildcats\u2019 2017 recruiting class. The latest, two-star defensive lineman Austin Faoliu from Santa Ana\u2019s Mater Dei High School, verbally committed Wednesday. Arizona has already reeled in four-star athlete Greg Johnson from Los Angeles\u2019 Augustus Hawkins High School and four-star running back Nathan Tilford of Ontario Colony, and has convinced safety Rhedi Short \u2014 a three-star prospect from Los Angeles Cathedral \u2014 to flip on his commitment to UCLA.

UA coaches will spend the next few months convincing three more SoCals \u2014 wide receiver Joseph Lewis and cornerbacks Thomas Graham and Darnay Holmes \u2014 to choose the Wildcats over the Bruins.

Times are changing.

\u201cThey\u2019re going to get their fair share,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cAs I always tell the staff, there\u2019s players everywhere. From a recruiting standpoint, I feel real good about where we\u2019re at and the guys that we\u2019re getting, whether USC, UCLA or anybody else is recruiting them. I like where we\u2019re at, and I\u2019m pretty excited about what the next few years are going to look like for us.\u201d

Here\u2019s a look at the eight best recruiting battles between UCLA and Arizona over the last decade. See who won:

Brett Hundley (2011)

Position: Quarterback

From: Chandler

Recruiting ranking (Scout.com): Five stars, No. 3 QB in the country

Winner: UCLA. Hundley was from Arizona, and his father went to the UA, but the Mike Stoops regime instead chose to pursue Daxx Garman from Southlake, Texas. Arizona didn\u2019t even recruit Hundley\u2019s high school teammate, running back Paul Perkins, who wound up a standout at UCLA.

Did he pan out?: Absolutely. Hundley had a stellar career, went 3-0 against Arizona and was drafted by the Green Bay Packers.

Rob Golden (2008)

Position: Cornerback

From: Fresno, California

Recruiting ranking: Five stars, No. 4 CB in the country

Winner: Arizona. Golden might have been the biggest recruiting coup of Stoops\u2019 tenure.

Golden committed to the UA early, then decommitted and considered UCLA before ultimately returning to the Wildcats.

Did he pan out? Golden had 183 tackles, four interceptions and two touchdowns in four years. He signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers after going undrafted in 2012 and has since carved out a nice NFL career. Golden is a co-captain this season.

Devin Fuller (2012)

Position: Quarterback

From: Old Tappan, N.J.

Recruiting ranking: Four stars, No. 3 QB in the country

Winner: UCLA. Rodriguez made Fuller a priority shortly after being hired, but the quarterback ultimately picked Westwood over Tucson.

Fuller cited family reasons: His uncle, the comedian Sinbad, lived near UCLA\u2019s campus.

Did he pan out? UCLA coach Jim Mora moved Fuller to receiver, and the speedster became a downfield threat. The Atlanta Falcons took Fuller in the seventh round of this year\u2019s draft.

Marquis Flowers (2010)

Position: Safety

From: Goodyear

Recruiting ranking: Four stars, No. 23 safety in the country

Winner: Arizona. Flowers picked the Wildcats over UCLA and USC, among others. Flowers was the state\u2019s second-highest rated recruit in 2010.

Did he pan out? Flowers took off after moving to linebacker in 2012, amassing 100 tackles in 2012 and 94 in 2013. He is in his third season with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Rahim Moore (2008)

Position: Safety

From: Los Angeles

Recruiting ranking: Five stars, No. 2 safety in the country

Winner: UCLA. Moore committed to UCLA early but still took a visit to Arizona and told Scout.com it was \u201camazing\u201d and the campus \u201cwas great.\u201d Moore ultimately signed with the Bruins.

Did he pan out?: Without question. He led the nation in interceptions in 2009 and was an All-American. He played five years with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans.

Shaq Richardson (2010)

Position: Cornerback

From: Los Alamitos, California

Recruiting ranking: Three stars, No. 27 cornerback in the country

Winner: Both? Richardson initially signed with UCLA but was kicked off the team following an arrest. He ultimately transferred to the UA.

Did he pan out? Richardson contributed for four years, registering 186 tackles and intercepting nine passes. The Steelers picked Richardson in the fifth round of the 2014 draft.

Devon Modster (2016)

Position: Quarterback

From: Las Flores, California

Recruiting ranking: Four stars

Winner: UCLA. Modster verbally committed to the Wildcats in the summer before his senior season but flipped to UCLA close to signing day.

Did he pan out? TBA: Modster is redshirting his freshman season in Westwood.

DaVonte\u2019 Neal (2012)

Position: Wide receiver/cornerback

From: Scottsdale

Recruiting ranking: Five stars, No. 1 cornerback in Arizona

Who won: Arizona \u2026 sort of. Neal went to Notre Dame out of high school but lasted just a year before leaving. Neal planned to transfer to UCLA before Rodriguez and the Wildcats swooped in.

Did he pan out? The five-star rating suggests Neal should have been a star. He has struggled with the Wildcats, though he has made progress since moving to cornerback last year.

OTHERS

RB Pierre Cormier (2013, four stars, to Arizona), OL Keenan Walker (2015, four stars, to Arizona), DL Brian Price (2007, four stars, to UCLA), LB Eric Kendricks (2010, three stars, to UCLA), LB Jamardre Cobb (2014, four stars, to Arizona), DB Brandon Burton (2016, four stars, to UCLA), RB Jordon James (2010, four stars, to UCLA.)

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Arizona Wildcats tailback Nick Wilson is questionable for Saturday\u2019s game against UCLA because of an ankle injury.

This is the second week in a row that Wilson has been listed as questionable. He sat out against Washington last Saturday after getting hurt in the first quarter the previous week against Hawaii.

The situation at running back became somewhat dire when Wilson\u2019s replacement, freshman J.J. Taylor, suffered a broken ankle against UW that will sideline him indefinitely. Arizona has given receiver Samajie Grant some reps at tailback this week to provide reinforcements. Zach Green and Tyrell Johnson likely will comprise the top pairing if Wilson can\u2019t play.

In something of a surprising development, quarterback Anu Solomon (knee) is listed as out. Solomon had been questionable each of the past three weeks.

Solomon did not suffer a setback in his recovery from the knee injury he suffered Sept. 7. But with a limited travel roster for a conference road game \u2013 and Solomon net yet fully practicing \u2013 Arizona decided to declare him out. Brandon Dawkins will make his fourth straight start.

Several other players who were out or got hurt last week won\u2019t play against UCLA. They include linebacker DeAndre\u2019 Miller (ankle), nose tackle Parker Zellers (knee) and receiver Shawn Poindexter (foot).

Safety Tellas Jones (ankle) is listed as probable for the second week in a row. He dressed and warmed up against Washington but did not play.

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Is the Arizona Wildcats\u2019 defense markedly better than last year\u2019s version? Some key indicators would suggest it is.

For starters, Arizona is allowing 25.5 points per game a third of the way through the season \u2014 down from 35.7 in 2015. The Wildcats also are averaging 2.25 takeaways per game, up from 1.23 last season.

But in another critical area, Arizona actually has become worse. And it\u2019s a growing source of frustration for Rich Rodriguez and his staff entering Saturday\u2019s game at UCLA.

The Wildcats rank last in the Pac-12 and 122nd in the nation in third-down defense. Opponents are converting 50.9 percent of their third-down opportunities against the UA. They were at 45.9 percent last year.

\u201cThat\u2019s a concern, and that\u2019s one reason we\u2019re not getting three-and-outs,\u201d Rodriguez said Wednesday. Arizona\u2019s defense has recorded only four three-and-outs in four games.

\u201cWe definitely have to get off the field quicker,\u201d Rodriguez added, \u201cbecause we\u2019re letting teams control the tempo too much.\u201d

The defense\u2019s inability to get off the field is having a detrimental effect on the offense. It\u2019s impossible to establish a rhythm when you don\u2019t have the ball. It doesn\u2019t help that Arizona\u2019s offense is also last in the conference in third-down conversion percentage (37.7) and next-to-last in fourth-down percentage (37.5).

But one issue at a time. The focus here is on the Wildcats\u2019 third-down defense problem \u2014 which might actually be a first- and second-down defense problem.

A deeper dive into the numbers reveals nearly half of opponents\u2019 successful third-down conversions have come on plays of third-and-3 or shorter.

Teams are gaining first downs 73.7 percent of the time in those situations. When it\u2019s third-and-4 or longer, they\u2019re converting at a 39.5 percent rate.

\u201cWe need to be in third-and-medium and third-and-long to help us out a little bit,\u201d defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said. \u201cBut we\u2019ll get it fixed.\u201d

Opinions vary on how to achieve that common goal.

Cornerback Dane Cruikshank said winning on third down \u201ccomes from the heart.\u201d

\u201cYou\u2019ve just got to want it more than them,\u201d he said. \u201cWe\u2019ve got to bring the intensity.\u201d

Defensive lineman Sani Fuimaono said it\u2019s simply a matter of getting off blocks and getting to the ball-carrier.

\u201cIf everyone just does their job,\u201d he said, \u201cI think we\u2019ll be fine.\u201d

Linebacker Paul Magloire Jr. said it\u2019s about \u201cexecuting more finely.\u201d

\u201cWe\u2019ve been a hair away on some things,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s not too late to get things going and pick it up.\u201d

The Arizona defense actually had its best performance on third down last week against Washington. The Huskies converted only 5 of 12 third downs and were just 1 of 4 in the fourth quarter and overtime. The lone conversion? Jake Browning\u2019s winning touchdown pass to Dante Pettis on third-and-goal from the 4 in overtime.

From film to field

Cruikshank has prototypical measurements for a cornerback: He\u2019s 6-foot-1, 204 pounds, and can rush the 40-yard dash in less than 4.5 seconds.

But Cruikshank is learning that there\u2019s more to success in big-time college football than being big and fast.

More intense film study has helped the redshirt junior improve steadily since the start of the season. The JC transfer, playing Division I football for the first time, recorded his first career interception against Washington.

\u201cI\u2019ve always been good at watching film, but now I\u2019m starting to see key things when I\u2019m watching it,\u201d Cruikshank said. \u201cIt\u2019s just experience.\u201d

Cruikshank is spending more time studying offensive formations and route combinations. For example, when a running back swings out wide, the receiver on that side is more likely to run an inside route.

\u201cAs a young pup, I wasn\u2019t really watching things like that,\u201d Cruikshank said. \u201cI feel like at this level everybody\u2019s very, very good. So I\u2019ve got to do things that will separate (me) from everybody else.\u201d

Cruikshank is from Chino Hills, California, and about 50 of his family members and friends will attend Saturday night\u2019s game at the Rose Bowl.

Extra points

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The Arizona Wildcats are headed to Southern California this weekend, but they earned a victory there before boarding the team plane.

The UA secured a verbal commitment from defensive lineman Austin Faoliu of Mater Dei High in Santa Ana, California. Faoliu is the Wildcats\u2019 27th commitment for the class of 2017 and fourth interior defensive lineman \u2013 a major area of need.

Scout ranks Faoliu as a two-star prospect as an offensive guard and lists him at 6-3, 265 pounds. Rivals also gives him two stars as a defensive tackle and lists him at 6-4, 295.

Faoliu tweeted the news Wednesday afternoon. In the preamble to his commitment, he wrote the following:

\u201cI want to start off by thanking God for all the opportunities he has blessed me with, because I couldn\u2019t have done it without him giving me the strength and motivation to stay dedicated. I also want to thank all the coaches that believed in me to get the job done on (their) team; it means a lot. Last but not least, all this wouldn\u2019t be possible if it wasn\u2019t for my family and friends supporting me through my journey.\u201d

#BEARDOWN\ud83d\udd34\ud83d\udd35\ud83d\udc3b\u2b07\ufe0f pic.twitter.com/RCGUQovVRP

\u2014 Austin Faoliu (@Faoliu_10) September 28, 2016
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Quick hitters from the Arizona Wildcats\u2019 post-practice media availability Wednesday morning:

* UA defensive coordinator Marcel Yates said he has simplified the scheme a bit recently to improve communication. Players are still getting used to his defense.

* Coach Rich Rodriguez said it's easier to make in-game adjustments on offense because everyone has grown up in the same system. It\u2019s been harder on defense, where everyone is still learning.

*\u00a0Improving third-down defense is a big theme for Arizona this week. I'll explore that topic a little more in depth later today.

*\u00a0Arizona didn\u2019t experiment with any more new running backs today, Rodriguez said. Receiver Samajie Grant continued to take reps there. It\u2019s still possible Nick Wilson could play against UCLA. The overall RB situation is TBD.

*\u00a0Quarterback Anu Solomon had a sleeve and brace on his injured left knee as he walked from the practice field to the locker room. He has missed the past three games.

*\u00a0Rodriguez likes what he has seen from cornerback Dane Cruikshank, who has gotten better each week (including his first career interception vs. Washington). Cruikshank is a junior-college transfer but is still relatively inexperienced.

*\u00a0Rodriguez said Arizona\u2019s four-game losing streak against UCLA and recent blowout losses to the Bruins don\u2019t matter, or at least they shouldn\u2019t. \"What happened last year is completely irrelevant,\" Rodriguez said.

*\u00a0UCLA will be Arizona's first road game, but Rodriguez believes the UA\u2019s \"semi-road\" opener vs. BYU in Glendale has prepped the Wildcats for an away environment.

*\u00a0UCLA also will be the first road start for QB Brandon Dawkins, but as Rodriguez noted, Dawkins played extensively at ASU last season.

*\u00a0Rodriguez on the current state of UA recruiting: \"I like where we\u2019re at, and I\u2019m pretty excited about what the next few years are going to look like for us.\"

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UCLA coach Jim Mora spent more than 20 seasons in the NFL as a defensive assistant . He used to coach Michael Vick. Mora knows what he and the Bruins are up against Saturday.

Arizona Wildcats quarterback Brandon Dawkins has rushed for 391 yards and seven touchdowns in three starts. His average of 130.33 rushing yards per game ranks second among Div. I FBS quarterbacks behind Louisville\u2019s Lamar Jackson, the current front-runner for the Heisman Trophy.

\u201cHe puts huge stress on a defense,\u201d Mora said of Dawkins. \u201cHe\u2019s lightning fast, he\u2019s quick, he\u2019s decisive, he can break arm tackles. It\u2019s almost like they\u2019re in the \u2018Wildcat\u2019 every single play with a guy that can throw the ball.\u201d

Dawkins has made strides as a passer since taking over for the injured Anu Solomon in Week 2. Dawkins has completed 61.7 percent of his throws with three touchdowns and one interception.

But it\u2019s his running ability \u2014 his long, effortless stride \u2014 that literally separates him from others. He possesses all the attributes to become the next great dual-threat quarterback under Rich Rodriguez. Pat White and Denard Robinson had 1,000-plus-yard seasons in Rodriguez\u2019s system at West Virginia and Michigan, respectively.

Dawkins has a different running style, but he is producing similar results. At his current pace, the redshirt sophomore would rush for more than 1,400 yards.

\u201cThey\u2019re all kind of unique,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cPat White was just take one step and boy, he\u2019s full speed. Denard Robinson was a freak. (Before White) we had Rasheed Marshall, who\u2019s probably most similar to Brandon. Kind of a longer strider, but was faster than you think.

\u201cBrandon is faster than you think. I don\u2019t know what his 40 time is, but once he gets going, he\u2019s such a competitive runner, he can pull away from people.\u201d

You don\u2019t have to tell the Washington Huskies that. Dawkins rushed for a career-high 176 yards against UW, including a 79-yard touchdown. The TD marked the longest run by a quarterback this season and the longest by an Arizona QB since at least 1972.

\u201cAnytime you have a running quarterback like that, it is really hard and frustrating,\u201d Washington coach Chris Petersen said after the Huskies\u2019 35-28 overtime victory over the Wildcats. \u201cThe three guys that we played up to this point don\u2019t run like he runs. \u2026 When a guy is that fast and you miss him, he makes you pay.\u201d

Washington\u2019s defense is loaded with pro prospects. After shaking linebacker Psalm Wooching in the backfield, Dawkins outran all of them down the right sideline. He covered the final 40 yards in less than 4.5 seconds.

\u201cHe makes it really tough,\u201d Mora said. \u201cThe run that he had against the University of Washington, the best defense in this conference, arguably, or at least it was \u2026 was just spectacular. The guy, he\u2019s big-time.\u201d

Dawkins patterns himself after two of the greatest dual-threat QBs in history: Randall Cunningham and Cam Newton. Dawkins met Cunningham at a football camp and became friends with his son, also named Randall, who is a high jumper at USC. (The younger Cunningham played quarterback at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, where he was a teammate of Solomon\u2019s.)

Like Cunningham and Newton, Dawkins (6-3, 210) is both big and fast. Because of his size and gait, he doesn\u2019t look as speedy as smaller players such as White or Robinson.

But whatever he might lack in timed speed, Dawkins makes up for in determination. He\u2019s always thinking about the end zone. Dawkins and White are the only Rodriguez-coached quarterbacks to score multiple rushing touchdowns in three straight games.

\u201cIt\u2019s so hard to test how somebody really runs,\u201d Dawkins said. \u201cWhen the pressure\u2019s on and somebody\u2019s chasing after you, I feel like something in your body kicks in where you run a lot faster. When I had those guys chasing after me, I felt like I was just floating down the field, just rolling.\u201d

New RB option

The Wildcats are turning to a veteran receiver to provide reinforcements for their depleted tailback corps.

Senior Samajie Grant is taking some reps at running back this week. Grant played the position at Colony High School in Ontario, California, rushing for 1,495 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior in 2012.

Grant has started 33 games at receiver for Arizona. He has 134 career receptions, including 11 this season. He has seven career rushes for 30 yards.

\u201cHe\u2019s just an explosive player,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cI\u2019d like to get him some more touches anyway because he can do some things with the ball.\u201d

Rodriguez and his staff have been forced to consider contingencies after ankle injuries to Nick Wilson and J.J. Taylor and the dismissal of Orlando Bradford.

Taylor probably will be out for the rest of the season after breaking his left ankle last week. Wilson\u2019s status for UCLA is unknown. If he can\u2019t play, Arizona likely will use some combination of Zach Green, Tyrell Johnson, walk-on Branden Leon and Grant.

Can Grant get up to speed by Saturday at a position he hasn\u2019t played in several years?

\u201cSamajie can do a little bit of everything,\u201d running backs coach Calvin Magee said. \u201cHe\u2019s a quick study. So he\u2019ll pick it up.\u201d

Extra points

\u2022 Receiver Shawn Poindexter injured his right foot or ankle against Washington after catching three passes for 29 yards in the first quarter. His status for this week\u2019s game is unclear.

\u2022 Linebacker DeAndre\u2019 Miller (ankle) had a green jersey Tuesday, possibly indicating limited practice participation. That could be a good sign after Miller missed last week\u2019s game.

\u2022 Despite injuries piling up again, Rodriguez doesn\u2019t plan to make any changes to Arizona\u2019s training or practice regimens. \u201cI have 100 percent confidence in our training methods,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s just bad luck.\u201d

\u2022 Rodriguez comparing UCLA\u2019s defense to Washington\u2019s: \u201cVery similar. They might be a little faster on the edge. Their secondary is outstanding.\u201d

\u2022 The Wildcats practiced on the grass at Kindall/Sancet despite intermittent rain throughout the morning.

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Arizona offensive lineman Zach Hemmila\u2019s death last month resulted from the combined toxic effects of two prescription drugs, according to an autopsy report issued by the Pima County Sheriff\u2019s Office on Tuesday.

The drugs found in Hemmila\u2019s system and cited as the cause of his death were oxymorphone, an opiate painkiller, and alprazolam, an anxiety medication.

Hemmila, 22, died in his sleep on Aug. 7 or 8. His death was ruled an accident.

\u201cSeveral wads\u201d of chewing tobacco were found in Hemmila\u2019s mouth, according to the autopsy report. No intact pills were discovered in his gastrointestinal system. His lungs were \u201cmarkedly congested,\u201d per the report, which is dated Aug. 8.

Messages left with Dr. Gregory Hess, the Chief Medical Examiner of Pima County, were not returned.

Hemmila, a redshirt senior from Chandler, was set to be the Wildcats\u2019 starting center this season. The team is honoring him throughout the season with helmet stickers and patches on coaches\u2019 hats.

\u201cArizona Athletics continues to mourn the passing of Zach Hemmila,\u201d the UA said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. \u201cWe will honor the family\u2019s request for privacy and support them in any way we can.\u201d

The brand name for oxymorphone is Opana. Hemmila had a concentration of 15.3 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) in his system, according to the autopsy report. The recommended therapeutic range is 1-5 ng/ml, the autopsy report stated.

According to drugs.com, an independent medical information website, therapeutic range refers to the dosage \u201cusually expected to achieve desired therapeutic effects. Some patients require doses (or concentrations) above or below this range. Some patients will experience drug toxicity within this range.\u201d

Hemmila had 11.8 ng/ml of alprazolam in his system, near the bottom of the therapeutic range (11-40), the autopsy stated. The brand name for alprazolam is Xanax. Hemmila also had citalopram, an anti-depressant, in his system, according to the report. The concentration of citalopram was 31.3 ng/ml, also well within the therapeutic range (10-120), the report stated. The brand name for citalopram is Celexa.

On Aug. 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it would require warning labels for nearly 400 products detailing the serious risks associated with combining certain opioid medications and depressant drugs called benzodiazepines. The risks include extreme sleepiness, respiratory depression, coma and death. Alprazolam is a benzodiazepine.

"}, {"id":"b77fd75a-8501-11e6-a23d-a36311b3a1b4","type":"article","starttime":"1475015400","starttime_iso8601":"2016-09-27T15:30:00-07:00","lastupdated":"1475040906","priority":40,"sections":[{"blog":"sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Officials: Toxic mix of medications killed Arizona Wildcats lineman Zach Hemmila","url":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/article_b77fd75a-8501-11e6-a23d-a36311b3a1b4.html","permalink":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/officials-toxic-mix-of-medications-killed-arizona-wildcats-lineman-zach/article_b77fd75a-8501-11e6-a23d-a36311b3a1b4.html","canonical":"http://tucson.com/sports/arizonawildcats/football/blog/officials-toxic-mix-of-medications-killed-arizona-wildcats-lineman-zach/article_b77fd75a-8501-11e6-a23d-a36311b3a1b4.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":6,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":1,"gallery":0},"byline":"By Michael Lev\nArizona Daily Star","prologue":"An opiate painkiller and an anxiety medication were found in the lineman's system, according to an autopsy report.","supportsComments":true,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["zach hemmila"],"internalKeywords":["#toptwo","#latest","#editorspick","#photosmall"],"customProperties":{},"images":[{"id":"2a2c570f-1bdb-5684-b9c0-92a5574313c5","description":"Zach Hemmila","byline":"Courtesy Arizona Athletics","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"413","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/a2/2a2c570f-1bdb-5684-b9c0-92a5574313c5/57be26961adb6.image.jpg?resize=413%2C620"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/a2/2a2c570f-1bdb-5684-b9c0-92a5574313c5/57be26961adb6.image.jpg?crop=1175%2C660%2C0%2C174&resize=100%2C56&order=crop%2Cresize"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/a2/2a2c570f-1bdb-5684-b9c0-92a5574313c5/57be26961adb6.image.jpg?crop=1175%2C660%2C0%2C174&resize=300%2C169&order=crop%2Cresize"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"575","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/a2/2a2c570f-1bdb-5684-b9c0-92a5574313c5/57be26961adb6.image.jpg?crop=1175%2C660%2C0%2C174&resize=1024%2C575&order=crop%2Cresize"}}},{"id":"3df7fe44-7273-11e6-bd68-4702c8866080","description":"Fans honor Arizona offensive lineman Zach Hemmila during a ceremony before the season opener at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.","byline":"Kelly Presnell / Arizona Daily Star","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"620","height":"374","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/df/3df7fe44-7273-11e6-bd68-4702c8866080/57cbd094c1b5b.image.jpg?resize=620%2C374"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"60","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/df/3df7fe44-7273-11e6-bd68-4702c8866080/57cbd094c1b5b.image.jpg?resize=100%2C60"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"181","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/df/3df7fe44-7273-11e6-bd68-4702c8866080/57cbd094c1b5b.image.jpg?resize=300%2C181"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"618","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/tucson.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/df/3df7fe44-7273-11e6-bd68-4702c8866080/57cbd094c1b5b.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C618"}}}],"youtube":[{"id":"3e2acb99-3c9c-56d4-b53d-480116a8470d","starttime":"1470760200","starttime_iso8601":"2016-08-09T09:30:00-07:00","title":"Rodriguez, Byrne: Hemmila 'a great young man'","description":"Rich Rodriguez and Greg Byrne said they're devastated by the death of UA center Zach Hemmila.","byline":"","video_id":"Z71JDl9Jln0"}],"revision":25,"commentID":"b77fd75a-8501-11e6-a23d-a36311b3a1b4","body":"

Arizona offensive lineman Zach Hemmila\u2019s death last month resulted from the combined toxic effects of two prescription drugs, according to an autopsy report issued by the Pima County Sheriff\u2019s Office on Tuesday.

The drugs found in his system were oxymorphone, an opiate painkiller, and alprazolam, an anxiety medication.

\"Arizona

Zach Hemmila

Hemmila, 22, died in his sleep on Aug. 7 or 8. His death was ruled an accident.

Chewing tobacco was found in Hemmila\u2019s mouth, according to the autopsy report. No intact pills were discovered in his gastrointestinal system. His lungs were \u201cmarkedly congested,\u201d per the report.

The redshirt senior from Chandler was set to be the Wildcats\u2019 starting center this season. The team is honoring him throughout the season with helmet stickers and patches on coaches\u2019 hats.

\"Arizona Athletics continues to mourn the passing of Zach Hemmila,\" the UA said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. \"We will honor the family\u2019s request for privacy and support them in any way we can.\"

\u00a0

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Quick hitters from the Arizona Wildcats\u2019 post-practice media availability Tuesday morning:

* UA coach Rich Rodriguez said senior receiver Samajie Grant is getting some reps at running back this week. Arizona is banged up at that position with J.J. Taylor likely out for the season and Nick Wilson\u2019s status uncertain for UCLA because of ankle injuries.

*\u00a0Grant played tailback in high school. \u201cHe\u2019s just an explosive player,\u201d Rodriguez said. \u201cI\u2019d like to get him some more touches anyway because he can do some things with the ball.\"

*\u00a0Another Arizona RB option: walk-on Branden Leon. Said Rodriguez: \"He\u2019s a tough guy. He runs hard. He\u2019s got some good skills. He\u2019s really worked hard getting bigger, stronger and faster.\"

*\u00a0Receiver Shawn Poindexter was on crutches with a boot on his right foot as he made his way from the practice field to the locker room. He got hurt against Washington after catching three passes for 29 yards in the first quarter.

*\u00a0Linebacker DeAndre\u2019 Miller (ankle) had a green jersey on, indicating limited practice participation. That could be a good sign after Miller missed last week\u2019s game.

*\u00a0Despite injuries piling up again, Rodriguez doesn't plan to make any changes to Arizona\u2019s training or practice regimens. \"I have 100 percent confidence in our training methods,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s just bad luck.\u201d

*\u00a0Rodriguez comparing UCLA's defense to Washington's: \"Very similar. They might be a little faster on the edge. Their secondary is outstanding.\"

*\u00a0Rodriguez on some of his past running QBs: \"Pat White was just take one step and boy, he\u2019s full speed. Denard Robinson was a freak.\" Brandon Dawkins looks like the next great running quarterback under Rodriguez, and I\u2019ll have more on Dawkins\u2019 running ability later today.

*\u00a0Rodriguez on Dawkins' confidence/personality: \"He\u2019s a Snapchat/Instagram king. I\u2019m sure he gets a lot of likes.\"

*\u00a0Rodriguez has his limits regarding social media and recruits: \"You want to give them attention, but what are we, schoolgirls chasing Justin Bieber? Give me a break.\u201d

*\u00a0The Wildcats practiced on the grass at Kindall/Sancet despite intermittent rain throughout the morning.

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