Arizona Wildcats wide receiver Juron Criner missed his second straight practice because of an illness, but coach Mike Stoops said tonight he's still hopeful that his star wide receiver will play Thursday at No. 9 Oklahoma State.

Criner will travel with the team to Oklahoma City on Wednesday; they'll spend the night there before busing to Stillwater Thursday afternoon.

Stoops offered few details about Criner's illness, which is not related to the personal and family issues that kept him from fulfilling ESPN obligations over the summer. Criner has not spoken publicly this season. 

Though Criner has been unable to practice since Monday, "he's fine," Stoops said.

"If he's ready to go, he'll play," the coach said.

Criner is coming off one of the best games of his career, a six-catch, 151-yard showing against Northern Arizona in Week 1. He caught a touchdown pass on the third play of the game, pacing quarterback Nick Foles' 412-yard passing performance.

If Criner cannot go, the UA will likely turn to either junior Dan Buckner or redshirt freshman Austin Hill to start at outside receiver opposite Gino Crump. Buckner, a transfer from the University of Texas, caught four passes for 38 yards against NAU. Hill caught one pass, a touchdown, for 24 yards.

 

 

The sports editor of the Arizona Daily Star.