Greg Hansen: One by one, UA defensive problems grow

2011-10-04T00:00:00Z Greg Hansen: One by one, UA defensive problems growGreg Hansen Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
October 04, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Thirty-seven reasons Arizona has given up 37 points per game, which, if it holds, would be the highest yield ever by a UA defense:

1. Defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu, who would be a fifth-year senior, is a second-team All-WAC tackle at Hawaii. He transferred there after starting 19 UA games.

2. Linebacker Trevor Erno, a four-star recruit who would be a junior, quit the team to be a firefighter.

3. Linebacker Zander Fabbri, a three-star recruit in 2008, quit football because of concussion-related issues.

4. "You can't go on the road and give up 48 points, (force) no punts and get no sacks," Mike Stoops said Monday of his team's 48-41 loss at USC.

5. Potential starting tackle Willie Mobley, a former Ohio State recruit, tore up his knee playing basketball last spring.

6. Defensive tackle Solomon Koehler, a four-star recruit who chose Arizona on national TV while playing in the U.S. Army All-Star Game in 2008, was a bust. He quit football.

7. Jonathan Hollins, who had earlier committed to Tennessee and Texas Tech and would be a fifth-year defensive tackle, quit the team before playing a down.

Hollins transferred to Texas State, where he played alongside another former UA defensive end, Ron Jackson.

8. Safety Adam Hall, the team's inspirational leader and most physical and aggressive defensive player, tore up his knee in spring practice.

9. At USC "we were one step behind and they were one step ahead," UA defensive tackle Sani Fuimaono said Monday.

10. Cornerback Ryan Milus, the fastest recruit in the Class of '09, quit football and is now a sprinter at Arizona State.

11. Defensive end Jackson Powell, a three-star recruit who is the son of ex-USC All-American Marvin Powell, left the team before he took a game-day snap.

12. Linebacker R.J. Young quit the team, transferred to Louisiana-Monroe and is now a starter for the Warhawks.

13. "There is apprehension and indecision," Stoops said Monday.

14. Four-star recruit Apaiata Tuihalamaka, who would be a fifth-year senior at defensive end/linebacker, ended his playing career because of injuries.

15. The UA has three QB sacks in five games. Opponents have thrown 169 passes.

16. Sophomore defensive tackle Justin Washington, believed to be a star-in-progress after 46 tackles and six sacks as a freshman, had knee surgery last week and has just 10 tackles this year.

17. Junior linebacker Jake Fischer, who had 58 tackles last year, ripped up his knee in spring drills.

18. "Guys we rely on to make plays haven't made plays for us," Stoops said Monday.

19. Oklahoma State QB Brandon Weeden, who leads the NCAA in pass completions per game (35.5) and accuracy (74.2 percent), was 42-of-53 for 397 yards against Arizona.

20. Linebacker Cordarius Golston, a three-star recruit from Texas, quit the team and is now playing for Baylor.

21. Defensive line recruit Kenny Barnes, in the Class of '08, quit the team.

22. Oregon tailback LaMichael James set school records for rushing yards, 288, and all-purpose yards, 363, in a 56-31 win at Arizona.

23. Of 120 FBS teams, only Rice, Kansas, UAB, Memphis and New Mexico have given up more yards per game than Arizona's 503. The combined record of those five schools is 4-18.

24. "Defensively, we've got some holes," Stoops said Monday.

25. Nine players have made their first career starts on defense: Fuimaono, C. J. Parish, Marquis Flowers, Lamar De Rego, Jourdan Grandon, Hank Hobson, Rob Hankins, Jowyn Ward and Mohammed Usman. Entering the season, they had a cumulative 23 career tackles.

26. At USC, the Trojans "got us going one way, then came back the other way," Fuimaono said Monday.

27. Stanford QB Andrew Luck threw for 325 yards and was not sacked.

28. USC quarterback Matt Barkley set school records for passing yards, 468, and total offense, and was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week.

29. UA opponents are gaining 7.32 yards per play. The school record for an opponent's season is 5.8, set by John Mackovic's last team, 2003.

30. "We're developing more players on the offensive side of the ball," Stoops said Monday.

31. Opponents have completed 74 percent of their passes. In Stoops' three bowl seasons, those percentages were, in order, 56.4, 56.8, 56.0.

32. To cover for previous recruiting shortages, the UA took five now-departed JC defensive players - Marcus Benjamin, Joe Perkins, Vuna Tuihalamaka, Sterling Lewis and Marquis Hundley - rather than develop freshmen into fourth- and fifth-year starters.

33. They haven't played 0-4 Oregon State yet.

34. They haven't played 1-4 Colorado yet.

35. They haven't played 2-2 Utah yet.

36. They haven't played 2-3 UCLA yet.

37. They have to wait until Nov. 26 to play Louisiana-Lafayette.

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