Arizona football: Matt Scott hopes to rebound from a bruised hip, ego

2012-09-25T00:00:00Z 2013-09-10T15:23:24Z Arizona football: Matt Scott hopes to rebound from a bruised hip, egoRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
September 25, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Matt Scott hobbled to the visitors' locker room during the first quarter of Arizona's 49-0 loss to Oregon, his right hip throbbing and his return in doubt.

The next few minutes were a blur.

With Scott's blessing, team trainers administered a numbing shot to the top of the quarterback's leg and stretched him out. Scott ran back onto the field less than 10 minutes later having missed just two offensive plays.

"Really?" he said Monday. "I honestly didn't know how many."

Scott struggled Saturday, completing just 22 of 44 passes for 210 yards. The Ducks intercepted him three times, returning one of them for a touchdown.

That Scott posted one of the worst stat lines in his college career is secondary to the fact that he played at all.

He gutted his way through the blowout on one leg, his right hip bruised and his ability to run - the "option" part of Arizona's read-option offense - rendered a non-threat. Scott ran just three times after returning from the locker room, and finished with a season-low 9 rushing yards on five carries.

"We were trying to protect him," coach Rich Rodriguez said.

Scott said he expects to feel - and play - better on Saturday, when the Wildcats (3-1 overall, 0-1 Pac-12) host 18th-ranked Oregon State at Arizona Stadium.

His bruised hip is already feeling better, he said, though it remains bandaged. Scott will look into wearing a larger hip pad against the Beavers, in case the visitors try to target him.

As for last weekend's performance, Scott said he's moving on.

"I have to put that behind me," he said. "Football's a tough game. You're going to take hits. You're going to get hurt. I just gotta keep going and do everything I can to help this team."

Cats ready to move on

Rodriguez and the Wildcats did their best to honor the program’s “24-hour rule” Sunday, when they returned to practice 15 hours after arriving back on campus. The rule allows players and coaches to focus on the loss for only one day.

The players lifted weights and went through a light workout on campus before focusing their attention to Oregon State. The Wildcats can't afford to sulk: Oregon State (2-0) has started its season with wins over Wisconsin and UCLA, two ranked teams.

"I think the mood of the team (is), we're ready for Oregon State," linebacker Jake Fischer said. "We're going to get back and redeem ourselves. I think you're going to see a different team Saturday."

Offense misses Tutogi

The UA has is having red zone problems this season, in part because one of its possible solutions has switched sides.

Taimi Tutogi is playing more defensive end than fullback this season, a result of Arizona's lack of defensive depth. As a result, he's been mostly absent as an offensive weapon.

Through four games, Arizona's presumptive starting fullback - and the team's biggest bright spot during spring drills - has one carry for no gain and four catches for 30 yards and a touchdown.

Don't expect Tutogi's role to change anytime soon.

"Taimi's in pretty good shape - you'd have to ask him if he is in the best shape of his career - but can he play 35 plays on defense and another 40 on offense? He isn't ready for that," Rodriguez said. "His defense has limited him on offense. … We need him on the edge of the defense."

Arizona was held scoreless in six red zone opportunities in its loss to Oregon. The Wildcats have scored on just 62 percent of their trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line, a figure that ranks 113th nationally out of 120 FCS schools.

In retrospect, "I wish we would have called a couple different plays, I wish we would've executed better, and I wish we would've made a couple field goals," Rodriguez said.

"If you don't do that against a good team, it's gonna cost you."

Extra points

• Arizona's Oct. 6 game at Stanford will kick off at noon and be shown on Fox (Channel 11 in Tucson), the schools announced Monday.

The game will snap the UA's late-night streak: The Wildcats' first four games all started at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday's game against Oregon State is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.

The Stanford game also will mark Arizona's first non-cable broadcast, the first five being shown on the ESPN family of networks or the Pac-12 Networks.

• Wildcats safety Tra'Mayne Bondurant was named a College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention for his performance against the Ducks. The sophomore finished with a team-high 10 tackles.

Cats to debut copper helmets Saturday

The Arizona Wildcats will break with tradition in the name of honoring the past Saturday, when they don copper helmets for their game against No. 18 Oregon State.

Coach Rich Rodriguez showed off the new lids Monday during his weekly news conference. The "one-off" helmets will likely be worn with the Wildcats' navy home jerseys.

Saturday will mark the first time in modern program history that the team has worn a helmet color other than cardinal, white or navy. The team announced plans to wear copper helmets over the summer; the debut date was a closely guarded secret.

"Copper's not going to replace our school colors or anything, but I think it's a tribute to the mining industry in our state," Rodriguez said.

Copper is an integral part of the state's mining history, and the color is prominent throughout the UA campus. McKale Center is ringed in copper, though the ring has acquired a brown patina over time.

Center Kyle Quinn, a history major, said he knows "the importance of copper to the state and how important the mining industry is."

"It'll be great to represent that," he said, "and go out there and play a great game Saturday."

Up next

• What: Oregon State at Arizona

• When: 7 p.m. Saturday

• TV: Pac-12 Arizona: Comcast (Ch 103); Cox (Ch 75); Dish Network (contact for info); DirecTV, not avail.

• Radio: 1290-AM, 107.5-FM, 990-AM (Spanish)

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