Arizona Wildcats football


Nick Foles' first spring as the Arizona Wildcats' starting quarterback will include equal doses of football and footwork.

There's a connection between one and the other.

"Throwing has a lot to do with your feet," Foles said. "Usually, I've gone out there and just played football. I'll get better, but that'll come with a lot of work. That's something I'm focusing on more, getting my feet under me, following through and moving my feet to the target."

The UA star will spend the next month trying to improve his pocket presence.

Foles was footloose as a sophomore in 2009, leading to awkward-looking throws and occasional mistakes. And while his final numbers - 2,486 passing yards, 19 touchdowns and just nine interceptions - were impressive for a first-year starter, Foles could be maddeningly inconsistent.

He completed just 9 of 29 passes for 48 yards in the Wildcats' 33-0 Holiday Bowl loss to Nebraska.

Coach Mike Stoops hired quarterbacks guru Frank Scelfo during the offseason in part to help the lanky Foles with fundamentals. The Wildcats' quarterback called the spring-ball workload "tough."

Foles talked to the Star about a handful of topics:

You've had a few months away from football since the Holiday Bowl loss to Nebraska. What's it like to get back?

"It feels good to get back, get on the field, get going and just have fun again. It's great to dust the cobwebs off. … I feel a lot more comfortable this spring. Last spring, I was just learning the offense. This spring, I know the offense and I get to direct the offense."

Coach Stoops called the game "a meltdown of major proportions offensively." What, exactly, went wrong?

"Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. I can't, as a quarterback, let that happen again. As a team, it's something we have to learn from and move forward and I think it'll make us a better team for the future."

How much to do you think about it?

"It's something that you want to remember, but you don't want to dwell on. You want to know that that happened, but you also want to be like, 'Why did that happen? What did we do so it doesn't happen again?' ... Anytime we get tired or feel like taking it easy, we have to push through it."

Looking back, what did you take from last year?

"At the end of the season, the USC game was really special. I just looked at the whole thing after the season; it shows you always have to push through. I waited three years to get a chance to start. A lot of guys out there have to wait that long. It just shows that you have to push through it, never give up and always keep that mindset."

Matt Scott is expected to challenge for playing time. ... What it's like to have that competition there?

"I think it's great. You always want competition. Competition makes you better. ... It's something that makes you a better player."

The UA has new co-offensive coordinators in Bill Bedenbaugh and Seth Littrell. Do you anticipate a change in the offense?

"I'm still learning. I think it'll be a little bit different, but we're keeping the same stuff.

"With new coordinators, you're switching up a couple things, but it'll be the same sort of offense."


Nicolas Grigsby left Saturday's practice after injuring his right hamstring, the latest in a run of physical ailments for the Arizona Wildcats' starting tailback.

Coach Mike Stoops described Grigsby's injury as a strain. It's unclear when he will return. Grigsby collapsed while running during team drills; he left the field under his own power, but was clearly in pain.

The Wildcats' tailback is still battling the aftereffects of a separated shoulder suffered last fall. Before spring drills began Friday, Grigsby described himself as "about 85 percent" healthy.

Ryan Finley