Arizona football: Douglas ready for action

2011-09-16T00:00:00Z 2012-11-30T13:47:39Z Arizona football: Douglas ready for actionRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
September 16, 2011 12:00 am  • 

David Douglas knows he can control only so much on Saturdays: running routes, sealing off blocks and cradling passes when the ball is thrown his way.

The Arizona Wildcats receiver doesn't stress about his stats.

"Receiver is a position where you can't think of that stuff at all," he said. "There are times when you don't have a catch heading into the fourth quarter, and then you can have five in one drive.

"There are always games where the outside receivers get more balls than inside, or the inside receivers get more than the outside. Different people have the numbers."

It's just that, right now, Douglas isn't one of them. Through two games, the senior has just six catches for 48 yards. He's tied with Juron Criner for seventh on the team in receptions, and Criner has played in just one of the UA's two games.

The numbers are a far cry from last year, when the McKinney, Texas, product caught 52 balls for 515 yards and five touchdowns and earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors. Douglas capped his season with a six-catch, 91-yard performance in an Alamo Bowl loss to Oklahoma State and received the game's sportsmanship award.

Douglas put on 15 pounds during the offseason, figuring that the added bulk would make him more durable at inside receiver during a long season. He was impressive in training camp and - as quarterback Nick Foles' best friend on the team - figured to have the quarterback's ear early.

Coaches say Douglas' lagging numbers are a byproduct of Arizona's offensive approach through the first two weeks and not necessarily his problem. The Wildcats used their outside receivers to attack NAU and Oklahoma State, leaving few touches for the inside guys. In fact, three of the UA's top four receivers - Dan Buckner, Austin Hill and Gino Crump - play either the X or Z receiver spots.

"Last week, especially, was more of a perimeter game. We set some of the game plan up that way," UA coach Mike Stoops said. "David's got to be a playmaker for us. He's a very talented receiver; we just have to find some routes inside for him to be more effective."

Luckily, the stars seem to be aligning for a breakout game.

Douglas caught seven passes for 92 yards, including a career-long 43-yarder, against Stanford two years ago at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats prevailed 43-38 in what Douglas called "my first really big game as a receiver."

"It was one of the best-feeling wins I can remember," he said. "It was so back-and-forth all game. The fact that we could hang in and get 'em at the end in front of a home crowd, it was an awesome game and an awesome feeling."

Douglas spent his week preparing for another breakout game but knows there's only so much he can control.

"That's the thing about this offense - you never know," Stoops said. "This week could be his day."

On StarNet: Visit Ryan Finley's blog to stay current with the Cats azstarnet.com/finley

On TV

• What: No. 6 Stanford at Arizona

• TV: 7:45 p.m. Saturday on ESPN

Hoping to catch up

52, 515, 5

David Douglas' catches, yards and TDs in 2010

36, 288, 0

Douglas' 2011 stats at his current pace of 3 rec., 24 yards and 0 TDs a game

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