Wildcats take Barr
Ka’Deem Carey had a face mask-to-face mask look at who might be the best defensive player in the country Saturday. Arizona had the unenviable task of squaring up with UCLA senior linebacker Anthony Barr.
Barr, who was named to the Butkus, Bednarik, Nagurski, Maxwell, Lombardi, Lott and Camp Award/Trophy watch lists entering the season, came into Saturday’s matchup with 43 tackles, 13 tackles-for-loss, six sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Many NFL pundits project Barr as a top-five selection in the NFL draft. Former Detroit Lions general manager Matt Millen, who called Saturday’s game for ESPN, said the linebacker “will be great at the next level.”
“He’s still not where he’s supposed to be,” Millen said. “He doesn’t use his hands, he’s better against the run than I thought he was, than people think he is. He can be physical, he has really good speed, doesn’t use his hands quite yet. But he has all the skills that you need and you can see.”
And this is after just one season on defense, as he moved over from offense after his sophomore year out of Los Angeles’ Loyola High School.
“I saw him a year ago, and the difference between last year and this year is a big difference,” Millen said. “Good news is, for anybody taking him, there’s a lot to get yet, and he’ll get it. He’s got instincts, and you can’t teach instincts.”
Hobson back in business
Hank Hobson probably got a little extra pumped for the opening kickoff.
Arizona’s junior linebacker was hurt against the Bruins in the Wildcats’ big loss last season, adding injury to insult.
Hobson, the son of former major-league baseball player Butch Hobson, was injured on Johnathan Franklin’s 14-yard run early in the fourth quarter. After colliding with a blocker, Hobson got up to continue his pursuit, but he stumbled to the ground and stayed. Hobson needed to be carted off the field after trainers attended to him for several minutes.
Hobson ended up staying in a Los Angeles-area hospital overnight. He didn’t play again in 2012.
Hobson has seen sporadic minutes this year at linebacker and on special teams, totaling four tackles.
The big number
Ronnie Veal’s rushing yards in 1987, a UA record for quarterbacks that held until Saturday night. B.J. Denker’s 11-yard run midway through the first quarter gave him sole possession of first place on the UA charts.
He said it
“The play resulted in a first down.” — A clearly annoyed referee Jack Folliard to his clearly distracted chain crew midway through the first quarter
He said it, Part 2
“Ineligible receiver downfield … several players?... The penalty is declined,” said Clearly Annoyed Referee early in the second quarter, after the Bruins called a hastily designed fake punt that resulted in an incomplete pass.