Arizona Daily Wildcat September 29, 1997
Tomey looks for silver liningA day after reviewing the game tape, there was not a lot for UA head coach Dick Tomey to be happy about. In the aftermath of the 40-27 loss to UCLA, Tomey did, however, find a couple bright spots.
"I think (Ortege Jenkins) did a really nice job for someone that has not gotten a lot of work," Tomey said in reference to his redshirt freshman quarterback that stepped in after Keith Smith was knocked out of the game early in the second half.
"He seemed relaxed, he seemed confident, and had a lot of good throws," Tomey said.
Smith said he strained his right shoulder and feels pain in his lower neck. He will be examined today.
Jenkins finished the day completing 9 of 15 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown, the first of his career, which came in the fourth quarter.
Jenkins rolled right and looked as though he was going to try to run it in to the end zone himself, but found a kneeling Mike Lucky in the back of the end zone for the score.
Jenkins said he was pleased with his performance but isn't ready to make any promises for the rest of the year.
"I did some good things out there," Jenkins said. "I am ready to play at any time but we are going to have to see how the week goes before I will know what the future holds."
The offense seemed to get a little spark when Jenkins entered the game as Jenkins rolled out of the pocket and threw on the run to several different receivers, including his roommate Dennis Northcutt.
"OJ did a great job for us coming in like that," Northcutt said. "He is always ready to step in and play and when he is in there I know I am getting the ball. We work real well together."
With a nonconference game against San Diego State this week, Jenkins hopes that he will see continued time at quarterback and if the team needs him, he well be ready to go.
"I will do whatever I can to help this football team," Jenkins said. "I am just happy to get the chance to show what I can do."
Some of the kicking problems seem to be fixed after a strong showing by Mark McDonald, who won the job from T.J. Rodriquez last week in practice.
"Last week he (McDonald) was terrific," Tomey said. "He hasn't done well enough, in most cases, to compete for the job. I think he worked out some technical difficulties he had and seemed to have more confidence."
Although running back Trung Canidate's showing on Saturday was mixed, rushing for 129 yards and a touchdown but fumbling twice, Tomey still has a lot of confidence in his starter.
"Trung has not had a problem (fumbling the ball)," Tomey said. "He has great speed, don't be surprised. (UCLA tailback Skip) Hicks is a good player, but I would not trade him for Trung."
Still, there is an overall feeling of frustration after the Wildcats' second conference loss.
"We continue to find different ways to screw up a football game," Tomey said.