By Joel Flom
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 27, 1997

Tomey stands by decision to go for two

After getting a chance to review the game tapes, UA head coach Dick Tomey stood firmly behind his decision to go for the win instead of the tie against Washington State Saturday.

Tomey said that the Wildcats entered the game with four two-point conversion plays. Not feeling confident with a running play, Tomey went to the naked pass-run option.

"OJ made the decision to run, and it was his decision either way," Tomey said. "He had made so many good decisions. It is easy to see the tape and say, 'Should've, would've'. His decision-making will grow just like the rest of them. We would not have been in that game without some of his decisions."

It is difficult to blame Tomey for going for two considering his defense consisted mostly of second and third-string players seeing their first significant playing time of the season due to injuries to many of the starters. Before Jenkins was even stopped in his two-point conversion attempt, Tomey felt a minor win was achieved by the freshmen.

"Looking at the end, we have four freshmen playing in the defensive line against a team that's undefeated and ranked tenth in the country and they are battling their buns off," Tomey said. "I have never been prouder of a team in terms of the way they fought."

While most people concentrate only on the final play and the final score, Tomey said that the play of his players, many of which were reserves, cannot be overlooked.

"You could not fault our effort or our heart," Tomey said. "I respect that more than anything in football. You get a good feeling from that."

This week is a bye week for Arizona, which could not come at a better time for the banged-up Wildcats. Although Tomey fears that long snapper Dale Whitmore's injury may be season ending and that Jimmy Sprotte's could keep him out for an extended period of time, he thinks that cornerback Chris McAlister and defensive tackle Joe Salave'a will return to action in two weeks for the next game. He also expects running back Trung Canidate to be back after missing the last two games with ankle injuries.

The injuries, however, are not what Tomey wants people to focus on. "The story is not about who got hurt," Tomey said. "It is about the guys that played."

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