Husak, Stanford dissect UA defense
The Wildcat locker room after the UA-Stanford game Saturday night was like a crypt - silence, tears and heads in hands.
And after a demoralizing loss to the Stanford Cardinal, it should have been.
Stanford chalked up 578 total yards and scored 50 points against a UA defense that, so far this season, has looked like but a shade of last year's squad.
"There's just a lack of pressure on defense," UA head coach Dick Tomey said. "A lot of people take things for granted, we're just not the same."
This season, UA returned nine defensive starters from the 1998 defense that gave up an average of 18 points per game. Thus far in the 1999 season, the UA defense has given up an average of 35 points per game.
Against the run, the UA defense allowed Stanford an average of 5.1 yards per carry and gave up five rushing touchdowns.
Not once did the Wildcats sack Todd Husak and only twice did the UA defense make him hurry.
"I can't remember the last time that happened," Tomey said.
The defense members felt the repercussions of their playing.
"We just aren't where we're supposed to be right now," sophomore defensive tackle Keoni Frasier said. "We aren't the team we were last year and these guys have to realize that."
With an absence of a UA pass rush, Husak completed 60 percent of his passes and, more crucial, didn't throw a single interception.
"When you have a great pass rusher you have a great pass rush," Tomey said. "Right now we don't have anybody."
The Wildcat secondary fared no better than the defensive line, giving up 364 passing yards and allowing two Cardinal receivers to amass more than 100 yards each. Troy Walters burned the Wildcat secondary for 168 yards on eight catches and Dave Davis caught five balls for 105 yards.
Senior cornerback Leland Gayles, who normally starts opposite senior Kelvin Hunter in the secondary, sat out the game to nurse a sore left shoulder.
"We're not playing with heart, we're just not playing," UA senior strong safety Greg Payne
Payne said. "You can tell Stanford was, and we got out-played because of that."
Payne added that he will play against Washington State on Sept. 25.
Stanford's Troy Walters commented on what he expected from the UA defense going into the game.
"We didn't expect to score this many points," Walters said. "We thought that it was going to be a much tougher game because they have a great defense."
That great defense that Walters mentioned hasn't yet taken the field this season. At Sunday's press conference, Tomey even hinted at making personnel changes on defense.