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Back to the drawing board

DAVE HARDEN/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wildcat safety Clay Hardt moves in for a tackle during the second half of UA's loss to Oregon. Hardt was named a captain before the game at Purdue on Saturday.
By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday September 23, 2003

Wildcats regroup, look ahead to next game

Even after the football team's third straight loss by at least 38 points, the confidence level of players and coaches is not shaken.

Head coach John Mackovic said the team had a good turnout at the weight room the morning after Saturday's 59-7 loss to Purdue.

"Obviously, when you aren't winning and the scores are a little high, it hurts a little extra," Mackovic said.

A big reason for his optimism is the extreme youth of the team. A large number of players that are getting notable playing time are underclassmen.

"When you are young, you should never get discouraged," Mackovic said. "You just have to bounce out of bed every day, and youth allows you to do that."

Beau knows hard work

The Arizona rushing attack has been struggling in the team's last three losses. The Wildcats have averaged just less than 64 yards a contest.

Head coach John Mackovic said he was going to start sophomore running back Beau Carr this week against Texas Christian.

Mackovic mentioned that he was extremely please with the way Carr has been working and for that, he deserved to start.

"He earned his way," Mackovic said.

Along with the reward of starting this Saturday, Carr was also named captain for the Wildcats' game at Purdue. Both Carr and senior safety Clay Hardt were named captains for the game due to their hard work, Mackovic said.

"I don't know what two better examples I could have picked," he said.

O-line hit by injury again

The only real injury that the Wildcats suffered in their loss over the weekend was to sophomore offensive tackle John Abramo. Abramo went down late in Arizona's loss to Purdue with a knee injury.

Mackovic said he is doubtful for this week's game, but his status could be upgraded to questionable later in the week if his knee responds well.

Abramo was the fourth Arizona offensive lineman to go down this season. The Wildcats lost senior Brandon Phillips for the year during the Oregon game and have been without the services of sophomore Tanner Bell and freshman John Parada. All three have missed time due to knee injuries.

QB competition adds another candidate

There was a third quarterback put into the race for the starting job this weekend when true freshman Kris Heavner played the majority of the snaps in the second half. This was Heavner's first collegiate action.

"I graded myself pretty good," Heavner said. "But there were a couple plays where you just have to learn from it and move on."

Mackovic said the team would continue to test all its options behind center and would announce a starter after practice on Thursday.

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