By Arlie Rahn
Arizona Daily Wildcat
With little more than a week left before the Arizona football team's first game at home against Pacific, the annual intrasquad scrimmage Monday night gave the players on the bubble one last shot at making an impression on the coaching staff. Therefore, it was no surprise when running back Robbie Glanton and quarterback Keith Smith stole the show with the big names like Tedy Bruschi and Brandon Sanders playing slightly more than one series.
What was a surprise, however, was the loss of tight end Tim Thomas, the second serious injury at that spot in less than two weeks.
Thomas sprained his left knee halfway through the scrimmage while blocking on a run near the goal line. Senior Damon Terrell was sidelined following a life-threatening collapse he had in practice Aug. 10. He is now in fair condition after having his ruptured spleen removed at the University Medical Center. Numerous complicatons following the operation have kept him in the hospital.
"We have been hit pretty hard in the tight end position," Tomey said. "But even if we lose Tim for the season, I am confident that someone will step up for us."
Redshirt freshman Mike Lucky and junior Mike Metzler are the two remaining players at tight end.
Glanton, a redshirt sophomore transfer from Northwestern, got extended use due to Gary Taylor's groin pull during practice last week. He was the leading rusher with five carries for 26 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown run. Glanton spent most of last season on the scout squad.
"Redshirting was a good experience for me because I got to run against one of the top defenses in the country in practice, so I think it made me a better runner," Glanton said. "But I know that Kevin (Schmidke) and Gary (Taylor) are going to be fighting for that first spot. I'm just going to try and go in and make the most of my opportunities."
Smith is also making a transition, going from one of the most highly touted freshman recruits in the nation at Newbury Park (Calif.) High School to being the second- or third-string quarterback.
"I know that I am going to have to wait my turn, but right now I still have a lot to learn," Smith said. "Dan (White) has really helped me out with learning the plays and learning to read defenses. He knows our offense like the back of his hand."
And while he threw only one completion for twenty yards in the scrimmage, his mobility was what impressed the coaches.
"The coaching staff has told me that if the option to run is there, to take it," Smith said. "But I think that I have to start completing some more passes so teams won't key on me just running the ball."
The game also gave senior quarterback Dan White a chance to get a little more action before the team's first game. He completed seven of eight passes for 71 yards and a touchdown in limited action. Backup quarterback candidate Brady Batton was 4 of 7 for 42 yards.
On defense, redshirt sophomore inside linebacker Chester Burnett, in contention for a starting linebacker slot, led all defenders with five tackles.
"We've had two lengthy scrimmages Ÿ that'll do us," UA coach Dick Tomey said. "We'll work hard now to get our legs back by next Monday."
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