Dropped passes bewildering Tomey

By Craig Degel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

While watching the Arizona offense stumble through 53 minutes of football against UCLA, it became apparent that the trouble with the Wildcat passing game stretches further than the Dan White-Brady Batten debate.

Basically, the receivers need some stickum.

"We had seven drops," Arizona head coach Dick Tomey said. "You have got to expect that somebody is going to catch at least half of those balls."

Another problem facing the UA receiving corps is the absence of Richard Dice. He was the team's go-to guy, but was expected to be out until the next-to-last game of the season, against Oregon Nov. 11 and that's an optimistic estimation.

"We need somebody to assert themselves," Tomey said.

The Wildcats' best bet may be Cary Taylor. He is back after missing three games with a right knee sprain. It was Taylor's 17-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter that gave the Wildcats a chance at a comeback against the Bruins.

The Wildcats will again be without the services of punt team specialist Armon Williams. He had a virus which kept him out of the UCLA game and will continue to keep him out indefinitely.

For those who don't remember, it was Williams' punt block against Georgia Tech that set up Arizona's winning touchdown.

"He's really good at what he does," Tomey said. "We've never had a guy like him."

This weekend's game against Washington will not be televised due to the lone sanction still imposed against the Huskies.

Washington was allowed four nationally televised games this year: Arizona State, Ohio State, Notre Dame and next week's showdown against Southern Cal.

The Huskies went on probation in '93 after it was discovered that players were receiving gifts. Washington was prohibited by the NCAA from making any bowl appearances the last two seasons.

It seems that every week, a different team exposes an Arizona weakness that the next school exploits. First it was USC and its three-step quarterback drop, which neutralized the Wildcat pass rush. Now the Bruins may have left the idea for Washington that blitzes take the Wildcats out of their game.

When asked if he thought the Huskies would be blitzing his quarterback, Tomey said, "What do you think? If you were them would you blitz once or twice?

"It's a lot easier to do that at the end of a game when they know that you are behind and you have to pass," he said. "In the flow of a game you can spring a leak fast."

With his sack of UCLA's Ryan Fien, Arizona defensive end Tedy Bruschi moved into sixth place on the NCAA career sacks list. His 45.5 sacks in 42 games places him a half sack behind Bruce Smith (Virginia Tech '81-84).

Bruschi is also 11th on the career tackles-for-loss list. He has 64.5 career tackles for a loss, for minus-418 yards. Joe Smeenge, who played at Western Michigan from '86 to '89, had 66 tackles for a loss.

"He's one of the reasons I'm glad we haven't played Arizona in the last two years," Washington head coach Jim Lambright said.

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