Tomey 'despises' turnovers, but QBs a problem, too

By Craig Sanders

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.

The word has a ring to it, especially to the Arizona football team's opponents. The Wildcats continued to be in a giving mood in Saturday's game against Washington, as their five turnovers lead to 17 of the Huskies' 31 points.

Gary Taylor fumbled on Arizona's third offensive play from scrimmage and Washington quickly cashed it in for a 20-yard scoring drive. Dan White's fumble in the third quarter was picked up by UW defensive lineman David Richie and run back for a 31-yard touchdown.

This has become an all too familiar sight for Arizona fans. In the game against UCLA, Taylor fumbled a ball in the first quarter and it was returned by Bruin linebacker Tommy Bennett for a 29-yard touchdown. These turnovers have caused Arizona to fall behind early, a scenario head coach Dick Tomey hates.

"Those are two things I despise as a coach turnovers and having to throw the ball when behind," Tomey said.

This season Arizona (3-4 overall, 1-3 in the Pacific 10 Conference) has turned the ball over 17 times, 10 on the ground and seven through the air. With the defense producing only 10 turnovers, that gives Arizona a minus-seven turnover ratio.

"(Washington State is) plus-four in turnovers and we're minus-seven, that's the biggest difference in the two teams," Tomey said. "(If Arizona was) plus-four, we would be a lot better off record-wise."

Wildcats may see the return of offensive lineman Ian McCutcheon. Williams is recovering from a virus that has kept him out of action since the UCLA game while McCutcheon has been out since the Cal game Sept. 30.

The search for Richard Dice's replacement continues.

Dice, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in practice two weeks ago, has been difficult to replace. He was Arizona's leading receiver last season with 56 receptions for 969 yards and eight touchdowns. He had 21 receptions for 375 yards and five touchdowns in five games this season. It is still uncertain if he will be able to return this season.

"We're going to try to bring him back as soon as we can," Tomey said, "but we don't know when that will be. A final decision can't be made right now."

His understudies, senior Cary Taylor and sophomore Jeff Nadeau, both had five catches against Washington, though neither started. Tomey had nothing but good things to say about Nadeau.

"I was pleased with him. He isn't perfect, but he has the most ability of any of our wideouts and he's the least experienced," Tomey said. "He's the one guy that if he could get an injection of experience he could make a difference in helping us replace Richard."

And finally, the Tedy Bruschi watch.

The Arizona defensive end had two sacks against Washington, moving him past Bruce Smith (Virginia Tech, 1981-84) on the career sacks list. His 47.5 sacks are only five behind NCAA record-holder Derrick Thomas (Alabama, '85-88). He is the Pac-10 leader with 10 sacks for minus-71 yards this season.

Bruschi has also made his way to 10th on the career tackles-for-loss chart. His 67.5 tackles for minus-439 yards leaves him one-half a tackle behind John Roper (Texas A&M, 1985-88).

"Is Bruschi any different than he was a year ago? No, he's just the same Bruschi as he always was," WSU head coach Mike Price said. "He's crazy, flying around hitting everybody and just getting after it. He's certainly a great player."

Read Next Article