Tag:Jake Fischer
Posted on: March 3, 2012 5:47 pm

Spring Practice Primer: Arizona

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Spring football is in the air, and with our Spring Practice Primers the Eye On College Football Blog gets you up to speed on what to look for on campuses around the country this spring. Today we look at Arizona.

Spring Practice Starts: March 5

Spring Game: April 14

Returning starters: Six offensive, five defensive, two specialists.

Three Things To Look For:

1.  Is Matt Scott as snug a fit for Rich Rodriguez's offense as he seems to be? Many college football fans have probably forgotten about Scott, but that's not his fault; the fifth-year senior and de facto Wildcat starter made highly successful cameos in both 2009 and 2010 before injuries and the emergence of Nick Foles consigned him to the bench. Though he's not going to be Pat White or Denard Robinson, Scott has more than enough mobility to be a weapon on the run -- his two 2010 starts yielded more than 130 combined yards on the ground -- and sufficient accuracy to keep defenses plenty honest. In short, Scott should be exactly the sort of quarterback Rodriguez would have wanted to inherit, a sort of Tate Forcier-type with vastly more experience (and vastly less, you know, academic ineligibility and such). If spring camp shows signs that Scott's picking the offense up as quickly as Rodriguez would want, the Wildcat offense could be something dynamic come the fall.

2. Are you sure? Who are the difference-making skill-position players? If Rodriguez was handed a nice housewarming gift in the person of Scott, on paper he hasn't been nearly as lucky at running back or wide receiver. Both the Wildcats' leading rusher from a year ago (Keola Antonin) and receiver (All-American Juron Criner) have departed, not to mention the team's second- and third-leading receivers as well--2,232 receiving yards in all. The good news is that rising sophomore Ka'Deem Carey should be ready to build on a promising debut season in the backfield, and that 6'4" senior Dan Buckner should have a breakout season in the receiving corps; the bad news is that if they're not, Scott may be forced to shoulder a heavier load than even he's capable of carrying.

3. Can the defense stay healthy? With Rodriguez's old ace defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel back in his staffing fold -- a failing at Michigan that, more than any other individual factor, led to Rodriguez's downfall in Ann Arbor -- the Wildcats shouldn't lack for defensive know-how. And in safety tandem Adam Hall and Marquis Flowers, defensive linemen Justin Washington and Kirifi Taula, and linebacker Jake Fischer, Castell will have some tools to work with. But that assumes those tools stay healthy--Fischer tore an ACL in spring camp 2011 and missed the entire season, a blow from which the linebacking corps never seemed to truly recover. If Casteel can get out of this spring with all of his key pieces intact, the Wildcats should be able to take a step forward on the defensive side of the ball in 2012.

To check in on the rest of the Pac-12 and other BCS conferences, check out the Spring Practice Schedule

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Posted on: August 26, 2011 11:24 am
Edited on: August 26, 2011 11:53 am

Arizona CB McKnight (knee) out for season

Posted by Chip Patterson

Things have gone from bad to worse for Arizona head coach Mike Stoops as he looks at his injury report. Five Wildcats have suffered torn ACLs since the spring, including three defensive starters. The most recent to fall was cornerback/kick returner Jonathan McKnight, who suffered the injury in Wednesday's practice and is out for the season.

"It's disappointing for Jonathan," Stoops told the Tuscon Citizen. "He's a terrific player and he had a great camp. It is just one those things. We feel very disappointed and sad for him and our team. He's a great leader for us and an outstanding football player."

Secondary coach Ryan Walters informed the media that sophomore Shaquille Richardson, previously positioned as a nickel-back, will take over McKnight's starting corner role. The talented sophomore, and younger brother of New York Jet Joe McKnight, injured his knee landing after going up for a ball.

"It's very frustrating, but it's part of the game," Stoops said in regards to the multiple ACL injuries. "To get a guy hurt in non-contact is kind of freakish, but we've had two or three like that. It's just very unfortunate."

The Wildcats are expected to get two of the five ACL-related injured players, safety Adam Hall adnd linebacker Jake Fischer, back this season. Possibly as soon as early October, according to Stoops. Already only returning 10 starters, it looks like 2011 will be a year of rebuilding for the Wildcats.
Posted on: July 19, 2011 1:04 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 1:12 pm

Stoops says Arizona's Criner 'ready to go'

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It sounds like this summer's Juron Criner story is going to have a happy ending.

Reports late last month claimed that Arizona's All-American wide receiver status for the 2011 season was "uncertain" after an "erratic episode" that had resulted in his hospitalization. But Wildcat head coach Mike Stoops told the Arizona Daily Star today that Criner was "here and ready to go" once the team's fall camp opens on Aug. 4.

"We anticipate him being the same player - or a better player - than he was a year ago," Stoops added.

Stoops declined to offer details on Criner's summer absence from a scheduled ESPN publicity event or address the prior reports, saying only that the Biletnikoff Award Watch List member was forced to deal with "family issues" that would remain "personal."

The news could not be any better for Wildcat fans who have already had to deal with four torn ACLs on the Arizona roster this offseason, inclduing starters Jake Fischer and Adam Hall.  Criner isn't only the Wildcats' best player at any position by a substantial margin; he accounted for 31 pecent of the 'Cats 2010 receiving yardage singlehandedly. If there was one player Stoops absolutely, positively could not afford to lose this offseason, Criner was him.

Fortunately, it doesn't look like Stoops will lose him after all. Pac-12 secondaries can officially start worrying again.

Posted on: May 23, 2011 6:07 pm

Arizona's Mobley tears his ACL

Posted by Tom Fornelli

As of this moment, the A in ACL stands for anterior. I propose we change it to Arizona.

Arizona defensive lineman Willie Mobley has suffered a torn ACL while playing basketball in the student rec center and will have to undergo surgery on it. Arizona confirmed the injury on Monday. Mobley is the fourth Wildcat to tear an ACL this spring, joining starting safety Adam Hall, starting linebacker Jake Fischer and reserve running back Greg Nwoko. Throw in a couple of torn ACLs over at rival Arizona State, and it suddenly seems that the dry heat of Arizona is murder on knee ligaments.

If there is any silver lining in this for Arizona it's that Mobley was not expected to be a starter for the Wildcats this season, so at least Mike Stoops' defense isn't down three starters. Mobley did play in 10 games last season, though, racking up 7 tackles, 1.5 for a loss and half a sack. He was projected to backup Justin Washington this year.

Still, this does take away depth on the defensive line, and if I were Mike Stoops right now, I'd probably institute a rule mandating all my players wear knee braces at all times. Also, no more basketball at the rec center. 

Posted on: April 21, 2011 10:50 am
Edited on: April 21, 2011 10:51 am

Arizona LB Fischer out with ACL tear

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It has not been a good spring for anterior cruciate ligaments in the state of Arizona.

And it only got worse yesterday, with the news that starting Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer will undergo surgery next week to repair a torn ACL suffered in Saturday's spring game. Fischer will miss at least the start of the 2011 season, if not longer.

The bad news for the Wildcats is that Fischer -- who finished in the team's top six in tackles, tackles-for-loss, and sacks last year -- will likely be replaced by a trio of true freshmen who haven't even arrived on campus yet, per the Arizona Daily Star. The worse news is that Fischer is the third Wildcat to tear his ACL this spring, following starting safety Adam Hall and backup running back Greg Nwoko.

So is there any silver lining to the Wildcats' injury woes? If there is, it's that their in-state rivals in Tempe have it just as bad in the torn ligament department, if not worse.

We're not aware of anything that could be slipped into Arizona's drinking water that would attack the ACLs of college athletes. But officials might want to start checking, just to be certain.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com