April 9, 2006

UA needs a running back to emerge

Looking ahead to Arizona's 2006 football season, there aren't a ton of question marks. The UA defense as a whole should be very good and assuming no injuries, the defensive line, linebackers and secondary will all be strong.

On offense, you know what you're going to get with Willie Tuitama at quarterback. The wide receiver position should be fine with Tuitama throwing the ball to Mike Thomas and Syndric Steptoe. If any other receivers emerge, the unit would be even better.

Unfortunately, the passing game is just half of the offense and as we've seen over the past two years, offensive coordinator Mike Canales likes to run the ball. That could be a problem this upcoming season, depending on whether or not a running back steps up.

Junior Chris Henry's fumble problems are well known. Beyond that, as much as he's been hyped in practice, he's yet to prove himself in a game. While there's no doubting Henry's strength, athleticism and potential, that's all just words until he shows what he can do against actual competition.

After Henry, the UA has two freshmen in Xavier Smith and Terry Longbons who you would think couldn't be completely relied on due to their age.

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