Arizona football notes: Biskin and Quinn ready to get back in the game
Coming into the season, the Wildcats’ offensive line finally had what it lacked the year before — experience.
All five starters from 2011 returned, and Arizona had two seniors, in center Kyle Quinn and right guard Trace Biskin, anchoring the inside of the line.
But after Biskin suffered a toe injury against Oregon on Sept. 22 and Quinn injured his ankle the next week against Oregon State, the veteran leadership was suddenly absent and the rest of the line had to scramble to make due.
“It’s been killing me,” Quinn said. “I’m a football player and this is the first serious injury I’ve had in my career. And these guys will tell you, sitting on the sideline on the games and at practices absolutely killed me.”
Neither Quinn nor Biskin has started since their respective injuries, but both did see the field last weekend against UCLA.
Still, their relegation to the sidelines during the last month didn’t stop the two seniors from taking an active role in the offense.
“Even when we weren’t playing, we were still coaching up the young guys and mentally preparing ourselves as much as we could,” Biskin said. “That’s our knack for being competitors like we are. It’s unfortunate we couldn’t play but now it’s good, we’re back on the field and we’ve definitely missed it.”
Against UCLA, Biskin wasn’t listed on the injury report even though he was still not at 100 percent, and Quinn was listed as probable. Biskin said he feels great and is ready to go, and since Quinn saw game action against the Bruins, he’s likely to start.
“It’s been extremely frustrating,” Biskin said about missing the last few games. “I’m happy for the guys when they’re doing well, [but it’s] really frustrating when we’re losing.
“But me and Kyle have both been working hard to get back and we’re starting to get our groove back. We think going into this game we’ll both be better prepared and ready to go.”
Change Under Center
While Arizona’s B.J. Denker may get his first career start at quarterback this weekend after Matt Scott suffered a concussion in the game against UCLA, he won’t be the only new man under center in the game.
Colorado head coach Jon Embree announced that either Connor Wood or Nick Hirschman, both sophomores, will start in place of the struggling Jordan Webb against the Wildcats.
“They’re searching right now,” linebacker Marquis Flowers said.
“But we just got to go out and play.”
In the Buffaloes’ 48-0 blowout loss to Stanford, all three signal-callers took snaps, but none of them were effective against the stout Cardinal defense.
While the change at quarterback is made in hopes of jumpstarting Colorado’s 96th ranked passing offense, in terms of yards per game, the new face won’t mean much to Arizona’s game plan.
“They’re going to run the same plays,” Rodriguez said. “I mean, I don’t see them changing the offense. Nobody is really going to change the offense at this point of the year.”
Playing for Another
This year in particular, the issue of player safety has been moved to the forefront of the conversation, especially with Scott’s concussion.
But for Flowers, his safety and well-being don’t just affect his long-term health — they also mean a lot to his newborn son.
“When I go on the field, you know, I think about my son before,” Flowers said. “Because this a dangerous sport, so [I’m] just thinking about holding my son. But I mean, I just go out and play football. I do it for him.”
The junior linebacker’s son, Braylen Keith Flowers, was born on Aug. 2, 2012, the day before fall camp started. For Flowers, the birth of his first child has given him a new outlook on life and brought things into perspective.
“I think it’s changed me a lot,” Flowers said. “It definitely made me mature more … I think that was the best day, the best thing to happen to me.”