The Wildcats added another quarterback to its stable for next year, as former USC quarterback Jesse Scroggins verbally committed, according to Scout.com.
Scroggins was ranked the No.6 quarterback coming out of Lakewood (Calif.) High School. He left USC last summer after falling down the Trojans depth chart and spent a year at El Camino College. He completed 79 of 172 passes for 1,148 yards and eight touchdowns, while running 42 times for 56 yards.
He will be eligible to play for the UA in 2013 without sitting out because he spent the fall at a junior college and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
It is unclear who will start at quarterback next year for Arizona as current starter Matt Scott will run out of eligibility after the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 15, but junior transfer B.J. Denker is the likely favorite.
Other quarterbacks expected on the roster include current freshmen Javelle Allen and Josh Kern, transfer Nick Isham and 2013 recruit Anu Solomon.
Arizona football’s co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Calvin Magee was named one of the 29 finalists for the Broyles Award given to the nation’s top assistant Wednesday afternoon.
Magee has quickly helped transform the Wildcats from their pass-happy offense of old to a fully balanced option-run system in his first season in Tucson. With the Wildcats headed to a bowl game and guaranteed a winning record at 7-4, the associate head coach was placed into the running for the prestigious award.
Why there are 29 finalists and not 30? I don’t know, but Magee is joined by fellow Pac-12 coaches Mark Banker of Oregon State and Noel Mazzone of UCLA as well as Florida State’s Mark Stoops, the brother of former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops.
The Arizona offense is No. 8 overall in total yards per game and running back Ka’Deem Carey currently leads the nation in rushing with 1585 yards, just 17 away from tying the all-time school rushing record. Advanced metrics also bode well for the Wildcats, as Football Outsider’s overall offensive efficiency index ranks Arizona No. 5 overall and the top team in the Pac-12 (Oregon is ranked No. 10).
The Magee nomination comes at an interesting time with Arizona preparing for the Duel in the Desert Friday. The game pits Magee and two other Arizona assistants against their former boss, Arizona State’s head coach Todd Graham. When Magee left Pittsburgh last season to join head coach Rich Rodriguez at Arizona, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Graham referred to Magee and the two others as “nothing but mercenaries.”
Graham has since said that the quote was taken out of context, but either way tensions should be raw heading into the 86th meeting between the two rivals.
Arizona (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) take care of lowly Colorado (1-9, 1-6) and become bowl eligible. Check out our game recap to get everything in full context.
Colorado fails to score on a fourth and goal, which all but ends this game. Actually it does end the game.
Also, in the same vein, Carey’s night is officially done. Rodriguez decided the sophomore has done enough (I mean he just set the conference yardage mark). Running backs Daniel Jenkins and Jared Baker are getting some touches now.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 56, CU 31
WOW…. Seriously wow, I’m speechless. Ka’Deem “the Dream” first scampered down the field for a 64-yard run and then punched it in on the next play to tie Luppino for the Arizona record of five touchdowns. Five rushing scores is also the conference record, which Oregon’s Kenjon Barner also tied last week against USC.
Barner had 38 attempts for 321 yards and it boosted him right to the top of the Heisman conversation (it was against USC, which is a little more impressive than Colorado).
Still, Carey has made those numbers look elementary. He has 25 carries for 366 yards and five touchdowns. That breaks Rueben Mayes conference record of 357 yards. The Washington State running back racked up the yardage in 1984 against Oregon.
TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson has the NCAA record with 406 yards against UTEP in 1999.
TOUCHDOWN Colorado; UA 49, CU 31
Arizona leaves tight end Scott Fernandez wide open (which is understandable since the junior never had a catch before in his career). But the 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end lumbered down the field, and after safety Vince Miles made an awful attempt to tackle him, Fernandez first catch turned into a 71-yard touchdown.
Fernandez decided to celebrate and earned a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but can you blame him? His has a career average of 71 yards per catch now. Pretty impressive.
Also this game isn’t entirely over. It would require a huge, unbelievable collapse by the Wildcats, but more than 10 minutes do remain.
Arizona’s Kyle Dugandzic just had his first punt of the game, 1 39-yarder. In between the Denker fumble that started the game and Dugandzic’s punt, the Wildcats scored on seven straight possessions.
TOUCHDOWN Colorado; UA 49, CU 24
The lead is probably insurmountable, but to Colorado’s credit they still haven’t given up in the game. Running back Donta Abron rumbled into the end zone, breaking several tackles for the 10-yard score.
Abron, another freshman back, has 10 carries for 74 yards and that score. A season-high of 51,236 fans are in attendance for the battle of the backs. A lopsided battle, but a battle none the less.
END OF THE 3RD QUARTER; Arizona 49, Colorado 17
The Wildcat offense found its rhythm there in the third quarter, outscoring the Buffs 21-0. Going into the game, Flowers said that the blueprint was out on the Arizona defense – teams will just run against them.
That proved somewhat true, considering Colorado has 158 yards on 42 attempts. But apparently the blueprint is the exact same for teams going against Colorado. Arizona has 335 yards on 28 carries.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 49, CU 17
And that’s the ball game. After Carey just broke the Arizona single-game rushing record, Denker punched it in with a quarterback bootleg and a nice dive into the end zone.
Fact: Carey’s 293 yards is the most Colorado has ever allowed in a game. Not too shabby.
Carey just broke the Arizona all-time rushing record with a career-long 71 yard run. If it was the beginning of the game Carey probably would have scored that, but he ran out of steam at the end.
Carey has 293 yards on 21 carries, giving him a measly 14 yards per attempt. I’m not impressed.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 42, CU 17
Carey with his fourth touchdown of the game, a eight-yard run down the right hash marks. The hole was gaping enough that he could do a version of the high step into the endzone.
The four scores ties him for second all-time and he’s now second in the school’s single season touchdown list. Carey has 20 attempts for 222 yards and four scores, Powell has 21 rushes for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
A little bit of a contrast in styles there.
Good news: Carey just broke the 200-yard mark, the first Arizona player to do so since Nic Grigsby in 2009 (he had 207 yards against NAU).
Bad news: Receiver Austin Hill made a diving catch in the endzone for a touchdown but landed out of bounds and his head went directly into the post. Hill eventually jogged off the field after laying on the ground, so hopefully he’s OK. The play was pretty scary when it happened, though. The sophomore looked like he was in a lot of pain.
Of course I’d write an entire paragraph about the Wildcats lack of pressure right before defensive tackle Reggie Gilbert recorded a sack on third down. Gilbert is now second on the team with 3.5 sacks this season. Marquis Flowers is first with 5.5 sacks on the year.
Arizona has had almost no pressure this entire game, which could explain Hirschman’s 12-for-13 passing this game. It’s hard to tell if the Buffs’ offensive line is playing well or the Wildcat defense just can’t produce any pressure, I’ll just say that Colorado’s previous starting quarterback, Webb, was the second most sacked QB in the nation.
Still, Hirschman has actually looked pretty good in his play so far, and the couple times he saw any pressure he actually made a nice scramble for some yardage.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; 35 UA, CU 17
Well… that was easy. Arizona eats up just 1:53 of the clock on a six play, 73-yard drive led primarily by Carey but Denker did well too.
The junior hit Buckner for a nine-yard touchdown, the senior receivers’ second of the game and the Wildcats now lead by three scores. This might turn into a rout (if the Wildcats actually figure out how to play defense).
And we’re off! Arizona will start with the ball this half and a chance to take a sizable lead.
Two plays already and two lessons learned: Vanilla Vick is really quick and Ka’Deem “the Dream” just ran off another big play (46-yards straight up the gut).
HALFTIME; Arizona 28, Colorado 17
Defense was optional that half as Colorado had 228 yards (69 yards off its per game average) and the Wildcats have 272 yards. Still, only two incompletions in the half.
At half, Carey has 121 yards and three touchdowns. He’s still far off of the single game record (288 yards by Canidate against ASU) but the three scores is only two away (and yes, two touchdowns is a lot) from Luppino’s five in 1954.
Check out Zack Rosenblatt’s halftime recap for more analysis and fun stats.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 28, CU 17
Senior Dan Buckner got himself wide open and Denker lofted – and trust me the ball literally floated to him – the ball to the receiver for a 21-yard touchdown.
Denker is 9-for-10 with 122 yards and a score while Hirschman is 10-for-11 for 112 yards. Since Hirschman’s incompletion was a pick by Bondurant, only one pass has even hit the ground this half. The Pac-12 really hates defense.
TOUCHDOWN Colorado; UA 21, CU 17
Powell finishes the job he nearly had two plays earlier with a one-yard power run. Right now the freshman has 18 carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns. Arizona, on the other hand, has 20 total plays.
Time of possession doesn’t seem to be a big deal for Rodriguez – CU has had the ball 21:42, UA just 5:34 but the Wildcats lead by four.
Also, Colorado just surpassed its season average for points scored. The Arizona defense is definitely reeling.
That’s a shame for Colorado. Powell, the biggest starting running back in the Pac-12, rumbled toward the endzone but his helmet was ripped off.
The 6-foot, 235 pound freshman ended up scoring, or at least getting close, but because of the new rules the play was called dead where his helmet came off. I love power running like that, but safety is crucial, especially after Arizona had three concussion last weekend (Scott, left guard Chris Putton and free safety Jourdon Grandon).
Carey’s Race for the Record Book:
Right now Carey has 1,086 rushing yards on the season, 516 behind Trung Canidate’s 1,602 record set in 1999. Carey is even closer to the touchdown record with 16 on the season, five away from tying Art Luppino’s record.
Career-wise, Carey has 22 touchdowns right now as a sophomore. That puts him exactly halfway to Luppino’s career mark of 44 touchdowns from 1953-1956.
Finally, if Carey scores twice more this game he’ll tie Luppino’s single game total of five against New Mexico State in 1954.
See, math is fun kids.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 21, CU 10
So yeah, the whole Carey having a career game? It’s definitely on its way to happening. The sophomore just took the ball in from 30-yards out, which is impressive in itself.
But during the run he ran straight into the heart of the Buffs defense and took it through and past almost every single defender. There was no reason for that to become a score, but Carey made it look like a walk in the park.
Carey with eight rushes for 71 yards, meaning he’s getting 8.9 yards per carry. Including receiving yards, Carey already has 105 total yards and three touchdowns with 10:30 left in the SECOND quarter.
The score also tied him for second all-time with Kelvin Eafon for 16 rushing touchdowns on the season.
Almost 20 minutes into the game, Hirschman is perfect in his first career start. Unfortunately for Colorado, the sophomore’s last pass went directly to linebacker Tra’Mayne Bondurant who returned the pick 18 yards.
Still, Hirschman is 8-for-9 for 81 yards. He just shouldn’t throw any more screen passes directly at an Arizona defender.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 14, CU 10
This may be another breakout game for Carey – he already has 41 yards rushing, 34 receiving and the two touchdowns. Losing Scott for this game definitely isn’t going to help Arizona win, and concussions are never good for anyone. But if one person will benefit from the injury, at least this game, it’s Carey.
Carey’s the entire offense this game and since it looks like the Buffs will put up a fight, the sophomore should be able to pad his stats. When it’s all said and done, Carey will probably hold most of Arizona’s rushing records (barring any injuries).
END OF THE 1ST QUARTER
Colorado leads the Wildcats 10-7 but the UA is driving right now. With the way the defenses are playing, this could be a high scoring game, even though two quarterbacks are making their first career starts.
The time of possession was dominated by Colorado that quarter: the Buffs ate 11:19 of the clock while the Wildcats had it just 3:41. Then again, it’s not like it takes too long to shred this vaunted Colorado defense.
Check out Zack Rosenblatt’s first quarter recap or follow MoonCameron20 and WildcatSports for more analysis.
FIELDGOAL Colorado; CU 10, Arizona 7
Colorado’s Will Oliver nails the 18-yard kick to put the Buffs up by three. The Field goal capped off the Buffs longest drive of the season and is only the second time they’ve scored twice in the first quarter. The other time? An early 14-0 lead against FCS Sacramento State who eventually “upset” Colorado 30-28.
Colorado takes a timeout with a forth and one from the one yard-line. The Buffs have been on an 8:14 yard drive taking 14 plays for 69 yards.
Instead of going for it, the Buffs decide to settle for a field goal.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 7, CU 7
Denker couldn’t have had a worse start to the game, but I think head coach Rich Rodriguez reminded the junior college transfer that they’re playing against the worst defense in college football (Colorado gives up the most points per game at a rate of 46).
Denker went 3-for-3 for 42 yards on the drive and Carey finished the drive off with a 10-yard run, his 14th rushing touchdown of the season. Carey is now alone at third place with Arizona’s single-season touchdown record. He passed running back Nic Grigsby’s 13-TD mark set in 2008 and is now seven away from tying Art Luppino’s record of 21.
TOUCHDOWN Colorado; CU 7, UA 0
On Arizona’s first play of the game, Denker botched the handoff to running back Ka’Deem Carey and Colorado recovered the fumble at the seven-yard-line. The Buffs’ big back, freshman Christian Powell pounded it into the end zone on the first play for an early lead (their first since a 7-6 lead against ASU on Oct. 11).
The “Vanilla Vick” era started out almost as poorly as it possible could have.
Colorado goes three-and-out, but also gave the Wildcats quite a scare. On a third and long, the Buffs hit a screen pass that went 75-yards for a touchdown but was called back for holding. The Buffs got a nice punt though and pinned Arizona at its own six-yard-line.
And we’re off! Arizona kicks off to Colorado who returns it to the 26-yard-line. The Buffaloes will be starting sophomore quarterback Nick Hirschman for his first career start. Junior Jordan Webb started the previous nine games for Colorado, but was demoted after the 48-0 loss to Stanford last week.
I guess when your team averages 16.1 points a game, the second worst total in the nation, it doesn’t hurt to try something new under center.
Happy Homecoming everyone. Today we’ll be live blogging the Pac-12 “battle” between Arizona (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) and Colorado (1-8, 1-5) here at Arizona Stadium.
The game will kickoff in just under 20 minutes, and there are a couple of interesting story lines, mainly the performance of B.J. Denker. Quarterback Matt Scott suffered a concussion at UCLA last week, and didn’t participate in warm-ups today meaning it’s officially time for “Vanilla Vick”. As Zack Rosenblatt said, this game will be a preview of the Arizona team next year. That could be scary thought in a couple quarters.
Also, if the Wildcats can beat potentially the worst team in football (and really, Colorado is right there in the running), Arizona will be bowl eligible and should be invited to one no matter how the season ends.
Finally, in the earliest start time at Arizona Stadium since 1983, it’ll be interesting how many people actually show up. It is Homecoming, but the game starts at 11:35 against the worst team in the Pac-12. The crowd size has been an interesting subplot this entire season (still no sellouts).
Arizona quarterback Matt Scott suffered a concussion in Saturday’s 66-10 loss to UCLA, per athletic director Greg Byrne.
“Matt did suffer a concsussion during the game,” Byrne said. “Many of you saw him receive a blow to the head. Medical staff is taking great care of him.
“The final decision of whether he will play will be made by our medical staff.”
Scott suffered the concussion with 6:17 remaining in the third quarter. As he attempted a throw from Arizona’s end zone, he was tackled by a defender. On his way to the ground, Scott’s head struck the defenders knee.
He was attended to by Arizona’s medical staff and escorted into the locker room.
Head coach Rich Rodriguez holds a weekly Monday press conference, and typically he speaks to the media, and then a few players come in after to answer questions.
On Monday, Byrne felt it was necessary to address both Scott and linebacker Hank Hobson’s injuries suffered against UCLA. Last week, concerns were raised about the decision to keep Scott in the game after it looked like he suffered a concussion against USC, and Byrne addressed that concern.
“Our medical staff has conducted daily evaluations and continuously monitored Matt,” Byrne said. “Last Friday we did final evaluations and did an exertion impact test. Matt was medically and clinically approved to play.”
Hobson was taken off the field on a stretcher and taken to a hospital after clutching his shoulder and falling to the ground during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game. He spent the night in Los Angeles before returning to Tucson on Sunday. Rodriguez said that Hobson suffered a nerve injury in his neck.
Scott and Hobson’s status for Saturday’s game will be announced on the weekly injury report, released on Thursday. If Scott is unable to go, Rodriguez said B.J. Denker would start and receiver Richard Morrison will be his backup.
Cornerback Shaquille Richardson bats down Barkley’s Hail Mary attempt and the Wildcats topple the Trojans. Arizona (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) might sneak back into the top-25 after beating No. 10 USC (6-2, 4-2). All three of the Wildcats’ losses were against ranked teams and only the defeat to No. 2 Oregon was lopsided.
Last play of the game, the Trojans at the UA 48 yard line.
Rodriguez stays safe and keeps the ball out of Vanilla Vick’s hands. Carey gets stuffed for a one yard loss and the Wildcats will punt to USC with 1:01 left on the clock.
One thing Wildcat fans never want to hear – it’s up to the defense now.
USC takes its third and final timeout after the Wildcats picked up two first downs on the ground. Arizona faces a third and 11 with under two minutes left.
This is big.
Well that’s not a good sign. Backup quarterback B.J. Denker is in the game after Scott is presumably being examined for a concussion. He was hit hard in the head the previous drive and threw up three times at the 30-yard-line. Scott ended up finishing the drive and throwing a touchdown pass, but since he’s being held out in such a critical moment, something must be wrong.
The game is now in the hands of Carey.
TOUCHDOWN Southern California; UA 39, USC 36
Tailback Silas Redd cuts into the Arizona lead with a 10-yard touchdown run and then who else but Lee catches the two-point conversion.
Ten minutes ago (real time) this game looked like it might be over. Now, not so much.
What’s the best way to blow an 11-point lead with less than six minutes left? Allowing the trailing team to return the kickoff 72 yards.
I think I’ve mentioned it once or twice, but Marqise Lee is really,really good.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 39, USC 28
Scott and the Wildcat offense can’t be stopped right now. The senior leader hit David Richards for a seven yard score and put the Wildcats up by two scores with just under six minutes left.
Scott is 27-for-50 for 369 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Scott also has 100 yards rushing which is the first time a UA quarterback has done that since 2000.
Arizona blows two timeouts on the front and back of a three yard Carey run. Scott got hit in the head two plays ago and it looked like it might have shaken him up, but he’s staying in there. The kid really is a warrior.
Defensive tackle Reggie Gilbert sacked Barkley on a third and long, forcing USC to punt after a three and out. Don’t look now, but that’s the Wildcats second sack today and sixth sack in the last two games. The defense is finally creating some pressure.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 32, USC 28
Ka’Deem Carey makes his first real appearance of the game, plunging into the end zone from seven yards out. With all the unworldly passing numbers, the running backs have been completely overlooked but Carey has had a nice little game. He’s gained 90 yards on 19 attempts.
Arizona went for two but Scott’s pass sailed over the head of Buckner.
Marqise Lee better watch out because Austin Hill is coming for him. On a third and long, Hill catches a 60-yard pass from Scott and now has 259 yards on the afternoon. Lee has 313 yards, which is the new Pac-12 receiving record.
REVERSE! On a fourth and two, coach Lane Kiffin tries to outsmart everyone with a reverse run by Lee but the Wildcats snuff it out and stop him after just a one yard gain. Turnover on downs.
USC went for it on fourth and seven at the UA 35-yard-line and Barkley’s pass floated incomplete. Naturally, Arizona was offside so USC will get another shot, this time a fourth and two, once the TV timeout ends.
Also, the teams have combined for a nice and clean 1,000 yards.
END OF THE 3RD QUARTER; Southern California 28, Arizona 26
This has been a game of big numbers and it’s not even close to being over. The two teams have combined for 997 total yards, 23 penalties for 211 yards, six turnovers and of course Lee and Hill have gone off.
It should be an exciting fourth quarter. Unfortunately only half of the Zona Zoo will get to see the conclusion as the other half of the Zoo is mysteriously missing.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; USC 28, UA 26
Receiver Dan Buckner makes a pretty grab in the end zone for a nine yard touchdown. Buckner had been fairly quiet before this drive, but the senior now has six catches for 59 yards.
Arizona went for the two point conversion but Carey was stuffed at the one yard line. The Wildcats trail by two with 1:42 left in the 3rd quarter. Yes, the game is still in the third quarter.
They’re ALIVE! After recording a rare sack the play earlier, the Wildcats forced their second fumble of the game and recovered it. Arizona will start with the ball at the 37-yard-line.
Most importantly for Wildcat fans, ASU lost 45-43 to UCLA. The Sun Devils (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12) have now lost two straight.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; USC 28, UA 20
Scott kept the ball on the read option and took it into the end zone for his first rushing score of the game. Hill made a clutch 42-yard catch on the drive to help keep Arizona alive.
He has nine catches for 199 yards today, which is really impressive until you remember Lee has exactly 100 more yards.
Today’s attendance: 47,822. I guess 12:30 is a little early for the Arizona faithful. But with how sloppy this game has been, I don’t completely blame their decision. Also, it’s almost three hours in and it’s not even the fourth quarter yet.
Well at least it should have been a huge break for Arizona. Instead Scott threw back to back incompletions and the Wildcats had to punt. Another good kick by Dugandzic though, he’s doing work.
So remember how I said this was a big drive? Well Scott almost just threw his second interception of the game, but after the refs reviewed it, the ball hit the ground.
Huge break for the Wildcats.
Arizona with the ball on its own 32-yard-line. The defense just forced its first three and out of the game. This drive right here is huge for the Wildcats. They can’t afford to fall behind by three scores and the way it looks, USC will score again.
Arizona’s punter Kyle Dugandzic is having himself a game. Both of his punts have been pinned inside the 20, this time at the six-yard-line.
Who’s not having them-self a game? The Wildcats’ offense on third down. Arizona is 1-for-10 on third down conversions which is a big reason why they trail. That and Marqise Lee.
TOUCHDOWN Southern California; USC 28, UA 13
Lee is going bananas right now. The sophomore caught a mid-range pass in the center of the field and proceeding to sprint by the Arizona secondary, including speedster Derrick Rainey for a 44 yard touchdown reception.
At the moment, Lee has 13 catches for 299 yards and two scores. The latest reception just broke the Pac-12 single game yardage mark set in 2004 by Oregon State’s Mike Hass.
Hass had 293 yards against Boise State, but Lee just broke it by six and its still early in the third quarter. I think it’s fair to say the Wildcats are having trouble bottling up safety Patrick Onwuasor’s high school buddy.
The Arizona defense has had trouble staying healthy this game. Nose tackle Sione Tuihalamaka is the latest Wildcat to be helped off the field. Maybe its the early start or the fact that Lee has run rampant in the secondary today, but Arizona is struggling to stay on the field.
And the second half is off! Also, a nice offside penalty on USC’s kick. I’m glad they are keeping the sloppiness going in the second half.
The Trojans now have nine penalties for 84 yards while Arizona has 10 for 99 yards. Pretty impressive right there.
HALFTIME; Southern California 21, Arizona 13
Here’s the halftime recap by Zack Rosenblatt as the Wildcats trail by eight to No. 10 USC.
Some notable stats:
*UA linebacker Marquis Flowers has four total tackles (second on team behind cornerback Jonathan McKnight’s seven). Flowers also has two interceptions and a forced fumble.
UA running back Ka’Deem Carey has 41 yards on 11 attempts on the ground. He also has eight receiving yards.
UA quarterback Matt Scott is 16-for-31 for 191 yards a touchdown and an interception. He also has 53 yards rushing.
USC quarterback Matt Barkley is 21-for-29 with 321 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
*Oh and USC’s Marqise Lee has 12 receptions for 255 yards and a touchdown. No big deal.
Bonano’s streak comes to an end. After making a 27-yarder that was called off from a hold, the senior missed wide right from 32-yards out. Arizona heads into the half trailing by eight.
The missed field goal wasted a nice 56-yard kickoff return by Daniel Jenkins which was easily the UA long of the year. The previous high was 20 yards.
TOUCHDOWN Southern California; USC 21, UA 13
Tailback D.J. Morgan punched it in from three yards out to complete a six play, 79 yard drive. Morgan may have gotten the score, but that drive was all about Barkley and Lee.
Barkley went 4-for-4 for 74 yards on the drive and three of the passes and 70 of the yards went to Lee. He now has 12 receptions for 255 yards and a touchdown – in the half! Crazy.
FIELDGOAL Arizona; USC 14, UA 13
Bonano connects from 44-yards out to get the Wildcats within one point with 2:38 left in the first half. Bonano really has turned it around now, hitting five straight. The kick was also just two yards shorter than his season long.
Crazy play right there. Scott’s pass to Dan Buckner was a little errant and it got tipped in the air and picked off. But safety Jawanza Starling fumbled the ball back to Arizona on the return and Garic Wharton forced it. Really there is nothing worse than when a defender fumbles the ball back on the return.
Pick-sixes are back breakers, but I’ve seen those double-turnover plays happen way too often. Just get on the ground and take the pick.
TOUCHDOWN Southern California; USC 14, UA 10
Barkley hit Lee on a crossing pattern and the sophomore stud took care of the rest. Lee sprinted past the Arizona secondary for a 49-yard touchdown pass and the Trojans lead for the first time this afternoon.
Lee now has nine catches for 180 yards and a touchdown. He is so good. Arizona’s Austin Hill is trying to keep pace though, as he has 137 yards on six catches so far.
The curse of Tyler Slavin’s terrible hands returns. Arizona went for it on fourth and 15 (they actually picked up a fourth and 13 a play earlier, but it was called back for an illegal block in the back). Scott actually found Slavin open with first down yardage but the sophomore dropped the easy catch. He also couldn’t catch anything in the Oregon game.
But more importantly, they just played the Monster Mash on the Jumbotron during the TV timeout. The Mash is by far my favorite Halloween song of all-time. Also hardcore Simpsons fans might remember a Monster Mash shout-out in the “I Cho-Cho Chose You” Valentine episode, which is one of my favorite jokes in that show. Ahh, I love Halloween.
Oh right, back to football.
I’m guessing USC is wishing Flowers took their scholarship offer now. The junior just picked off Barkley for his second interception of the game. Flowers also forced the fumble earlier. I guessing the injury wasn’t too serious earlier.
TOUCHDOWN Southern California; UA 10, USC 7
Barkley hit tight end Xavier Grimble out on the edge for an easy 12-yard touchdown. The 6-foot-5, 260 pound Grimble could have walked into the end zone he was so open on the right side of the field.
Also that was Barkley’s first completion to someone not named Lee or Woods. Barkley is 14-for-20 with 191 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Marqise Lee has 128 of those yards and seven receptions. That kid is good.
Timeout USC. Right now it’s first and 10 from the Arizona 12-yard-line. The Trojans have not been good in the red zone so far this game, going 0-for-2 this afternoon.
Also, this game has not exactly been clean. USC has six penalties for 59 yards and Arizona has had four for 42 yards. And those totals don’t account for two offsetting penalties earlier in the game when UA’s Dan Buckner almost came to blows with USC’s corner Torin Harris.
Arizona with the first punt of the game. Pac-12 teams really don’t like to punt the ball, which I fully endorse. But when they do, the Wildcats’ Kyle Dugandzic does it well. He pinned the Trojans on the 16-yard-line.
SCOREUPDATE: No. 4 Oregon 56, Colorado 0. That’s not the final score, that’s just at halftime. Ouch.
Yes, Flowers is definitely back in the game. The junior forced the Redd to fumble the ball in the red zone and McKnight recovered the ball. Flowers, coincidentally, was one of three Wildcat players to be recruited by USC. According to head coach Rich Rodriguez, he might have been the only player to actually be offered a scholarship.
Another nice break for Arizona. Cornerback Jonathan McKnight was called for pass interference on a throw to the endzone. But after the refs discussed it, they picked up the flag and made it a nice play for the sophomore.
Also, linebacker Marquis Flowers is back in the game. Justin Washington is not.
END OF THE 1ST QUARTER; Arizona 10, Southern California 0
Check out Zack Rosenblatt’s first quarter recap to see how Arizona built its early 10-0 lead over No. 10 USC.
FIELDGOAL Arizona; UA 10, USC 0
Bonano hits from 27-yards out to complete an 11-play, 76 yard drive for the Wildcats. After his terrible start to the season, Bonano has turned it around, hitting four in a row. He’s 8-for-13 on the season, which is by no means great but he’s at least hitting the close ones.
Right now USC has five penalties for 54 yards and are the worst team in the nation in regard to penalties per game. But this time a penalty hurts Arizona badly. Running back Ka’Deem Carey nearly walked into the endzone untouched, but that happened for a reason.
Right tackle Fabbians Ebbele held on the play and it negated the touchdown. Not to be outdone, the next play a USC defender ripped the helmet off of Carey, resulting in an automatic first down for Arizona. Nice job.
I guess you could say this Arizona offense is pretty good. After the Wildcats stopped USC on a fourth down try, Scott hit receiver Austin Hill for a 56-yard screen pass and now they’re in the red zone. Hill almost had a shot at a touchdown on the play, but the USC defense is just too fast for that.
Uh oh. Flowers gingerly walks off the field after getting hurt on the last play. With how shallow the linebacking core is, Arizona desperately needs him to return to the game.
However it’s not all bad injury wise as bandit safety Jared Tevis is back on the field for the Wildcats.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 7, USC 0
Scott hits the recently healthy Johnny Jackson for an eight yard score.
Right now Scott is winning the battle against arch rival Barkley. OK fine, arch rival is too strong of a word, but Scott said in the Monday press conference he had some bad blood with the USC quarterback. The bitterness came after Scott lost to Barkley in a huge high school game five years ago.
In 2007, Barkley’s Mater Dei beat Scott’s Centennial High 51-37 in a epic meeting between two of the state’s best schools that year.
Another huge play for the Wildcats – quarterback Matt Scott’s pass sailed past David Richards but free safety T.J. McDonald decided to taunt him and change the fourth and six into a first down.
That was USC’s second personal foul already. Apparently the Trojans are cranky in the morning.
Interception for Arizona by Marquis Flowers. The converted linebacker returned it 14-yards.
For Arizona, the third time was the charm. On three straight plays the Wildcats almost picked off Barkley’s pass but this time Arizona finally secured it.
Barkley is 3-for-4 on the drive for 32 yards. All three completions have come on third down. As well as the defense has contained so far, it has to stop USC on third down if the Wildcats want to stay in the game.
Another timeout, this time by the refs as defensive end Justin Washington had to be helped off the field. Hopefully he’s not hurt too badly because Washington has done a great job regaining a spot in the starting lineup. Coming into the season, the former Sporting News First Team Freshman All-American was suspended and buried deep on the depth chart.
He finally worked his way back onto the field, but we will see how seriously he was hurt. At least he was able to walk off the field, with a lot of assistance of course.
After further review, Redd’s elbow hit the ground at the 35-yard-line for a five yard game. That’s a nice break for the Wildcats. It’s now third and four after a short run the next play by Redd.
TOUCHDOWNUSC – for the moment. Redd ran the ball to the left side of the field and was tackled but rolled over the Arizona defender and never touched the ground (or at least that’s what they ruled on the field). He then continued to run all the way into the endzone for a 34-yard touchdown.
Right now they’re reviewing if he actually touched the ground or not.
Apparently Matt Barkley can run a little and he just juked out Sir T. The 11-yard scamper was his longest run of the season. And scamper is definitely the right word.
Early timeout by the Trojans. Right now it’s third and six, the second third down of the drive for USC. Don’t worry, the play-by-play will slow down soon, there just hasn’t been much going on right now. Silas Redd has just six yards on three carries and Barkley is 1-for-2 for nine yards.
Good news for Arizona: Barkley’s first pass went incomplete, tying his total from last week (He went 19-for-20 against Colorado).
The Bad: USC picked up a third and long after the Wildcats failed to get any pressure. But the defense has looked strong through the first few plays.
And we’re off! Senior John Bonano boots it into the end zone for a touchback. The Trojans will start from the 25 yard-line.
USC wins the toss and decides to receive the ball first. The Arizona defense will get its first shot at Barkley and Co. Giving up an early touchdown won’t be the death of Arizona. Giving up two in the first quarter, that could be more of an issue.
Right now the upper deck of Arizona Stadium is shockingly empty. Actually, shocking isn’t the right word because I completely expected it. But still, this is a huge game.
I guess it’s fitting though for Arizona supporters to take a lesson from the Los Angeles fans and show up midway through the first half.
No matter what happens this afternoon, I’m excited about the Pac-12 games next week. USC hosts No. 4 Oregon, a game that could decide if a Pac-12 team can play in the national championship game. UCLA versus Arizona should be a sneaky little game as well.
Basically I just wanted to bring that up because Oregon was beating Colorado 14-0 before three minutes had even passed in the game. The Buffs have really improved since that terrible start though.
Yes they’re still losing 14-0, but four minutes have passed and they haven’t given up another score yet. Progress.
It’s almost game time now. Arizona just huddled in the middle of the field and are now headed back to the locker room for one last time.
If Arizona wants to pull the upset, quarterback Matt Scott needs to have himself a game. Like Cameron Moon said, the offense doesn’t need to be perfect. It just has to be close.
I’m curious to see how the defense is going to handle the talented USC offense. And when I say talented, I mean it.
Obviously this is a huge game for Arizona. The Wildcats have beaten one ranked team this season (No. 18 Oklahoma State) and were close against Stanford and Oregon State, but don’t forget the last time they played a top 10 team (a 49-0 shellacking in Eugene, Ore.)
I don’t think this will be a blowout, but Arizona needs to come out sharp and score early.
Good morning! We’re live blogging here from Arizona Stadium as the Wildcats (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) take on No. 10 USC (6-1, 4-1). Kickoff is more or less an hour and a half away but that won’t deter me from bringing you vital information before and during the game.
Information like Arizona is wearing white helmets, red jerseys and red pants. If you were following @MoonCameron20, you would have learned that 10 minutes ago.
Also, if you want even more Daily Wildcat coverage, follow us at WildcatSports, KyleJohnsonUA, ZackBlatt and the aforementioned MoonCameron20 for live tweets and added coverage.
It’s officially scrub time here. The reserves are all over the field on both offense and defense.
Arizona now has four sacks this game, which is way more than any game this year or last. The most before this game was two, and if my math holds up, four is more than two.
Also, the attendance reached 50,148 fans at its highest point. So I guess family weekend did mean something.
P.S. You can probably tell this game is slowing down now. The fans seem to agree as there’s been a mass exodus from Arizona Stadium. But I don’t blame them, you know the game is over when B.J. Denker enters the game. Vanilla Vick time!!
Just a little bit of a history lesson:
Carey’s 172 yards are impressive, but not even in Arizona’s top-18 all-time. Nic Grigsby, whose the last player listed, had 189 against Washington State in 2008. If Carey gets seven more attempts he will set the all-time attempts mark (35 carries by Chris Henry in 2006). So basically, neither are going to happen.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 52, UW 17
Carey finally gets on the board and puts the exclamation point on his career-best night. Carey has 172 rushing yards and one reception for two yards, with just one mistake on the fumble. Carey’s touchdown gives him 11, which is fourth all-time in Arizona history and 10 away from tying the record.
END OF THE 3RD QUARTER; Arizona 45, Washington 17
I really like Arizona’s new tradition of running to the other side of the field at the end of the third quarter. That has to have a huge psychological effect on the opposing team. I know I’d be nervous if my opponent was lively enough in the fourth quarter to sprint for no reason.
Punter Kyle Dugandzic with his first action of the game, a 39-yard kick. I’m not impressed, but I guess he was probably getting a little rusty on the sideline.
Grandon might not get the earful from Rodriguez after all.
The free safety atones for his earlier brain fart with an interception in the end zone. He also decided to return it, which I usually frown upon, be he got it out to the 29-yard-line so I guess it was the right decision.
I mentioned the Hill stiff arm earlier, but my quick little description couldn’t do it justice.
Free safety Jourdon Grandon with a nice double-penalty play. He broke up a potential first down, but hit Seferian-Jenkins in the helmet and received a personal foul. Then after the play activity moved it up even farther for a 27-yard penalty.
That’s the second time the sophomore has had two penalties in a row. Rich Rod won’t be happy.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 45, UW 17
WOW! Now I’ve seen everything. Arizona has been one of the worst punt and kick return teams in the nation, but junior Richard Morrison just took back a punt 63-yards to the house. That was the Wildcats first punt return since Bug Wright’s in 2009.
Also, the point I was about to make before Morrison took it back – the pressure Arizona is getting is completely out of character. The Wildcats had just six sacks coming into the game (tied 107th overall) and only had 10 total last year.
They have three this game and intense pressure by Bondurant forced the fourth down which resulted in the punt return.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 38, UW 17
After being shut out nearly the entire first half, Arizona’s top receiver Austin Hill has come alive. Hill has two catches, two touchdowns and 70 yards.
His latest, a 17-yard reception, was finished off with a nasty stiff arm to the face of the Washington defender. Earlier I said Carey was going to go “Beast Mode” and he has with 131 yards on 23 touches. But Hill’s stiff arm was the essence of the Marshawn Lynch-inspired term.
Some impressive sloppiness there. On the first play of the second half, Carey coughed the ball up at the end of a 17-yard run and the Huskies recovered.
Not to be outdone, Price immediately fumbled the ball back after linebacker Marquis Flowers hit him in the back field. Defensive tackle Dan Pettinato recovered the fumble.
And the second half is off! Arizona will start with the ball at its own 25-yard-line.
Also, it looks like there is some NFL-talent out on the field tonight. Four NFL scouts are in attendance, representing the Oakland Raiders, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns.
HALFTIME; Arizona 31, Washington 17
In case my recap hasn’t been good enough, here’s the official one with stats and everything. Also, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is in the building and we will have a story on what he says shortly.
TOUCHDOWN Washington; UA 31, UW 17
Washington came away with a vital touchdown there after the turnover. This game looked like it was almost slipping away from the Huskies, especially since Arizona starts with the ball in the second half, but the interception and ensuing one-yard touchdown run by Bishop Sankey keeps this a ball game.
And of course it means absolutely nothing as Scott got crushed right as he was throwing, knocking the ball straight up in the air for an easy interception by redshirt freshman Travis Feeney.
Feeney, who was originally an Arizona commit before choosing Washington, returned it to the UA 4-yard-line before Scott took him down.
Washington with a stupid mistake there. A Huskies lineman jumped offside on a fourth and one where the Wildcats were punting. Instead of getting the ball back with a minute left, they gave Arizona another life.
Mainly just so I can say something non-touchdown related, Arizona recorded its second sack of the game (unbelievable, I know!). The Wildcats utility man, Taimi Tutogi, came away with the sack and now has way more tackles, two, than his brother Thomas, Washington’s linebacker, who has zero.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 31, UW 10
Well, that was equally as fast. Arizona immediately answers with a three play, 75-yard drive that took a whole 1:04 to complete. Scott hit a wide open Austin Hill for a 53-yard score and the longest pass play of the season.
Big plays haven’t exactly been Arizona’s strong suit this season.
TOUCHDOWN Washington; UA 24, UW 10
Arizona’s three-score lead was short-lived as Washington flew 75 yards down the field on a five play drive that took just 1:02.
Price hit giant tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a six yard touchdown. The big man has 83 yards on five catches.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 24, UW 3
Receiver of the week Garic Wharton slipped past the Washington secondary and Scott hit him comfortably for a 33-yard touchdown.
Wharton, who isn’t one of the four starting receivers on the depth chart, has two catches for 40 yards. Both of those are career-highs, considering his only catch of his career was a 6-yard grab against FBS South Carolina State.
A nice lull in the action there as Washington went three and out but a timeout followed by a booth review made it take forever. Obviously they called a TV timeout after Washington’s Coons punted the ball 39 yards.
The Wildcats take over possession at the UA 38-yard-line with a chance to build on their lead with approximately half of the second quarter left.
TOUCHDOWN Arizona, UA 17, UW 3
Arizona capitalizes on the turnover with a classic Rich Rod-style drive, running 10 times and passing just once while only taking 3:46 off the clock.
Scott punched the ball in on an option read from one yard out to give the Wildcats the two touchdown lead. Also, the seniors decision to not give it to Carey (who would have scored if he got it) really hurts Ka’Deem’s Heisman Candidacy.
OK, that was a joke, but Carey is on pace to challenge Art Luppino’s school-record 21 rushing touchdowns. Carey currently has 10 rushing touchdowns (and one receiving, but that doesn’t count).
This is mind-boggling – the Wildcats just followed up the sack with an interception. Tra’Mayne Bondurant snagged the lazy pass and returned it 43 yards.
That also means Price has an equal number of touchdowns and interceptions this season. Considering how amazing his sophomore season was (33 touchdowns to only 11 picks) he has really had a junior slump. Yes, I know that phrase doesn’t exist, but since it’s his second season playing I think it counts.
It’s a sack!
Arizona actually got pressure in the back field and linebacker Hank Hobson and defensive tackle Reggie Gilbert took down quarterback Keith Price to set up a 3rd and 20 for Washington.
END OF THE 1ST QUARTER; Arizona 10, Washington 3
Check out Zack Rosenblatt’s recap on the opening quarter.
FIELDGOAL Arizona; UA 10, UW 3
Wow, Bonano actually hit it. The senior kicker blasted the ball through the uprights from 24 yards out. Well done sir, well done.
On a third and goal, Scott threw the ball directly at the Washington defender but Carey made a nice defensive play and swatted the ball out of the arms of linebacker John Timu.
Even if Arizona would have made something happen on that play, it wouldn’t have mattered. The UA had an ineligible receiver down field but Washington declined the penalty, making it fourth down. Head coach Rich Rodriguez might be forced into sending Bonano out for a short kick, his Kryptonite.
This just in Toledo (7-1) upset No. 21 Cincinnati 29-23 in the day’s only upset. Literally, it’s been the only one.
In case you somehow forgot, Arizona beat Toledo 24-17 in overtime to open up the season. Also, if you’re bad at math, that means Toledo is undefeated since its loss to the Wildcats. The win is quickly turning into an impressive mark on the UA resume.
7:23TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 7, UW 3
Quarterback Matt Scott hits redshirt freshman David Richards in stride from 27 yards out for the game’s opening touchdown.
Scott had a nice little drive, 2-for-2 for 36 yards, but the real star was CBSSports.com Midseason All-America Second-Team Ka’Deem Carey who had 39 yards on five carries.
Carey might go “Beast Mode” this game against Washington’s porous run defense. UW ranks 86th in total run defense, one spot below Arizona.
FIELDGOAL Washington; UW 3, UA 0
The Huskies decided against going for it on another fourth down and settled for the long field goal. In a rarity for a Pac-12 kicker, Washington’s Travis Coons converted the kick from 43 yards out.
Gutsy call by Washington to go for it on fourth and three on the Arizona 33 yard-line. Cornerback Johnathan McKnight had a shot at stopping the short pass at the line of scrimmage, but he wildly missed the tackle and UW’s Bishop Sankey converted the first down.
In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Wildcats are sporting pink gloves and the cheerleaders have pink pom poms. Also Patrick “Peanut” Onwuasor is starting at Bandit in place of Tevis. I’ll keep you updated if he eventually enters the game.
And we’re off! Washington won the toss but decided to receive (weird, right?). The Huskies had a nice return, and kicker John Bonano made the tackle along with senior Mark Watley, but there was a block in the back.
Washington will start the game at its own 10 yard-line.
The stadium might not be very full (though it is filling in as we approach game time) but former Wildcat greats Nick Foles and Antoine Cason are in the house. So there’s that.
Also it looks like safety Jared Tevis has suited up and could start tonight. That’s huge for the Arizona defense as they’ve struggled mightily since he was injured early in the Oregon State game.
With the National Anthem concluded and the game about to start, let’s take a look around the nation. Unfortunately there wasn’t a single upset so far, so instead I’ll be West Coast biased and just look at the Pac-12.
-No. 11 USC easily destroyed Colorado 50-6 and apparently quarterback Matt Barkley had a good game (He only threw six touchdowns, four of which were caught by receiver Robert Woods).
-No. 20 Stanford made a mockery of the Big Game and shutdown Cal 21-3. As much as Cal tries, they really aren’t a good team this year. Head coach Jeff Tedford is firmly on the hot seat.
-And in case you missed it, No. 3 Oregon rolled against ASU in Tempe on Thursday night 43-21, with two of the Sun Devils touchdowns coming in garbage time.
Here are a couple of interesting headlines coming into the game tonight (check out the preview here.)
-In honor of family weekend, the Tutogi brothers are going head-to-head.
-Quarterback Matt Scott is taking on a stout Washington pass defense, led by cornerback Desmond Trufant, brother of NFL-er Marcus Trufant
-This game represents the midway point for both teams and will determine what direction they’ll take in the second half of the season.
Arizona is pulling out the red uniforms for the game tonight. The only other time the wore red, it was in the upset game against then-No. 18 Oklahoma State. Foreshadowing?? Probably not, since Washington is an 8.5 point underdog in Vegas and its hard to upset a team you’re favored against.
Still, I’m a big fan of the white, red, white. Win or lose, at least the Wildcats will be looking good tonight. The Huskies also have some cool gold helmets to go with their all white.
We’re here at Arizona Stadium as the Wildcats (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12) take on the Huskies (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) for a Family Weekend match-up. It’s an hour before kickoff and the enthusiasm for this game is evident. Students have piled into the Zona Zoo, filling up a little less than a third of it… at best. Ouch.
Apparently a three game losing streak and an unranked opponent equals students not showing up. With that said, I actually think this game will be a really entertaining game. The dedicated few should be in store for a show.
For added analysis, follow us on twitter at WildcatSports, KyleJohnsonUA, MoonCameron20 and ZackBlatt
Against Oregon State last week, the Wildcats lost both center Kyle Quinn and safety Jared Tevis to ankle injuries.
As expected, the two starters are listed on the injury report. Quinn, Tevis, defensive lineman Reggie Gilbert and guard Trace Biskin — all starters — are listed as questionable, while starting defensive end Dominique Austin is listed as out.
The absence of receiver Terrence Miller from the injury report suggests he will return to play against Stanford on Saturday after missing the last two games with a shoulder injury.
The game will be on Fox at noon in Palo Alto, Calif.
Arizona first-year head coach Rich Rodriguez coached previously at West Virginia and Michigan, and as he enters the sixth week of the season for the Wildcats, he is relishing in the weather improvement from Ann Arbor, Mich., and Morgantown, W. Va, to Tucson.
“I think it’s great, the beautiful weather,” Rodriguez said. “My friends up north and in the Midwest, in about a month or so, they’ll be wishing they had some of this heat.”
Rodriguez and the Wildcats switched their practice schedule this week from late afternoon practices to 6 a.m. practices in an effort to get their bodies ready for its first day game of the season at noon Saturday at No. 18 Stanford (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12).
Apart from readying themselves for an early start time, the morning practices allow Arizona coaches and players to take advantage of the cool mornings in the early part of fall.
“I think some of the players like it because it’s a lot cooler,” Rodriguez said. “The coaches like it because we can watch the film [of practice] in the afternoons.”
The early start time does have some drawbacks, though.
There are players that have class as early as 8 a.m., so Rodriguez and the coaching staff may not have as much time as they would like to go over certain details or points.
“It’s hard to get a full practice in because of class,” Rodriguez said. “It feels like we’re rushing everything in the mornings.”
Capers continues to impress
Freshman safety Wayne Capers entered Saturday night’s loss against Oregon State due to injury, but may see more playing time after he impressed coaches with his athleticism and a pass breakup.
“He’s a young, athletic guy and will probably play more and more,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a very good athlete. He has a certain feel for the game.”
Capers, a Pittsburgh, Pa., native also played basketball in high school, as well as quarterback for the Chartiers Valley Colts. His athletic pedigree comes from his parents, who both played collegiate sports at Kansas, and his dad continued on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts.
“He’s been impressive,” Fischer said. “He knows what he’s doing. He’s just a football player. Even if he doesn’t know the plays he has a feel for where to go. It’s cool to watch him get in there and mix it up and kind of watch him grow up.”
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