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Old 09-02-2005, 04:37 AM
moneyman moneyman is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 19
Thumbs up Arizona at Utah -7.5

Utah -7.5

Cats may have improved, but Utes have size advantage

John Moredich
Tucson Citizen
Sept. 1, 2005 12:00 AM

TUCSON - The times in the 40-yard dash are faster, the bench presses are more impressive and the vertical leaps are out of the stadium.
The Arizona football team's strength and conditioning gains are meaningless unless results are seen on the field.

The Wildcats will find out how much they have improved when they play their season opener at 5 p.m. Friday at Utah in front of a national TV audience on ESPN. advertisement

"The line of scrimmage is something we have not been great at in establishing ourselves," UA coach Mike Stoops said. "To win consistently you have to dominate up front. You have to win some battles to create some running space for your backs and to put pressure on Utah's offense. That is a pretty good indicator on how the game is going to turn out."
The Utes, especially defensively, have played an overpowering style of ball to win their past 16 games.Though much of last year's success was credited to quarterback Alex Smith, a Heisman Trophy finalist and the NFL's No. 1 draft pick, the Utes won with defense as much as anything else. Three leaders return - tackle Steve Fifita, linebacker Spencer Toone and strong safety Eric Weddle.

Utah has a much bigger defensive front than UA. Fifita weighs 322 pounds, nose guard Kelly Talavou is 319 and end Kite Afeaki is 285. The other end, Martail Burnett, is the smallest at 235 pounds.

The Wildcats start Marcus Smith (6-5, 266) and Copeland Bryan (6-4, 240) at the ends and Yaniv Barnett (6-1, 285) and Paul Philipp (6-3, 294) inside.Utah also has the size edge along the offensive line, with every starter weighing in at 290 or more and four at more than 300. UA's biggest player is guard Kili Lefotu at 318.
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