UA head coach Mike Stoops updated several injuries during his weekly press conference on Monday and gave his thoughts on how some of the Wildcats competed against USC. Here's the latest from Stoops.
Stoops confident in Tuitama
While Arizona fans have debated whether or not highly touted sophomore quarterback Willie Tuitama is in a slump, Stoops doesn't feel as if there is a debate. Tuitama has been impressive in Stoops' eyes and is happy with how he played on Saturday night against USC.
"I thought Willie threw the ball as well as he has since he's been here," said Stoops. "I thought he had some great throws. He got a little antsy and rushed a couple things but that's just inexperience. He's still only started (seven) games in his career. I really thought he threw the ball accurately and had a lot of zip."
Stoops says that the problem with Arizona's offense hasn't been Tuitama, but the others players on the field at the same time.
"Willie's not the type of quarterback that can carry a team on his back," Stoops said. "We have to be able to run the football, protect the quarterback, run routes and get people open. When people get open he puts the ball right where it needs to be.
"I'm more encouraged than discouraged by a long way. There's nothing he can't do on the field. He's only going to get better and better. We have to get better, keep building our team around him and get stronger around him so we can make those plays. My concerns are the players around him, that's where we need to get better."
Tuitama suffers minor injury
Late into the USC game it looked as if Tuitama may have suffered a serious leg injury, but on Sunday tests revealed that the quarterback should be fine.
"I was worried about his leg but it wasn't his leg, it's a calf bruise," said Stoops. "It was a little scary but we knew (Sunday) that it wasn't going to be anything too serious."
Tuitama wore a boot on Monday and missed practice. He's expected to return on Tuesday.
Other injury news
According to Stoops, Syndric Steptoe should return to practice on Tuesday after missing Monday with a deep thigh bruise. Brandon Tatum is out for Saturday's game with a high ankle sprain.
"It's just that the games haven't presented themselves that way," said Stoops. "We got Terrell (Reese) a couple of plays the other night. They just need a lot of work. It's hard for freshmen to play, especially true freshmen.
"They haven't been in the system long enough to come in, play and compete against the quality of opponents that we've had to face."