Wildcats report (11.08): Injuries added to insult

By Anthony Gimino
FOXSportsArizona.com

TUCSON — Arizona coach Mike Stoops had a secret last week: Quarterback Matt Scott wasn’t going to play because of a wrist injury. He kept that news under wraps until right before game time.

This week, there basically is no mystery.

Stoops said at his Monday morning news conference that Scott — who had filled in admirably for injured Nick Foles for two games, possibly earning more playing time — is almost certainly out for this week’s home game against USC.

Unless, of course, Stoops is just being tricky again. Maybe he just wants the Trojans to think Scott is out so they won’t prepare for his running ability. Hmmm …

In any case, here is what Stoops said:

“Matt will be out, it looks like, this week. His long-term prognosis, I don’t know what that is past this week.”

OK then.

Scott hurt the wrist in the fourth quarter at UCLA but didn’t tell the coaches and stayed in, although his accuracy suffered late in the game. The coaches weren’t fully aware of the injury until after the game, Stoops said.

“I thought there was something wrong with him,” Stoops said.

Foles was back last week from a dislocated kneecap, but the offense wasn’t quite as sharp as it had been previously. Maybe some of that was rust, or that Stanford can cause a lot of confusion with its defense, or that the Arizona offense missed Scott’s added spark as a runner.

Foles will try to go the distance again this week after completing 28 of 48 passes for 248 yards with one touchdown and one interception against Stanford. He is no longer the nation’s leader in passing accuracy, falling to second behind Northwestern’s Dan Persa. Foles has completed 71.85 percent of his throws.

Of bigger concern for the offense might be the ankle of leading wide receiver Juron Criner. The junior has had a variety of ailments this season, and he turned the ankle in the second half at Stanford.

“He won’t get much practice. He will be limited this week,” Stoops said.

Another injury on offense to watch: the sprained ankle of running back Nic Grigsby. He suffered the injury in the first half at UCLA on Oct. 30 and managed only one carry at Stanford.

“He turned it a little bit,” Stoops said of Grigsby’s ankle on Saturday. “He tried to cut and it wasn’t what he wanted it to be.”

Although Arizona has depth at running back — Keola Antolin has emerged lately as a bigger threat, and third-stringer Greg Nwoko is powerful and capable — Grigsby does provide big-play potential.

TOUGH WEEK TO BE A STOOPS

Mike Stoops wasn’t the only Stoops brother who had a long weekend.

Mike’s team suffered a 42-17 loss at Stanford in a nationally televised game that ending up all but erasing the Wildcats’ Rose Bowl hopes, capping a bad day for the trio of Stoops brothers in college football.

Bob’s Oklahoma Sooners lost 33-19 at Texas A&M to fall out of any chance for the national championship. OU is 7-2 overall and tied for third in the Big 12 South.

And Mark Stoops, the first-year defensive coordinator at Florida State, saw his defense give up 439 passing yards to North Carolina’s T.J. Yates as the Tar Heels won 37-35.

“Not much talking yesterday,” Mike Stoops said of phone calls among the brothers. “It was a rough weekend.”