Arizona enters Grambling State game with questions at QB
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Arizona had a prolonged competition at quarterback and it still may not be over even after Anu Solomon started the opener against BYU.
The Wildcats may not have a choice for their home opener against Grambling State on Saturday.
Arizona had to practice on a wet field on Wednesday due to storms in the area and Solomon apparently injured his knee. He is listed as questionable on the Wildcats' injury report.
Even if Solomon can play, Arizona may want to hold him out to avoid risking further injury against an FCS opponent.
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez already said Brandon Dawkins was going to get some playing time against Grambling State and now the sophomore could get much more.
''There were times I was close to bringing him on Saturday because he does bring a different element,'' Rodriguez said. ''I would have liked to get him in there for a few plays … but going forward will be conscious of that.''
Solomon had a so-so first game of his junior season, making some plays but also struggling to move Arizona's offense until the fourth quarter. Solomon was sacked four times and held the ball too long at times, finishing 20 of 30 for 213 yards with two interceptions and no TD passes.
Dawkins was Arizona's third-string quarterback last season, but flashed glimpses of what he's capable of. He played six games as a freshman, throwing for 334 yards – 301 against rival Arizona State – and two touchdowns while rushing for 179 yards and two more scores.
Dawkins is more of a running threat than Solomon, so Grambling State not only has to prepare for a talented FBS opponent, but get ready for two styles of quarterbacks.
''We're going to go at it and try to play as perfect as we can possibly play and let the chips fall where they may,'' Grambling State coach Broderick Fobbs said. ''You name it, they have it. It's going to be the best opponent we face this year. Let's be honest. We have to play an A-plus game to have a chance.''
A few more things to look for when Arizona hosts Grambling State on Saturday night:
TIGERS' OPENER: The Tigers opened the season against a Division II opponent with expected results. Grambling State racked up 693 yards, including 402 rushing, in blowing out Virginia-Lynchburg 72-12 at home. Fobbs played nearly everyone on the roster in the game and this week will get back top returning receiver Chad Williams, who served a one-game suspension after an offseason arrest. DeVante Kincade started at quarterback in the opener and will get the nod again in Tucson, but Trevon Cherry will play in at least a few series. Both threw a pair of touchdown passes in the opener.
DOUBLE PUNTER/KICKERS: Having one player handle both punting and kicking is a rarity in college football these days. Saturday's game will have two punter/kickers. Grambling State senior Jonathan Wallace had a busy day in the opener by handling both duties, making all 10 of his extra-point attempts and averaging 36.3 yards on three punts. Arizona sophomore Josh Pollack averaged 47.5 yards on four punts and made a 46-yard field goal after earlier missing a 52-yarder.
WILSON'S RETURN: Arizona running back Nick Wilson had a strong return after an injury-plagued 2015 season. The bruising junior started slow against BYU, but got better as the game wore on. He had a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter for Arizona's first touchdown and reeled off a 49-yard scoring run to put Arizona up with 1:26 left. Wilson finished with 138 yards on 17 carries and will be a load for the Tigers to bring down on Saturday.