Dave Arslanian has a lot of holes to fill as he gets ready for the 1997 football season. After Saturday's intrasquad game, the Weber State coach might have better idea of who will be stepping into the biggest of those holes.
Junior Steve Buck rallied the Wildcat offense from a massive deficit in the annual spring game by connecting on 13 of 20 passes for 167 yards and four touchdowns as the offense pulled out a 49-48 win."On the surface, from what I saw," Arslanian said, "he did some real nice things."
The transfer quarterback from UCLA didn't necessarily pencil his name into the starting lineup - "It's still wide open," Arslanian said - but he certainly made strides to do so.
"I just came out to play today," Buck said. The starting job is "for the coaches to decide."
With Buck leading the Wildcat offense to four scores in the scrimmage's final five minutes, WSU's defense could have been easily overlooked. But it wasn't by the coaching staff.
With a point system set up to reward the defense for stopping the offense, the Purple Squad quickly amassed a 44-20 lead as the offense struggle to move the ball.
"The defense really controlled the game," Arslanian said. "They could have won by 40 points but that's why I was the commissioner of the game."
To keep things competitive, Arslanian set up situations that gave the offense a better chance to score, and though it denied the defense an impressive win, it did provide glimpses at how his team might perform in pressure situations next fall.
"I like the talent we've got," Arslanian said. "We might be lacking experience, but they've got the talent."
WSU's main area of concern at this point is the running game. Seven Wildcat ball carriers rushed 47 times but gained only seven yards. 11 of those rushes, though, were sacks that came under a quick-whistle system intended to protect the quarterbacks.
The Wildcats open the season Sept. 6, at home against Western State of Colo.