Car­di­nals’ of­fense still strug­gling, es­pe­cially on ground

Ari­zona looks to re­vamp sea­son with a new-look of­fen­sive line af­ter a slow start

Yuma Sun - - SPORTS -

An­them Prep at San Pasqual, 7 p.m.

TEMPE — Five games into the sea­son, the Ari­zona Car­di­nals’ of­fense is run­ning like some old car with a sput­ter­ing en­gine.

The Car­di­nals (1-4) rank 31st out of 32 teams in to­tal of­fense (210 yards a game), 31st in pass­ing of­fense (146 yards per game) and dead last in rush­ing of­fense (64.6 yards per game). This with a team that fea­tures one of the best run­ning backs in the NFL in David John­son. “Well, we’ve def­i­nitely got to im­prove in that area,” Car­di­nals coach Steve Wilks said af­ter Wed­nes­day’s prac­tice. “We’ve got to make sure that we put the ball in the end zone, No. 1, get more points, and that starts with be­ing more ef­fec­tive up­front, from a stand­point of get­ting move­ment, be­ing able to run the ball, be­ing able to pro­tect. Also, tak­ing ad­van­tage of our op­por­tu­ni­ties. When the ball’s thrown, we’ve got to make sure we make the catch.”

Ari­zona made much of its re­built of­fen­sive line this sea­son, with D.J. Humphries at left tackle, Mike Iu­pati at left guard, rookie Ma­son Cole at cen­ter and Justin Pugh at right guard. An­dre Smith was brought in to play right tackle, but his time has been lim­ited by in­juries, leav­ing the job to John Wet­zel.

“We def­i­nitely can play bet­ter, with­out a doubt,” Wilks said of the O-line. “I think if you asked those guys that ques­tion, they’d tell you the same thing — too in­con­sis­tent, not run­ning the ball well. We’ve

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