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UA center Josh McCauley has 'a knee issue'; special teams, RBs stand out in scrimmage

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Center Josh McCauley (in headband) is battling a knee injury while Arizona preps for the 2020 season.

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The Arizona Wildcats conducted a 90-play scrimmage Saturday night. UA coach Kevin Sumlin addressed the media via Zoom afterward. Here are some notes and takeaways from his news conference:

* Sumlin acknowledged that veteran center Josh McCauley has “a knee issue” but didn't provide any further details. McCauley reported a knee problem last Saturday and wasn’t spotted during open practice periods this week. Senior Steven Bailey and freshman Josh Baker are working at center while McCauley is down.

* Sumlin said the specialists stood out during the scrimmage. Lucas Havrisik made 53- and 57-yard field goals, and Kyle Ostendorp punted well. Both were inconsistent last season.

* Sumlin praised the entire running back corps. Sumlin noted that sophomore Michael Wiley is now 200-plus pounds and has more power. Freshman Jalen John, similar to veteran Nathan Tilford, "just makes yards,” Sumlin said.

* The competition remains open for the No. 2 quarterback spot behind Grant Gunnell. Sumlin said Rhett Rodriguez, Kevin Doyle and Will Plummer all got reps during the scrimmage.

* Junior-college transfer Stacey Marshall is among the newcomers who have stood out. The offense will fold in more two-tight end sets during practice next week.

* Sumlin said sophomore Derrion Clark will have a sizable role at linebacker this year after mostly playing special teams as a freshman.

* Another second-year linebacker, Kwabena Watson, has shown he can rush the passer. He’s still learning to play in space.

Contact sports reporter Michael Lev at 573-4148 or mlev@tucson.com. On Twitter @michaeljlev 

This article originally ran on tucson.com.

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