The Arizona Wildcats will take on UCLA this week without the emotional leader of their embattled defense.
Safety Adam Hall re-aggravated a knee injury in the UA's 37-27 loss to Oregon State on Oct. 8, and will likely miss the rest of the season. Hall will likely pursue a medical redshirt, interim coach Tim Kish said, since he only played in one of the UA's first six games.
"There's some concern about whether or not he'll be back out on the field," he said.
Hall, a Palo Verde High School graduate, tore his right ACL in spring drills and missed the first five games. He led the UA with 10 tackles, including two tackles-for-loss, against Oregon State. Following the game, Hall said he felt fine - albeit a little sore.
"I haven't really hit anyone in six months," he said. "My body's got to turn itself to get used to contact all the time."
Hall will have company on the injured list. Linebacker Jake Fischer and defensive tackle Willie Mobley are both expected to pursue medical redshirts, ending their hopes for a 2011 return. Running back Greg Nwoko has already used a redshirt year, so he will likely play at some point this season.
Other news from Kish's first news conference as the Wildcats' interim coach:
• Special teams coach Jeff Hammerschmidt will coach from the pressbox this week, and will be aided on the field by running backs coach Garret Chachere and wide receivers coach David Nichol. Nichol and Chachere will help Hammerschmidt in practice, too.
"He'll have a chance for the first time to see what's going on, special teams-wise," he said. "I think it'll be a good switch for him."
• Senior John Bonano will serve as the team's placekicker against the Bruins. He replaces Alex Zendejas, who missed a field goal and PAT against Oregon State, and Jaime Salazar, who started the team's first two games before being relegated to the bench.
Bonano "just has an air of confidence about him," Kish said.
"I like his confidence," he said.
• Wide receiver Juron Criner is expected to play against UCLA despite suffering an apparent knee injury against Oregon State.
• Kish will not be adding an extra coach to the staff for the rest of the season. Last week, he said he was hoping to add "an extra set of eyes" to help in practice.
"I had a guy in mind, but it's probably not going to work
out," he said.
• Next week's game at Washington will start at 7:30 p.m. and be televised on Fox Sports Net.