Jedd Fisch: 'No concern' starting Noah Fifita if Jayden de Laura is out for Arizona
Jedd Fisch said at his Monday press conference it was still too early to tell whether Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura would be available for this weekend’s game against No. 7 Washington. After de Laura was knocked out of the Week 4 win over Stanford, Noah Fifita entered the game and led the game-winning drive.
If de Laura is unable to play this weekend, Fisch seems comfortable rolling with Fifita.
“The beautiful thing about Noah is we’ve had him the same amount of time as we’ve had Jayden,” Fisch said. “They both got on campus the exact same day, which would have been January of a year ago. They’ve learned the offense the exact same way, they’ve been in the exact same meetings. They have very similar skill sets, in a lot of ways. So, nothing changes.
“The only thing that would potentially change would be practice reps based upon Jayden’s health. So, if the practice reps go more to Noah and less to Jayden because he’s unable to go, that would be the only difference. But in regards to game-planning, in regards to preparation, in regards to what we do, zero difference.”
Fifita hit his first pass of the game, a 15-yard check-down to Jacob Cowing. Fisch said the primary read on the play was a deep post.
“I didn’t even flinch,” Fisch said. “I had the same exact play-call I was going to call if Jayden wasn’t hurt.”
Fisch said he likes the poise of the redshirt freshman.
But he also wasn’t overly critical of de Laura’s play. He noticed the same thing fans groaned about during the game — de Laura held the ball too long — and said there were plays de Laura wanted back. But Fisch also thought he could have put de Laura in better spots, and that de Laura hit some quality throws as well. Better yet, he didn’t turn the football over.
“Jayden has played, I think, now eight quarters without an interception,” Fisch said. “We’ll see how it looks this week.”
It seems like any kind of change for Saturday’s game will hinge on health.
“Noah did a great job, great job handling everything, and I would have no concern whatsoever if he started for us on Saturday night,” Fisch said. “But I’d really like to see how Jayden’s ankle is.”