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Reaction: Arizona's Austin Hill Tears ACL

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Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona football took a massive blow last week when leading receiver and playmaker, Austin Hill, tore his ACL in practice.   He’ll likely miss several months, and possibly the entire 2013 season.

What it means for Arizona

Last year, Hill provided serious firepower for the Wildcats, not only leading the team in every receiving statistic, but finishing sixth nationally in receiving yards. His total would have been second in the nation this year among returners, second to USC’s Marqise Lee. Their depth on the edge gets quite skinny now. Second-leading receiver Dan Buckner graduated, which means David Richards, who put up 298 yards on 29 receptions, is Hill’s likely replacement. He and other receivers, including recent transfer Davonte Neal, will have to replace 81 receptions, 1,364 yards and 11 touchdowns.

In addition to the responsibility young receivers will have to take on, the same is true for starting running back Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona’s third-leading receiver last year.

A challenge it will be.

What it means for the Pac-12

Well, nobody wants to see injuries knock players out of playing time, but this will undoubtedly change the way opposing defenses prepare for Arizona’s offense.

On a personal note, Hill slapped Oregon State with two touchdowns in the Beavers’ win in Arizona last year. He’s a pure receiver: big, physical, good hands. Hate to see him miss a year (medical redshirt?), but maybe the Beavers won’t be so hard-pressed to stop the ’Cats’ potent offense, at least in the passing game. We'll see.

If there are any silver linings within this story, it’s that Rich Rodriguez and company will now have time to prepare their young receivers to step up into the role. Replacing Hill will take some preparation.