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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football looks to ride momentum past Colorado

Rebecca Noble

Arizona saftey Paul Magloire Jr. (14) drags down Oregon State quarterback Seth Collins (4) as Wildcat safety Tellas Jones (1) closes in at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 10. Magloire Jr. made the move from safety to linebacker against OSU.

Arizona football is now back on the winning track and the Wildcats will be looking to keep their momentum as they travel to Boulder this weekend to take on Colorado. Arizona blew out Oregon State on Saturday after losing to both UCLA and Stanford.

All eyes are now looking forward to how Arizona will respond to another road test. The Wildcats are 2-1 on the road through the first half of the season.

This year’s Colorado team (3-3, 0-2 Pac-12 Conference) is better than what the Wildcats have seen from the Buffaloes the past couple of years.

“It sounds like coach-speak when we say our league is competitive in all 12 teams, and you think coaches are just saying that, but in our league, it really is that way,” said head coach Rich Rodriguez. “I think it’s not just because of any one factor, other than there’s been a commitment that’s been unprecedented in the league.”

Rodriguez has taken notice of Colorado’s improvement and praised the Pac-12 for continued success from top to bottom.

“Colorado’s got new stuff. We’ve got new stuff. Everybody’s spending money and putting money back in their programs,” Rodriguez said. “If you do things the right way and put money in your programs, you’re going to have success.”

Colorado’s sudden improvements have been noticed throughout the conference. The Buffaloes went 2-10 with a 0-9 conference record that included a 38-20 loss at Arizona last season.

“They’re way better. I was just telling a lot of people that this is a new team, and they’ve been pretty good this year,” said Arizona safety Will Parks. “I watched their game against Colorado State and they looked pretty good, so we’re looking forward to going out there and competing.”

The Buffaloes will come out hot against Arizona as they look for their first conference win in over a year.

As for the Wildcats, they’re just happy to be coming off a win after two brutal weeks of football. Rodriguez said the coaches are reenergized, just like the players.

“You get a little bounce in your step, and more than anything you get your confidence back,” Rodriguez said.

Arizona’s game against Oregon State was easily its best defensive performance of the season, as it only allowed 249 yards and held the Beavers to 5-16 on third down conversions. It was a far cry from what we saw during their two-game losing streak.

The play of the game was when Parks drilled Oregon State receiver Jordan Villamin. Their collision caused Villamin to drop the pass, but the play resulted in a flag because of the way the impact looked. The flag was picked up and Parks made arguably the biggest defensive play for the Wildcats this season.

“I didn’t know it was that crazy until I got all the tags on Instagram and Twitter,” Parks said of the hit. “That’s the game of football. That’s what you’re supposed to do: let your presence be felt.”

This game served as a turnaround for the Arizona defense after struggling against stout offenses in UCLA and Stanford.

“I had to give some type of spark to the defense just because our last few games prior to that weren’t the games that we wanted to have,” Parks said. “That game [Oregon State] kind of gave us our edge back, like coach said, our ‘hard-edge.’ It felt pretty good, but now it’s time to get ready for another good team in Colorado.”

Redshirt junior safety Paul Magloire Jr. moved up to linebacker last weekend and played well. Arizona has suffered a multitude of injuries to linebackers this season and Magloire stepping up offered a big boost to the defense.

Magloire first prepped at linebacker the week prior to Oregon State, and after another week of preparation, the newfound fill-in for Scooby Wright III said he feels more comfortable at the position.

“I’m ready to really get in there and really focus up,” Magloire said.

Wright will sit out with an injury for the fifth time this season. Magloire, Jake Matthews and others will be counted on to continue to step in.

Rodriguez also noted running back Nick Wilson was banged up after the win over Oregon State, but wouldn’t emphasize on the extent of Wilson’s injuries. He was listed as questionable with a foot injury in Thursday’s injury report.

Reciever Trey Griffey (foot) and linebacker Haden Gregory (knee) are listed as probable, while defensive back DaVonte’ Neal (hamstring) and defensive lineman Jeff Worth (concussion) are listed as questionable. Griffey will attempt to start and play in his first game of the season.

Look for Arizona to come out strong Saturday against Colorado with a chance to continue its newfound momentum in the Pac-12. Kickoff in Boulder is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

Follow Kyle Hansen on Twitter.

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