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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    A farce for the ages

    A farce for the ages

    An embarrassment.

    A fair assessment of UCLA’s 44-6 loss at Utah on Sept. 15. And the Bruins’ 20-6 defeat by then-winless Notre Dame in Los Angeles threeweeks later.

    Lump alongside those ignominies the Zona Zoo’s field-rush following Saturday’s victory at Arizona Stadium.

    This UCLA team was not No. 7 in the nation, as it was for Arizona’s stunning Homecoming upset two years ago today. It was also far from No. 8, California’s ranking going into last season’s nail-biting thriller.

    Those victories, which garnered rushes, were of a rare ilk, outcomes that can revive programs huffing and sagging from one bowl-less season after another.

    Saturday’s win didn’t put down a horrendous losing streak during a hopeless season (vs. Washington, 2003). Nor did it show that Arizona is poised for a long-awaited postseason berth.

    The Wildcats, to their credit, dominated the Bruins for just more than two quarters. Then Arizona holstered the whips in the third and fourth, seemingly content to let a pair of grounded offenses run out

    the clock.

    It let fourth-string quarterback Osaar Rasshan – whose passing resembled that seen in Saturday’s Alltel halftime event – show why UCLA was inevitably doomed when it went down three scores, despite the sophomore’s best Jake

    Locker impression.

    In short, the Wildcats played not to lose once they amassed a 34-14 lead and succeeded. Barely.

    So what was the big deal?

    We won on Homecoming! rushers might retort. Yeah, against a team that very much resembles Arizona in its propensity to beat and lose to the teams it shouldn’t. Probably the only major consequence from this game is that the Bruins, somehow in the Pacific 10 Conference race at 5-3 entering Saturday, likely saw their Rose Bowl chances dashed.

    As if.

    This latest rush amounted to chugging beer after winning a marathon. The Wildcats have thirsted for victory since head coach Mike Stoops arrived four years ago, and I’m sure many of the rushers – all certainly casual football fans – figured, You know what? A win’s a win, and that’s worth celebrating. Especially on Homecoming. But perspective – hell, common sense – must factor in at some point.

    Untold numbers of ABC viewers saw at least the initial trickles of red slosh toward center field. Maybe they witnessed the whole, despicable flood – whose crimson, immense, rivaled that on the cheeks of more than a few grizzled upperclassmen, myself included, who lingered, dumbfounded, as people hurtled down the east bleachers.

    I left the stadium as quickly as possible after the game, thoroughly humiliated by my peers, their na’veté being beamed to potentially hundreds of thousands (please, not millions) of televisions.

    The whole scene was enough to strip away any personal satisfaction I got from seeing Arizona win in person for probably the last time in my four-plus years at Arizona. No. 3 Oregon rumbles into town Nov. 15, and even the most potent Homecoming magic (to say nothing of the Wildcats’ porous defense) would be a futile foil to the Ducks’ offensive juggernaut.

    But in recent years, for no apparent reason, Arizona has found a way to win at least one game in which it realistically has no chance. If that happens again this season, against another seemingly indomitable top-10 team 10 days from now, a rush would be unquestioned.

    You never know, though, with this baffling Zoo.

    – Tom Knauer is a creative writing senior and the copy chief of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. He can be reached at
    sports@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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