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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Stoops asks “”Why not us?”””

Something is happening here.

For all intents and purposes, the Wildcats had no business winning Saturday’s game. None. Despite the defense playing its best game of the year, the offense was bad all night. Nick Foles, a national hero after his game-winning drive against Iowa a week earlier, seemed to be stuck in neutral throughout the game.

The offense was complacent, appearing to listlessly run its plays and expecting them to work out despite a lack of effort, rather than grab the bull by the horns the way it had in the first three weeks of the season.

Foles, a person who never gets overwhelmed or caught up in a moment, seemed lost. He seemed defeated. The offense started giving way to the typical “”do whatever it takes to lose a game it should have won”” formula that has plagued Arizona football for the last six years.

But then Cal missed a sure game-winning field goal, Juron Criner made his customary mind-blowing catch, and the Wildcats won.

After Foles hit Criner for the game’s only touchdown with 1:11 to play, he again looked defeated. He was face down on the ground after getting hit shortly after releasing the ball, too tired and beaten to get up and celebrate with the rest of the team in the end zone.

But then he picked up his head, turned to the sideline and pumped his fist. A final move of a wounded soldier, as if to say to the rest of the team and all of the Wildcat faithful, “”We did it.””

Not every game is going to be flawless. In fact, Arizona almost played too well in its first three games. There are going to be days when a team just flat out doesn’t have it, and Saturday against Cal was one of those days.

But the ultimate mark of a championship-caliber team is that it can find a way to win a game that it shouldn’t. That’s exactly what the Wildcats did on Saturday.

Is Arizona a championship team? It’s way too early in the season to tell and a lot can happen, but let’s look at three things those teams need.

A championship defense? Check. Don’t let anyone tell you differently — Arizona’s defense is as good as any other defense in the country.

A winning quarterback? Check. Foles has shown that in year two he is mature enough to avoid a costly mistake and lead his team to victory, regardless of circumstance.

A will to win? Check. Two mentally draining games in a row and Arizona won them both.

So is Arizona a championship team? Again, it’s way too early to tell. But as Mike Stoops said after the game on Saturday, “”Why not us?””

 

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