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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Football still has a lot to prove

It’s hard to downplay what Arizona’s upset victory over Iowa did for the team this season and the program’s future. It vaulted the Wildcats into the top 15 rankings, giving them the national notoriety that they’ve been flirting with for years.

Some say it may have even been the biggest non-conference victory in 20 years.

But while it certainly accomplished all of those things for Arizona football, the Iowa victory counts exactly the same toward the Wildcats’ record as the Toledo and The Citadel victories.

Non-conference play is over. It’s done with — a thing of the past.

If Arizona falters against California Saturday night, or a few times to lesser opponents during conference play, the Iowa win means monumentally less toward

this season.

Quarterback Nick Foles said it best after the upset, “”We still have a lot of work to improve on. We’re not happy yet. We’re not satisfied.””

It’s that type of attitude that’s going to separate the Wildcats from a one-hit wonder last Saturday, to a team capable of making a serious push.

It’s that mentality that will be the deciding factor in whether Arizona allows itself to give away games like it did in Pacific 10 Conference play last season.

Between the interception off the “”foot”” of Delashaun Dean against Washington, the double-pass against Cal and the Oregon implosion, it became clear that anything can happen.

All the talk that Arizona has arrived and is now on the map is certainly true. I myself have been drinking the Kool-Aid and believing the Wildcats are now a force to be reckoned with on a national level.

But it’s clear Arizona truly has a long way to go. Can it sustain the hot start in Pac-10 play?

Only time will tell.

The Iowa win told us a lot about the ability and potential of this Arizona team. The sky truly is the limit, and if things go right, the Wildcats are in terrific shape to snap the Rose Bowl drought.

But this has always been a team with a ton of talent that falters mentally from time to time. This may sound like a glass-half-empty statement, but there is still a lot of time for something to go wrong.

“”Our team has always had the talent, it’s just like I said, controlling the things that we can control,”” said defensive end Ricky Elmore. “”In past years we’ve let things happen that we could control.””

Nothing can be claimed until the Wildcats prove themselves in Pac-10 play, starting with California.

There are still 540 minutes of football to be played, and Arizona hasn’t won anything yet.

— Mike Schmitz is a marketing junior and can be reached at sports@wildcat.arizona.edu

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