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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Tall task awaits UA

    Tall task awaits UA

    Throughout the season, the only thing the Arizona football team has done consistently is show that it is inconsistent. Just when it seems as if the Wildcats are ready to make a leap into the right direction, they take several steps backward.

    After a promising rout over Washington State two weeks ago, it appeared like Arizona was ready to take on the rest of its conference schedule, but last Saturday the Wildcats showed that wasn’t the case, as they were blown out by a less than stellar Oregon State squad.

    If the Wildcats plan to show another glimpse of brightness with a victory, the task will be much taller than it has been earlier this season, as Arizona travels to Los Angeles to face high-powered USC tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. in front of a sold out crowd at the Coliseum.

    “”We just need to come out with a sense of urgency and make some more plays early,”” said UA head coach Mike Stoops. “”That has kind of been our Achilles heel a little bit. … We just need to finish plays and make sure we are in the right position.””

    Arizona (2-4, 1-2 Pacific 10 Conference) has shown the whole year that it struggles to start off the game with a sense of urgency, as it has been dominated by its opponents in the first quarter, being outscored 73-33 in the opening frame.

    The Wildcats found themselves down 24-3 at the end of the first quarter against the Beavers, something offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes said cannot become a trend, especially in the midst Pac-10 play.

    “”The thing we have to do is not worry about USC or Oregon State or whoever we are playing,”” Dykes said. “”For now we just have to make sure we start off better and don’t get behind early like that. … The offense has to do a better job of finishing drives and not giving the defense touchdowns.””

    Despite being large underdogs to the Trojans prior to the last few meetings, the Wildcats have held their own against USC (4-1, 2-1), scoring early and playing solid defense to keep the games closer than expected.

    Last year when the No. 3 Trojans invaded Tucson, the Wildcats held their powerful offense in check, though they eventually fell 20-3.

    In 2005 the Wildcats took the then-No. 1 Trojans – who had the likes of Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and LenDale White still on the roster – to the fourth quarter down by just seven, but eventually lost 42-21.

    “”USC is a very good football team and they certainly wont be too happy,”” Stoops said. “”We played them to a 13-3 game with three minutes to go in the game last year, so we know what the
    challenges present.””

    But after last weekend’s loss to OSU, there was nothing positive the Wildcats could hang their hats on, as the defense proved to be outmatched by the Beavers’ offense while their offense was unable to get into the end zone.

    With the offense showing it has the capability of producing a solid rushing attack against WSU, the Wildcats were unable to move the ball on the ground against the Beavers, netting a total nine yards rushing.

    The defense was no better. The Beavers shredded the Wildcats on the ground, netting a total 187 rushing yards, while yielding 139 yards through the air.

    “”I think it is just little things here and there, like individuals not being in their spots or not making plays,”” said defensive end Jason Parker. “”Just people not getting the things done that need to be done.

    “”It is disappointing more than anything because we are a good team with a lot of good players. It is just a lot of people not playing to their full potential.””

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