The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

52° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Problem solved

University+of+Arizona+quarterback+Nick+Foles
University of Arizona quarterback Nick Foles

College football is a funny game.

For three weeks, Arizona’s completely inept passing game was like a Chevrolet Caprice. But in week four, with a brand new quarterback making his first career start without his starting tight end, slot receiver or his top-two running backs, the Wildcats traded in that Caprice for a brand new Corvette.

Citizens of Tucson and students at the University of Arizona, please rise and give a deserving welcome to quarterback Nick Foles.

Foles, a transfer from Michigan State, was nothing short of excellent in his first college career start, completing 25 of 34 passes for 254 yards with three touchdowns and a rushing touchdown. But what was really impressive was his composure.

The redshirt sophomore ran the offense as if he was a four-year starter, calling several audibles at the line, and never showing any sign of panic despite a raucous crowd in Corvallis, Ore., and a relentless Beaver defense. He was sharp on all of his throws, whether it was a quick screen or one of the many beautiful fades and deep balls that he released with ease.

Rather than immediately tucking and running in the face of a defensive rush, a la previous starter Matt Scott, Foles calmly shifted his feet to the side to buy himself an extra second to continue looking downfield. His footwork and awareness gave him the opportunity to succeed when he did have to scramble, directing receivers with his left hand as he ran and waiting until the last possible second on several occasions to find the open receiver.

Arizona’s future now looks a lot rosier.

The quarterback controversy that has stolen headlines in Tucson since last spring is no more — Nick Foles is and should be the starter from here on out.

The injuries to tight end Rob Gronkowski, receiver William “”Bug”” Wright and running back Nic Grigsby allowed players like receiver David Roberts, tight end A.J. Simmons and running back Greg Nwoko to step up and add even more depth to an already strong Wildcat roster.

And strongly benefitting the Wildcats were the other wild scores across the college football world Saturday.

First, California and Washington ­— formerly ranked No. 6 and No. 24, respectively — lost conference games and now appear extremely vulnerable.

Then Iowa, the same team that handed Arizona its only loss of the season in devastating and frustrating fashion, manhandled No. 5 Penn State in Happy Valley, Pa. Suddenly that loss to the Hawkeyes doesn’t seem so devastating after all, and Arizona’s strength of schedule just went through the roof.

Saturday’s trip to Oregon State was a turning point in Arizona’s season. The Beavers and the Wildcats were at a crossroad. A win could keep the season alive while a loss would not only damage their records, but also raise more questions about whether or not they could compete for bowl berths.

Arizona answered the call, separating itself from a Pacific 10 Conference contender and changing the theme surrounding the team from panic to promise.

The Pac-10 is wide open right now, and after a 1-0 start, the Wildcats are right in the thick of it.

More to Discover
Activate Search