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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Three ways to win, three ways to lose against No. 10 Utah

Three Ways to Win

Getting pass rush from Defensive Backs

Last week at USC, the Arizona Wildcats bogged down towards the end of the game resulting in a loss, but for once, Arizona had pressure on the quarterback and it wasn’t even from the defensive linemen.

In the first half against the Trojans, safeties Anthony Lopez and Tellas Jones both recorded a sack, which gave the defense momentum, also setting up the offense.

Reggie Gilbert added some hurries on USC quarterback Cody Kessler, but was unable to make the plays. As of now, the only source of pass rush are the defensive backs.

Utah quarterback Travis Wilson has experience and has started every season in his campaign, so this isn’t his first rodeo in Tucson. Add pressure, sack Wilson a few times and Arizona comes out with a win.


Arizona football head coach Rich Rodriguez loves this season’s squad arguably more than any team he’s had at Arizona simply because of the effort.

Despite being blown out in three losses, Arizona’s effort to compete until the clocks hit zero is a trait that not every team has.

The only time the Wildcats looked fed up was against Washington, but even the fans watching the game couldn’t bear to watch that nightmare any longer.

This week against Utah is a blue-out game and is also the final home game for the seniors at Arizona Stadium so the energy will be higher than ever. The Wildcats will need to treat it as if it’s the last game of the year in general.

“Anu” game

The quarterback controversy between Anu Solomon and Jerrard Randall settled down after Saturday’s performance from Solomon at USC.

Solomon easily had his best performance of the season, throwing for 352 yards and three touchdowns, despite one interception.

Even though Solomon threw the ball for nearly 50 attempts, he had a completion percentage of 67.4 percent, which is the highest he’s thrown all year long.

Sure Arizona lost to USC, but Solomon kept the Wildcats right in the mix all game. Another performance like that from him is the ideal home finish fans have been waiting for.

Three Ways to Lose

Give up the middle

With Scooby Wright III most likely out for the season and Derrick Turituri battling a hip injury, the middle linebacker position is hurting.

It was clockwork when every play in Arizona’s previous home game against Washington State was a either a post route or a drag over the middle.

Travis Wilson will be looking for running back Devontae Booker all night for those routes. It will be up to Jake Matthews and Paul Magloire Jr. to contain the middle and make it into a no fly zone.

Forgetting that Utah is a top-10 team

It’s difficult to believe that of all teams in the Pac-12 Conference, more specifically the South division, the Utes would be the most successful.

Utah is the No. 10 ranked team in the country for a reason and if Arizona gets away from that, then expect another UCLA beat down.

It’s the final home game of the season and the only conference home win came against Oregon State. A victory over the Utes will put a cherry on to Arizona’s season.

Losing another recruit

This isn’t a way to lose against Utah, but just a loss in general especially to the recruiting class.

Arizona is hosting junior college prospect Jonathan Kongbo, who will be in attendance during Saturday’s game.

Kongbo is ranked the No. 1 prospect for the 2016 JUCO class and has a frame of 6-foot-6, weighing 265 pounds. He plays defensive end and possibly outside linebacker.

This is a gift from the football gods because Kongbo alone can solve the pass rushing issues. If Arizona can’t land him with Josh Allen taking his talents somewhere else, then Rich Rodriguez will take another loss on the recruiting trail. In the meantime, fans will be holding their breath.

Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.

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