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The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcat Cheat Sheet Sept. 9: Wildcats stay put in updated rankings

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Sydney Richardson / The Daily Wi

Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright (33) emerges from the locker room alongside his teammates during the Wildcats’ season opener against UTSA on Thursday, Sept. 3. Wright was injured in the first quarter of the game.

Arizona holds steady in new rankings

Arizona held firm in the latest AP Top 25 Poll and Coaches Poll that were released Tuesday. Arizona is ranked No. 20 in the Coaches Poll, which is a two-spot jump from last week, while they remain No. 22 in the AP poll for the second consecutive week.

The Pac-12 Conference saw two teams drop from the top 25 polls as another joined the rankings for the first time this season.

ASU, which was ranked No. 15 in the country, lost its opening game to Texas A&M 38-17, which dropped the Sun Devils out of the top 25. Stanford was No. 21 last week, but after being upset 16-6 by Northwestern, the Cardinal also fell out of the ranks. Both of these teams will see Arizona later on in the season.

Utah pulled off a solid victory against Michigan and earned itself the No. 24 ranking in the AP poll and No. 25 in the Coaches Poll.

Oregon, USC and UCLA all remained in the top 25 as each team pulled off impressive home opening victories. UCLA is No. 13 in both polls while Oregon and USC are ranked No. 7 and No. 8 in the AP, and No. 5 and No. 10 in the Coaches Poll, respectively.

Injuries plague Pac-12

As every Arizona fan has probably heard 20 times, Scooby Wright III sustained a lateral meniscus tear in his left knee against UTSA on Thursday.

The good news is that head coach Rich Rodriguez says Wright will hopefully be back in three to four weeks. His return will come just as the Wildcats are thrust into Pac-12 play.

Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams was impressive in his debut for the Ducks but was knocked out of the game when he suffered a hit to the head from Eastern Washington’s John Kreifels in the fourth quarter.

Adams’ availability was in question for Saturday’s upcoming matchup with Michigan State. However, according to ESPN, Adams looks like he will be able to suit up for the Ducks this week.

UCLA defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes was lost for the season when he injured his knee during a 34-16 victory over Virginia. The Bruins, who have one of the toughest defenses in college football, will sorely miss Vanderdoes as they continue to compete in the rugged Pac-12 South.

Defensive improvement

The Wildcats will need their defense to step up while Wright remains sidelined. They made a couple of huge plays against UTSA, but Rodriguez said they will need to improve in other areas as well.

Haden Gregory will step into the middle linebacker role to cover for Wright.

The Wildcats will travel to Reno, Nevada, Saturday for a matchup with Nevada. Last season, the Wildcats defeated the Wolfpack 35-28 in Tucson. The Wildcats yielded 507 yards in that victory and will need to be prepared for their first road test of the season.

UTSA surprised the Wildcats and dominated defense last week. The defensive unit will need to prevent the Wolfpack from controlling the tempo if Arizona wishes to avoid another close call.

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