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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

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    PRO: Whatever – just go

    Unless Willie Tuitama throws a game-winning 50-yard bomb to Mike Thomas with no time on the clock, Saturday’s Homecoming game doesn’t come close to qualifying as a field-rusher, according to criteria I developed last year on when to rush and when not to.

    It doesn’t matter that it’s Homecoming, and fans have rushed the past two Homecomings. Those games involved stunning upsets of top-10 teams.

    This UCLA team stumbles into Tucson having lost 44-6 to Utah, 20-6 to Notre Dame – the Irish’s only win all season – and 27-7 to Washington State, a team Arizona beat 48-20 earlier in the year.

    Not exactly the juggernaut Bruins squad that entered Tucson undefeated and ranked No. 7 in the nation two years ago.

    So why am I writing the pro?

    Seniors like myself have suffered through four tough football years at this school rooting for a team that has not reached a bowl game since 1998, back when we were starting middle school.

    We have celebrated our share of exhilarating wins (the last two Homecomings, ASU in 2004, the Oregon road win last year) and endured defeat after defeat after defeat. We were teased by the prospect of a bowl game after beating the Golden Bears and Ducks last year and disappointed in losing the past two seasons to the Devils, with last year’s crushing loss knocking the Wildcats out of the bowl picture.

    At this point, those of us approaching graduation in the next year can only hope the Wildcats beat UCLA and then pull off a pair of upsets against top-five BCS teams, Oregon and ASU, to have any hope of postseason play.

    By the way, the Nov. 15 game against the No. 4 Ducks unquestionably qualifies as a field-rusher.

    So unless Arizona enjoys another hot November and does not follow it up with another letdown, all seniors have left to root for is one more big win on Homecoming and one more field rush.

    If anybody’s drunk enough to start the rushing in the event of an Arizona win Saturday, I’m right behind you.

    Then again, we can always wait for Oregon.

    -Michael Schwartz
    assistant sports editor

    CON: Why the hell would you?

    OK. So you’ve probably realized by now that if you rush the field after an Arizona upset victory on Homecoming, you probably won’t get arrested and you probably won’t have any charges pressed against you for trespassing.

    You probably won’t even get Tasered.

    But does that mean that you should rush the field Saturday if Arizona beats UCLA for the second time in three years on Homecoming?

    Absolutely not. Besides the obvious fact that fans should “”act like they’ve been there before”” (even though Arizona students clearly have not) and besides the fact that students will be so drunk on Homecoming that rushing the field will probably be second nature – win or loss – it just doesn’t make sense for students to do it.

    If Arizona wins this weekend against the Bruins, it won’t even be an upset. Not because UCLA isn’t ranked, but because it’s Homecoming. It’s become a bit of a natural occurrence for the Arizona football team to win on Homecoming no matter what team it plays.

    The team can’t explain it. It’s basically just a part of their unexplainable November magic that includes a 6-4 record in the month and a 4-1 record against ranked opponents the last three years.

    The last two Homecomings were quite different. The Wildcats beat then-No. 7 UCLA in 2005 and then-No. 8 California last year. Both teams were undefeated before the matchup.

    The Bruins started out this season ranked, but now are a far cry from the polls after getting upset three times this year – against Utah, Notre Dame and Washington State.

    Maybe if Arizona wins this weekend, then wins 12 days later against No. 4 Oregon, students can rush the field.

    As for Oregon fans, they rushed the field after they beat USC last weekend – despite the Ducks being ranked higher than the Trojans. How sad.

    So don’t be like Oregon students last week. Stay in the stands.

    For there even to be a debate over post-game actions Saturday, Arizona has to win, which still might be a tall order – Homecoming or not.

    -Mike Ritter
    assistant sports editor

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