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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pushing their Luck

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The No. 15 Wildcats took on the UCLA Bruins in a Pacific 10 Conference college football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Arizona held off a late fourth-quarter push to beat the home team 29-21.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The No. 15 Wildcats took on the UCLA Bruins in a Pacific 10 Conference college football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. Arizona held off a late fourth-quarter push to beat the home team 29-21.

It’s been a dead heat for second place between No. 13 Stanford and No. 15 Arizona in the Pacific 10 Conference all season. If the Cardinal’s offense and the Wildcats’ defense are any indication, the nationally televised matchup on ABC between the schools on Saturday at Stanford Stadium will stay the course.

With the Cardinal averaging 42.38 points per game, the Wildcats’ only chance to keep pace is to slow down Stanford’s attack, something that Arizona’s defense hasn’t taken lightly.

“”We’re on prime time, defense. Let’s go,”” Arizona coaches barked out at practice during the week in preparation for a game between two 7-1 teams.

The matchup has serious Pac-10 and Rose Bowl implications, and for the Wildcats, playing on a national stage, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

“”Every game we play gets bigger and bigger, so we’re just waiting to go out there and get after Stanford and just go out there and try to have a great game and get a victory,”” said cornerback Robert Golden. “”We have to play sound football. We have to be mentally sound and technically sound.””

Golden said the defensive backs had to be competitive, especially after Luck threw for 423 yards and three touchdowns against them last season.

Luck has only gotten better with another year under his belt. He has 20 touchdowns and a 67.3 completion percentage.

Arizona gives up the least amount of yards per game but has had some struggles when trying to stop the passing game this year.

“”We can’t give up big plays, so we’re going to tackle well and be physical,”” said head coach Mike Stoops. “”We’re going to have to play smart is the key when you play Stanford. They understand things very well and create some problems for your defense.””

Saturday’s matchup also means the expected return of quarterback Nick Foles, who hasn’t seen field time since going down with a right kneecap injury against Washington State on Oct. 16. Stoops said that, if healthy, Foles will play.

The potential return of Foles under center is making Stanford’s defense prep for two quarterbacks, but Arizona is focused on its own defensive methods.

“”I think we’re going to do what we do. They’re going to do what they do,”” Stoops said. “”It gets down to execution and making plays. There’s going to be a lot of competitive plays in the game.””

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