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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


3 ways to win, 3 ways to lose: Arizona vs ASU

Keenan Turner

Arizona running back Nick Wilson (28) runs for a touchdown during Arizona’s 27-26 win against Washington on Nov. 15 at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats will have to lean heavily on Wilson this Friday if they are to take down the ASU Sun Devils.

3 ways to win

by James Kelley

Solomon or Scroggins scorch the Sun Devils

Obviously, we were going to put this, so let’s just get it out of the way.

UA quarterback Anu Solomon is ninth in the country in passing yards and 12th in passing yards per game. Without him, the UA’s chances of getting Rich Rodriguez his first win over the team that shall not be named are very low.

However, if backup Jesse Scroggins shines, then the Wildcats can certainly win. Against Utah, he looked great, going 3-for-5 for 64 yards, including a 43-yard pass, until he fumbled a wet ball twice in a row and proceeded to feed running back Nick Wilson.

Wilson goes H*A*M

The reigning Pac-12 Conference offensive player of the week, Wilson is poised to shred the Sun Devils defense. ASU is 61st in the country in rushing defense. It was two months ago, but remember when UCLA ran for 225 yards on the Sun Devils?

Last week, Wilson ran for 218 yards, the ninth most in school history.

The last time Arizona won nine games was in 1998 when Trung Canidate ran for 288 yards against ASU. Wilson looks poised to bust another 200-yarder.

Skowron kicks ASS-U

Arizona kickers’ legacies are made in ASU games — just ask the Zendejas family.

In 2009, Alex Zendejas was the hero when he kicked the game-winning field goal at ASU, but after missing two extra points in 2010, he became public enemy No. 1 in Tucson.

Alex Zendejas’ uncle Luis Zendejas beat ASU on a last-second field goal in 1984.

The game figures to be close, so will UA kicker and Phoenix native Casey Skowron be the hero just as he was in the Washington game? Or a scapegoat like at the USC game?

That’s the tough life of a kicker.

3 ways to lose

by Roberto Payne

Anu is out

Starting quarterback Anu Solomon sat out the majority of the second half against Utah with an ankle injury and likely won’t practice much during the shortened week. Backup Jesse Scroggins came in for Solomon and did a decent job filling in.

Solomon has drastically changed the landscape of this team and will not be easy to replace. His ability to air it out and make plays with his legs has made him one of the better young quarterbacks in the nation. In a critical game against their rivals, starting Scroggins could prove detrimental.

Sparky strikes again

Last year’s 58-21 shellacking at ASU’s hands was the most embarrassing loss of the season and in the Rich Rodriguez era. The Sun Devils outplayed Arizona in every way imaginable. That loss marked the second-straight second ASU defeated the UA and third in the last four years.

Recent history has favored Sparky.

If the Sun Devils come out on the road with the same energy and effort the team showed in Tempe last year, it could be a long day for Rodriguez and the Wildcats.

It’s the Pac-12 South — craziness is bound to happen

The Pac-12 Conference South is so competitive that it’s been compared to the daunted SEC West, with some going as far as saying the Pac-12 South is better overall than the SEC West. I won’t go that far, but I will say each and every week has brought intensity to the division.

Oregon clinched the North division seemingly eons ago, but the South division will finally have its winner this week. If UCLA defeats Stanford, the Bruins are the champs. If Stanford upsets UCLA, then the ASU/UA winner is the champ.

Knowing how incredible this year has been, I wouldn’t be surprised to see even more insanity ensue.


Follow @WildcatSports on game day for live updates during the game.

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