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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Slow start hurts ‘Cats

    Running back Nicolas Grigsby is tackled by Washington State defenders Nick Cantlon and Alfonso Jackson in the Wildcats 48-20 win Sept. 29 at Arizona Stadium. Slow starts offensively and defensively have doomed the Wildcats on the road.
    Running back Nicolas Grigsby is tackled by Washington State defenders Nick Cantlon and Alfonso Jackson in the Wildcats’ 48-20 win Sept. 29 at Arizona Stadium. Slow starts offensively and defensively have doomed the Wildcats on the road.

    Throughout the season the Arizona football team has repeatedly found itself looking up at its opponent early, causing the Wildcats to alter their game plan while ultimately hindering chances for a victory.

    The Wildcats have been outscored by their opponents 73-33 in the first quarter thus far this season, including deficits of 28-3 and 24-3 to California and Oregon State, respectively.

    “”If we could play just three quarters, we would be undefeated,”” said UA head coach Mike Stoops. “”It is easy to play when you are down 28-3. You have to compete from the get-go, and that is not always easy.””

    “”If you are not then these teams will jump on you,”” he added.

    The Wildcats have fared much better in the final three quarters, outscoring opponents 137-96. They held the Beavers to a scoreless second half Saturday.

    The deep holes Arizona has confronted has forced the offense to resort mainly to passing plays in trying to play catch-up football.

    The plan almost worked against Cal, as the Wildcats scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to draw within two touchdowns before ultimately losing.

    “”We try not to let the (big deficits) effect us much, but it does some,”” said offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes. “”You have to try and make a play fast to get back into the game, and that is what we did.

    “”It causes you to try to get it down the field a little more. … I think you have to try to pull out all the stops or try to get some kind of momentum and it makes you a little bit impatient.””

    Cason to stay at cornerback

    Despite talk of Arizona star cornerback Antoine Cason moving to safety prior to Saturday’s 31-16 loss to Oregon State, the Wildcats went with backup safety Michael Klyce to fill in for an injured Dominic Patrick.

    Though the Wildcats struggled defensively, Stoops said Cason will stay at cornerback.

    “”We are trying to get these safeties and try and figure out who gives us the best chance to play the way we need to,”” Stoops said. “”Mike (Klyce), once the first quarter got over,

    started to play a little bit better and get into the groove of the game.””

    Stoops said the Wildcats “”will continue to look at”” Klyce, Nate Ness, Cam Nelson and Brandon Tatum at safety.

    With Klyce getting the start Saturday, he said he is looking forward to the opportunity to step up if he gets the starting nod for the second consecutive week.

    “”Things are looking pretty good right now,”” Klyce said of his chances of starting this weekend at No. 10 USC. “”Last year really helped me out for this year, so this isn’t anything new for me.””

    Stoops said the team is looking for the player who gives the Wildcats the most leverage in the secondary.

    “”We will stay with what we are doing,”” Stoops said. “”We need somebody to step up there.””

    Jason Parker producing at Defensive end

    Through the gloomy darkness of a difficult season, a light still shines on the Arizona defensive line.

    Though defensive end Jason Parker may be behind starter Johnathan Turner on the depth chart, the 6-foot-3, 262-pound senior has repeatedly proven he can be a reliable source of production.

    “”Jason has done a great in developing himself as a player in this league, and we are really proud of what he has done since he got here,”” Stoops said. “”He has progressed each year and has gotten to be a productive player on our front.””

    Parker has registered 14 solo tackles and is second on the team with three sacks.

    “”I feel like I am playing very well right now,”” Parker said. “”I have been consistent and that is all I can do.””

    After Stanford upset, USC not looking past UA

    After suffering one of the most jaw-dropping upsets of the season – losing at home to Stanford, 24-23 – USC head coach Pete Carroll said the Trojans have “”tremendous regard”” for Arizona.

    Though the Wildcats sit at 2-4 and are coming off a blowout loss at Oregon State, Carroll said that while USC is focusing on fixing its own problems, looking past the Wildcats is not an option.

    “”I know (UA) got off to a start that probably disappointed them,”” Carroll said. “”We look at them and see a really good football team. … We know the scheme is one that we respect. Offensively, they can do a little bit of everything.””

    “”We see this as a good club and we are very aware of what they can do,”” Carroll added.

    The Trojans were previously ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press top-25 poll and were hunting for a BCS National Championship berth before their loss to the woeful Cardinal, who entered the game as 41-point underdogs.

    “”We expect to recover like we always do,”” Carroll said.

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