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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Alumni Staff Picks: Arizona vs. Washington State

Dominic Baciocco — Current sports production editor

Nobody can deny Washington State is on a roll. After a slow start to the season by losing to FCS opponent Portland State, the Cougars have won four of five games with their only loss coming on the road to a ranked California. Wazzu has since swept the Oregon schools, including a win in the daunting Autzen Stadium. A third Pac-12 Conference win in as many games could set up yet another College GameDay trip to a Pac-12 showdown against Stanford that could have major implications in deciding the North. Unfortunately for the Cougars, though, this isn’t a Warner Bros. film. Wazzu’s dream of contending for a Pac-12 North title will come crumbling to the ground this weekend. The Wildcats’ defense kept Arizona in the game last week at Colorado as the offense struggled to gain any kind of momentum. Cam Denson, Paul Magloire Jr., Jake Matthews and Will Parks will hold down the fort on defense while the Pac-12’s most dynamic ground attack does its thing on offense. Arizona has defeated Washington State in six of their last seven matchups. Expect the ‘Cats and a popping Arizona Stadium to make it seven of eight this Homecoming. 

Washington State 24, Arizona 41

Matt Wall — Current sports online editor

Arizona football has the chance to completely turn its season around in its upcoming Homecoming game against Washington State. The Cougars come into Arizona Stadium with an overall record of 4-2. Plus, they have big wins over Oregon and Oregon State, but dropped their first Pac-12 matchup against California. My biggest concern is at quarterback. We have seen duo quarterbacks work in the past, but the combination of Jerrard Randall and Anu Solomon doesn’t seem to mesh all that well. If the Wildcats can avoid injuries to more key players and reclaim their mojo, look for a big victory coming for Arizona this weekend. This matchup is one of offense versus offense, and the Wildcats will be forced to execute far better than they did against Colorado.

Washington State 42, Arizona 45

Lance Madden — Editor-in-chief, sports editor, 2006-2010

Injuries, suspensions and sometimes bad luck have plagued the Wildcats this season, yet they’re still just one win from becoming bowl eligible. Anu Solomon throws for 200 yards, the team rushes for another 300 and everyone blacks out at the Gentle Ben’s #BTFD party. #Homecoming101 is a success.

Washington State 28, Arizona 34

Shane Bacon — Sports reporter, columnist, 2002-2006

It’s been a while since I was walking around Old Main as a student down in Tucson, but one of the things I always found annoying when I was a student was alumni talking about how fast college flies by. “Enjoy your time here because it’ll be over before you know it!” I always rolled my eyes in my mind, wondering when the 30-something was going to leave me alone so I could go back to my flat beer and my minimal responsibilities. So allow me to be positive about this bastard they call Father Time; the nice thing about getting older is living vicariously through your sports teams, especially when the football program went 12-34 in my time in Tucson. To give you all some perspective, the 2015 Arizona Wildcats have more wins at this point in the season than any team had all year when I was a student. That’s why it’s fun to come down, check out all the old spots—even if no kids go to most of them anymore—and see a successful and exciting group of guys that actually know what a football is and how to properly execute a play. “What is this first down thing that keeps happening?”

Washington State 24, Arizona 38

Jeff Lund — Sports editor, 2003

As much as I would like to watch this game, I have a tryout for the newest Alaska reality TV show “Alaska: No Stereotypes.” The show will likely last only half an episode, but why not try, right? It’s my shot at fame. Besides, I wouldn’t be able to watch the game anyway because my igloo doesn’t have cable. So I’ll miss it, but that’s been good for Wildcat Nation because Arizona is 5-0 this season when I am hiking or fishing. Since it’s supposed to be 48 degrees and partly sunny on game day, I’ll have a solid chance to do both. There is no way Washington State has a chance if I am able to get to the top of Dude Mountain, then fish for steelhead at Grassy Point on my way home. However, it’s supposed to rain every day until then, so the river might be blown out and the trail too slick to traverse. But that’s not a surprise. Ketchikan gets almost twice as much rain per year (160 in.) as Washington State gets rushing yards per game (86.8). No excuses. Bear Down and hike a mountain then catch steelhead.

Washington State 48, Arizona 50

Nicole Dimtsios — Editor-in-chief, sports editor, 2008-2012

Better set those alarms, Wildcats. Another early kickoff means you may as well go hair-of-the-dog come Homecoming morning. And then take another drink before you look at Washington State’s schedule. Who loses to Portland State and then goes and beats Oregon in Eugene? Well, this team apparently. They haven’t been blown out this season either, thanks to an offense that’s clicking pretty well and the arm of quarterback Luke Falk. Right now, the Cougars have a more well-rounded team since their defense is at least creating turnovers. Still, Arizona has taken care of business—although it has not been pretty—recently. Who knows who’ll be starting at quarterback after Anu Solomon’s disappearing act midway through Colorado last week? If the offense stalls again, don’t be surprised to see the magic legs of Jerrard Randall. More questions than answers at this point, but hopefully the Wildcats set their alarms as well and bring home a victory before happy hour. This is making me nostalgic. Drink up and Bear Down.

Washington State 28, Arizona 31

Shane Dale — Assistant sports editor, 2003-2004

Rich Rod likes to play football while the sun’s still out and we saw why when the Wildcats destroyed Oregon State at home two weeks ago. The Cougars, however, pack a much stronger punch than the hapless Beavers do. Washington State’s potent pass offense, combined with the injuries and inexperience throughout the UA defense, could create quite the conundrum for the Wildcats on Saturday. A healthy Nick Wilson would help UA keep up on the scoreboard, but Anu Solomon’s struggles at Colorado don’t bode well for the passing game and the Wildcats will be facing a Wazzu team that has looked sharp since its embarrassing season-opening loss to Portland State. Looking at the final five games on their schedule, this weekend will likely be the last time the Wildcats will be favored to win this season. But look for Cougars quarterback Luke Falk, who has thrown for over 900 yards with 11 touchdown tosses in his last two games, to be too much for the Wildcats to deal with Saturday.

Washington State 48, Arizona 37

Maxx Wolfson — Sports editor, reporter, 1999-2003

One of the best college football games I ever saw live was on Oct. 14, 2000, and it was between the UA and Washington State at Arizona Stadium. A triple-overtime thriller where linebacker Antonio Pierce intercepted Wazzu quarterback Jason Gesser on the 1-yard line to seal the ‘Cats 53-47 victory. Crazy to think that was the last of the 95 wins of the Dick Tomey era. This Saturday’s homecoming game can be as high-scoring and exciting with both teams coming in with winning records. Plus, both offenses are putting up big numbers as the Cougars and ‘Cats are first and second in offense, respectively, in yards per game. Luckily for the UA, the Cougars have struggled stopping the run. With Nick Wilson likely back in the mix along with Jared Baker, the ‘Cats should pound the ball on the ground, keeping the Cougars’ prolific passing offense on the sideline. Add in the running of UA quarterback Jerrard Randall, who should get some time under center, and the ‘Cats can control the game. It’s going to be a high-scoring affair at Arizona Stadium.

Washington State 38, Arizona 45

Roberto Payne — Sports editor, reporter, 2013-2015

Arizona may not be the force it was last year, but the Wildcats still have plenty of fight left in them. With a homecoming date against Washington State looming, Arizona’s secondary needs to show some of that fight against the upstart Cougars. Washington State boasts the most prolific aerial attack in the Pac-12 Conference with 398.5 passing yards per game and Wazzu coach Mike Leach is well renowned for his willingness to expand the field vertically. UA corners like Cam Denson and DaVonte’ Neal have been hot and cold—mostly cold—all season and have to step up for the Wildcats to have a shot. Leach and the Cougars put up 37 points against the Wildcats last season in Pullman, Washington. But I think Wazzu, surprisingly, puts up less than that this go around. Arizona Stadium should be rocking on Saturday as the Wildcats use their No. 1 Pac-12 running game to show the Cougars who’s who.

Washington State 30, Arizona 41

Brett C. Fera — Editor-in-chief, sports editor, 2001-2005

Oregon, USC, Texas, Nebraska: collectively under .500. Temple, Duke, Western Kentucky, Toledo: a combined 23-2 entering the week. That’s college football in the year of our lord 2015 (praise be Lee Corso.) Up is down, left is right and what’s inconclusive via replay is still going to get overturned. When ESPN trucked its College GameDay honkytonk back to Tucson a few weeks back—doesn’t it feel like years ago already?—what nearly didn’t make it was Ol’ Crimson, a Washington State flag that’s basically kept UPS and FedEx in the black over the past 13 years. But really, to that point, an Ol’ Crimson variation had been shipped cross-country and displayed at 166 consecutive, live, on-campus broadcasts. It took a modern miracle of parcel delivery to un-retire an old version and get it to the UA Mall for No. 167. What’s the point? Well, after Wazzu ruins Arizona’s Homecoming, the Cougars, at 5-2, will welcome both Pac-12 leader Stanford and ESPN’s seminal GameDay to the Palouse. And with it, Ol’ Crimson will have a Homecoming of its own, flying high above its own Pullman campus for the first time.

Washington State 38, Arizona 34


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