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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Memories from past forgotten

    Don’t blame members of the Arizona football team if they would rather block out all memories from last season. While last year was filled with disappointment for the Wildcats, there is one memory – or game, for that matter – the Wildcats may want to hold on to.

    On the brink of hitting an all-time low under UA head coach Mike Stoops, the Wildcats traveled to Seattle to take on Washington last season and the light bulb suddenly clicked for Arizona.

    Sitting at 2-6 and down by 15 points with less than 13 minutes remaining in the game against the Huskies, Arizona had two choices and running back Nic Grigsby recalled hearing the two options from his coaching staff on the sideline.

    “”Do you guys want to just quit or do you want to finish and win the game and be heroes?”” Grigsby said of what offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes and Coach Stoops told him. “”Everybody wanted to be heroes so everybody made plays when it was time to make a play.””

    The Wildcats rattled off 22 unanswered fourth-quarter points en route to the dazzling comeback win, avoiding what would have perhaps been the low point of Stoops’ tenure.

    Instead, Arizona has won six of its last eight games dating back to last year heading into this year’s game against the Huskies this weekend.

    The Wildcats now welcome Washington (0-4, 0-2 Pacific 10 Conferece) – which has yet to win a game this season under head coach Tyrone Willingham – in Arizona Stadium Saturday at 4:30 p.m. for both team’s second Pacific 10 Conference game.

    While both teams are in different places this season, Arizona (3-1, 1-0 Pac-10) reflected on last year’s game in attempt to keep solid motivation as the team progresses through the Pac-10 slate.

    “”We went (to Washington) in a desperate situation last year and won a game that we felt like it was slipping away and really kind of changed the momentum of our season,”” Stoops said. “”We understand Washington isn’t going to come here and give us anything. We are going to have to earn it on the football field and that’s why you play for 60 minutes and hopefully we can do the necessary things to win.

    “”I think we are in good shape mentally and physically for this game,”” he added.

    While Washington has certainly seen better days, especially after the loss of star quarterback Jake Locker to an injury, Arizona has some history to contend with.

    Under Stoops, the Wildcats haven’t exactly excelled in the month of October, as they sport a record of 3-14 in the month during the head coach’s tenure.

    But the Wildcats continue to catch a break, and may have even lucked out on the opponent to help ease into the dreadful month, given that the Huskies are 0-11 under Willingham in October.

    Either way, Stoops isn’t concerned with the results of former years, especially in which month they occurred, given he has yet to post a winning record

    with Arizona.

    “”We haven’t had a lot of great months besides November,”” Stoops said. “”(The media) can get way too analytical. We just did not play well enough to win. . . . We are a better team this year and that should equate to more wins.””

    That being said, Stoops is counting on his Wildcats to keep the ball rolling in a season that looks to be finally moving in a direction of success.

    “”It gave us life,”” Stoops said. “”We understand that Washington isn’t going to give us anything. We will have to work for it, but that’s OK. We’ll be ready.””

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