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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football has yet to form identity

Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker/The Daily Wildcat UA Football Coach, Rich Rodriguez, watches his team warmup before the NAU game on Aug. 30, 2013.

We’re heading into week six of the season and it’s hard to judge the Wildcats’ true potential.

The first three games of the season were obviously lopsided.

The first Pac-12 game of the season was under unusual weather conditions, which played a role in Arizona’s less-than-satisfactory performance. The rain doesn’t excuse the Wildcats’ performance, but it certainly was a factor.

So when will we see Arizona’s true caliber? When will the Wildcats finally perform on a stage that accentuates their true talent?

Heading into the season, there was so much discussion about who would win the starting position as quarterback. Head coach Rich Rodriguez told the media after the fact that senior B.J. Denker was always the front runner, but that redshirt freshman, Javelle Allen really stepped up.

We’ve gotten a taste of Allen — he’s made brief appearances in three out of four games. Against NAU, he scored a 61-yard rushing touchdown.

But Rodriguez hasn’t said anything to suggest that he’s looking to give Allen any more playing time. He hasn’t suggested a possible two-quarterback scheme.

After Denker’s performance against Washington, it might not be a bad idea to throw Allen into the mix. Yes, rain was a factor, but Denker was still throwing passes into no-man’s land. Denker admitted after the game that he didn’t execute like he should have.

So why not, going forward into Pac-12 play, let Allen have a shot?

Obviously junior running back Ka’Deem Carey is performing like an All-American. But the entire success of the team can’t be on him and we have yet to see any receivers really show up.

Every team will load the box and try to force Arizona to beat them by the pass.

The offensive line has yet to impress this season either. After the game on Saturday, Rodriguez said if the O-line had executed better, Carey would have had more opportunities for longer rushes.

It’s evident that the defense is a completely different squad from last year.

Depth was the key last year, and depth is what they have. Freshmen like linebacker Scooby Wright have stepped up since the home opener against NAU, suggesting that this season will not be a repeat of the last. But even during the Washington game, the defense seemed deflated during the second half.

But the point is, we’re five weeks along and Arizona has yet to really find their identity. Maybe the bye week will help, and maybe USC will be the defining moment.

Regardless, it needs to come sooner rather than later.

— Follow Scarlett McCourt @scarlettnoelani

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