The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

91° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Game week at last

UA placekicker Jason Bondzio celebrates with Wildcat fans after the 31-10 win against ASU at Arizona Stadium on Saturday night. The Wildcats will play No. 17 BYU on Dec. 20 in the Las Vegas Bowl.
UA placekicker Jason Bondzio celebrates with Wildcat fans after the 31-10 win against ASU at Arizona Stadium on Saturday night. The Wildcats will play No. 17 BYU on Dec. 20 in the Las Vegas Bowl.

It’s been a long wait, but it’s finally here: it’s game week in Tucson.

Riding the momentum from their first bowl game in a decade, the Arizona football team enjoyed one of its most productive camps in years, hoping to play in late December — maybe even early January — once again.

“”We had a really, really good camp,”” defensive line coach Mike Tuiasosopo said after a full-pads practice last week.

Despite not having a starting quarterback this close to opening night, the confidence level has been extremely high since Arizona’s 31-21 win over BYU in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl. That confidence comes with good reason — Arizona’s offense has more playmakers than ever in recent memory and its defense has the athleticism to keep up with the upper-tier Pacific-10 Conference teams.

While dreams of another, and possibly better, bowl berth are unavoidable, the Arizona coaching staff has made a point to keep the team grounded and focused on its current task: the Chippewas of Central Michigan University.

Think that sounds like another non-conference blowout victory, similar to last year’s 70-0 thrashing of the University of Idaho?

Think again. The Chippewas, led by senior quarterback Dan LeFevour, have played in a bowl game for the last three seasons and are considered one of the nation’s better non-Bowl Championship Series programs.

Stopping LeFevour over the past few seasons has proven difficult, but the opportunity to tackle him — or anyone else wearing maroon and gold — this Saturday has Wildcat defenders chomping at the bit.

“”Hell yeah, that’s going to feel so good,”” said junior defensive tackle Lolomana Mikaele when asked what it’ll feel like to finally hit someone in colors other than red and blue.

Junior defensive end Brooks Reed, sounding like the veteran leader that his coaches want him to be, shared the same sentiment as Mikaele but urged his team to stay the course.

“”We’re gearing up and we feel like we’re prepared,”” Reed said. “”During this closing week we just need to get everything tied together and focus on the minor details.””

What: Central Michigan vs. Arizona

Where: Arizona Stadium

When: Saturday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m.

Stay tuned to the Daily Wildcat all week for previews and analysis, and be sure to check out Thursday’s special football guide edition.

More to Discover
Activate Search