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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Three ways to win, Three ways to lose against USC

Three Ways to Win

Air it out

Arizona’s offense has yet to find its identity in the passing game, which is absurd considering Cayleb Jones, Samajie Grant, David Richards and Nate Phillips have all remained somewhat healthy this season. With Arizona’s issue at the quarterback position and USC most likely preparing to stop the run because that’s the only option Arizona is using right now, this is a chance for the Wildcats to put the ball in the air and gain confidence in the passing game moving forward to Utah. Nick Wilson is out for another week due to injury, so a pivotal game on the road could lead to either Anu Solomon or Jerrard Randall flinging the ball Saturday.

Play desperate

The Wildcats head into Saturday’s contest with five wins and are one win away from becoming bowl eligible. USC is also sitting at 5-3, and a win at home against a down Arizona squad is the ideal situation for the Trojans, but don’t sleep on the Wildcats if they play hungry. This team has its back against the wall, and if it goes out of the season swinging, then there shouldn’t be a reason why Arizona doesn’t at least become bowl eligible. The ‘Cats will struggle on both sides of the ball Saturday, but expect an effort of the ages.

Release the man-eating Wildcats

Playing at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum can be intimidating for any player, especially for the ones returning home to Southern California, but taking out the crowd noise immediately in the game can benefit the Wildcats. The Coliseum can hold just under 94,000 fans, and if every one of those fans can remain silent when Arizona gets out to a comfortable lead, then the Wildcats can coast this game. Rich Rodriguez should hope that the only voice he can hear is Will Ferrell’s.

Three ways to lose

Swapping quarterbacks

It’s still a question as to who is starting at quarterback for Arizona this week, but choosing between Jerrard Randall and Anu Solomon has to stop. Having two quarterbacks is equivalent to having no quarterback. Rich Rodriguez sounds like a broken record player whenever he talks about the similarities and differences between the two, but what’s the point? Toying around with the two quarterbacks will not get a win, because that’s when feelings get hurt and confidence dumbs down. If Arizona plays two quarterbacks throughout the game, that will be all she wrote.

Sack Lunches

Arizona will be missing two important offensive linemen this week due to injury. Jacob Alsadek and Freddie Tagaloa will be out, and the loss of the two interior linemen couldn’t have come at a better time. With Arizona’s two starting guards out, USC’s defensive linemen will have a field day and will be in the grill of whoever is quarterback all night long. The hogs up front gave up four sacks against a rebuilding Washington squad, and it only gets worse because USC’s front line will be prepared.

Folding after digging a hole

The only loss that was relatively close this season for Arizona was the Homecoming disappointment against Washington State. UCLA, Stanford and Washington came out from the get-go and were continuously putting points on the board, while the Wildcats looked like they were completely done. If USC gets out to a 14-point lead early in the game, then Arizona has to play as if the score was still locked at zeros or else it will be another long plane ride home for Rich Rod and company.

Follow Justin Spears on Twitter.

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