Pull Yourself Over

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By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

It was pointed out to me that Arizona football finally won a home game the way they should have last week at Homecoming. The broad point here is that the Cats were a four touchdown plus favorite against Washington State and they won the game by forty one points. Sure, the Cats have pulled some upsets during the Stoops era and won some games, but not in the sense that they did what we all expected they would do in the days leading up to the game.

I can’t wait until Saturday in Berkeley. And I must confess that I’ve built up this preconceived notion that Arizona football is going to play like a top twenty team on the road at a venue that they’ve not smelled much recent success. And I would submit as well, that it would be wise for the fellas to take this as serious, if not more, than any of the remaining last three. Saturday against Cal just might be the easiest one to get.

We’re not suppose to jump ahead, but for the sake of fun reading, we will.  J. Senior night comes in a week and a half with Pac-10 leader Oregon coming to Arizona Stadium. It’s gonna be an emotional football day, one that will establish how success will be defined looking back on this season. And don’t forget this little gem, at least half the country, maybe the entire country could see this game in prime time. Talk about a place you’ve not been before! Wow!

A couple of days after Thanksgiving the boys go to Arizona State. The Sun Devils have absolutely no offense, but they can play some defense. And I’ll confess that I don’t always believe in the whole “throw the records thing out the window”, but in this case I do believe.   It might be that ASU, on the surface, will have nothing to play for, but trust me, they’ll have everything to play for. The Cats will be playing for their biggest bowl birth in either “ever” (Rose Bowl) or in the last decade plus. You don’t think the Devils would feel like they had just won a mythical national championship if they to spoil that?

The regular season then wraps up with a trip to USC. It is what it is, the numbers and history both suggest that the Trojans will win the game. And let me present it to ya like this, it would be a huge coup, maybe the best moment in program history if things were to work out and beating USC catapults you into the granddaddy of them all. But you know what, put yourself in a position by winning games before this trip to not have to worry about doing something out of this world, or not having to win just to barely hold onto something for the post season. Wouldn’t it be nice to walk into the USC game to have a shot at the Rose Bowl, but also know if you falter in the regular season finale that you’ve already put yourself into a huge bowl game?

And back to Saturday, the Bears are sort of reeling right now in the wrong direction. They’ll be without, we think, former Heisman candidate running back Jahvid Best. He’s the force that drives the Golden Bear offense, that’s for sure! Does his absence take away from some of the competitive advantage of the game? Of course it does, but let’s not forget the Cats have been winning minus very underrated junior running back Nic Grigsby. It happens in sports, happens all the time, it’s just part of it.

I’ve written in the past about Arizona being able to validate themselves on the climb back. I think that part of this is very close to being done. Saturday to me is this. The boys FINALLY have a chance to throw the other leg over the fence and cross into new territory. I’ve talked about it during the lean years and the last couple of years because frankly that was the best past teams were going to shoot for. And regardless of whether you agree or disagree with that, this weekend is a chance to really graduate from the past mediocrity and supplant yourself as a team that the rest of the country can respect.

The next four are tough, (6-2) could finish (6-6) with stumbles and the bounces not going your way. I don’t expect that will happen, but the next month is not really gonna compare to the last two and half months, I for one can’t wait! Bear Down Arizona!