Arizona looks good at 4-0 but Stanford, Oregon remainPosted: Updated:
I’m not here to dampen anybody’s parade of going to the Rose Bowl Parade of Roses in January in Pasadena, but Arizona is a long way from celebrating the New Year in southern California. Everybody just needs to keep things in the proper perspective after the Wildcats impressive 4-0 start.
Two reasons come to mind about not booking flight and hotel to the City Of Angels just yet, and that would be road games at Stanford and Oregon in November; the sixth day of turkey month to be exact at the farm, and then the day after Thanksgiving in Eugene, Oregon, the 26th of November.
Stanford looks to be very much the real deal, and take note of their defense before anything else, a surprise so far through the month of September. They are giving up a whole fourteen points per game thus far, which includes a shut out of UCLA at the Rose Bowl and a route of Notre Dame in South Bend. They gave up 24 points to Wake Forest in northern California on a night when the offense put up 68 on an ACC team. And speaking of the offense, the least amount of points they’ve scored in any game this season is 35, once in the fifties and once in the sixties just for good measure. I would say the Cardinal is a legit top ten team at the moment with the ranking to support it.
Oregon is in the top ten as well, with yet again a serious version of the quack attack on offense. Jeremiah Masoli gone, no problem! The Ducks have weapons all over the place and have scored at least 42 points in every game, better than Stanford we should point out, although the schedule is a bit weaker with Portland State and a dismal New Mexico program, both of which were recorded shut outs by the Oregon defense.
But one thing good thing appears to be existing this season for the Wildcats when it comes to the Pac-10 race. The conference just might have a little of a “beat ‘em up” mentality like the Big Ten or the Big XII this year. The point to be had is this, Arizona probably needs to sneak just one of the two aforementioned road games to have a legit shot of winning the Pac-10 title, assuming they handle business at home, see the Cal game to check your nerves at the door.
Arizona is 4-0 because they have played complete football, touchdowns this season on offense, defense and special teams. But remember that defensive and special teamer TD’s are a premium and don’t happen with regular occurrence if you think about it. Arizona has scored three offensive touchdowns in the last eight quarters against really good opponents, Iowa and Cal. Cause for some concern? I think so, without question. The running game has hit a huge snag, attacking from the middle of the field to say the least, and the passing attack has its fair share of confused looks against the Golden Bears last week.
And the answer to the offensive concerns is nothing more than continuing to work and figure things out. Arizona has co-offensive coordinators calling games that have never done so at this level of college football until this season. But it’s important not to forget that as the work in progress continues to evolve, keep in mind that you are 4-0, and that you have the attention of the college football world. Bear Down Arizona!