TwistNHook: Well, unfortunately for Arizona, Cal isn’t a 1-AA team…….
YellowFever: And Sonny Dykes isn’t Mike Leach. Hey, how many lesbian jokes do you think Dykes had to endure growing up?
HydroTech: Arizona has attempted 36 passes, 44 passes, and 53 passes in their last three games. I’m thinking the trend continues next week. As our team pounds them into the momentum turf with an ungodly power only comparable to a Marshawn Lynch stiff arm, they are forced to attempt 60+ passes just to keep the game within 40 points. I’m kidding, just so ya know, but only about the 60+ passes and 40 points part.
I think a lot of people are fairly high on Willie Tuitama. And I suppose it’s justified. Afterall, without Tui, Arizona probably wouldn’t have had 5 of its wins last year and the win over Northern Arizona this year. But is he really that good of a quarterback? If you read YellowFever’s post here about college quarterbacks success in the NFL, you can see that maybe Tui doesn’t have what it takes to be a pro. In quick summary, a college quarterback’s success is best determined by how many games they start and their career completion percentage. Even though Tui has a lot of career starts, he only has about a 58% completion percentage or so (which is sub-par). Yeah, I know the argument can be made that he’s on a crap team and all but that won’t help him out the pros. Also, yeah, I do know he’s only a junior. But still. I’m starting to doubt that maybe he has what it takes.
YellowFever: Hey, let’s get some Bruce Feldman in here.
Another Arizona step backwards
I really thought that this would be the year Mike Stoops’ team turns the corner. Instead the Wildcats continued to shoot themselves in the foot, losing twice to MWC programs. To sift through the wreckage from last weekend’s loss to New Mexico, check out this Greg Hansen column, where Stoops pinpoints the biggest issue: "In my three-plus years here, this is far and away our most undisciplined team," he said in a frank self-analysis in which he called himself "foolish."
Now I don’t want to say that sounds like Bill Callahan’s, "We must be the dumbest team in America," rant that got him canned from the Raiders, but…that sounds a lot like Bill Callahan’s, "We must be the dumbest team in America," rant that got him canned from the Raiders.
HydroTech: Fun fact: Arizona rushed for a 1.8 yard average in their loss last week against New Mexico. Against BYU, Arizona averaged 1.7 yards per rush. Anybody want to take a guess at their rushing average against us next week?
Ragnarok: Yeah, Arizona is clearly trying to put it all on Tuitama’s shoulders. I guess throwing the ball is the standard response when you fall behind, but it seems like they’re not even trying to run the ball. In their two losses, if you throw out the sacks that Tuitama took, they only attempted 17 running plays per game, for a TOTAL of 112 yards. That’s still an average of 3.3 yards per rush, with a LONG of 16 yards.
To put that in perspective, in those same two games, Arizona was penalized for 152 yards.
Another fun fact : in their one win, backup QB Kris Heavner had one rush (a sack, obviously) for -28 yards! How does that even happen? I think if I took the snap and ran backwards as fast as I could, I *might* get 28 yards before someone tackled me. Maybe.
YellowFever: I noticed today on Arizona’s Scout.com forums that there is currently a big flame war going on between New Mexico fans and the resident Arizona fans. It’s pretty sad really. Shouldn’t this bring to mind another one of those Jeff Foxworthy rants?
And I tried to find more info on the Wildcats, but there really isn’t a whole lot. But hey, how about their D? They were supposed to be good, right? They gave up 25 to Northern Arizona (though I imagine most of that was with backups/in garbage time), 29 to New Mexico, and 20 to BYU. Not exactly lockdown material.
Ragnarok: Well, I started looking up some defensive statistics regarding Arizona. For instance, Arizona is ranked 53rd in the country total defense, right behind Notre Dame. Not a good place to be. Rushing defense is good (23rd), pass defense, not so much (94th).
What do these numbers mean? Not a whole damn lot. For instance, USC is ranked 99th in pass defense, while Cal ranks ahead of both, coming in at 78th. Anyone with eyes can tell that these numbers won’t mean much until we’ve played a lot more games, and particularly once we’ve had more opponents in common.
Well, what about Arizona’s competition? Have they just played some surprisingly good teams? Well, just for fun, let’s play the highly-inaccurate ‘A>B>C’ game (no, there is no transitive property in football). Arizona opened with a loss at BYU. BYU lost to UCLA and Tulsa. UCLA lost to Utah. Utah lost to Oregon State and Air Force. Oregon State lost to Cincinnati. Tulsa, Air Force, and Cincinnati are, thus far, undefeated. Arizona also lost to New Mexico. New Mexico lost to UTEP. UTEP lost to Texas Tech and New Mexico State. New Mexico State lost to New Mexico (see! no transitive property). Texas Tech is also undefeated.
Now, the question is: are any of those teams any good? This early in the season, it’s hard to say, especially because 4 of those teams are still undefeated. Still, I think it’s telling that none of those teams, even the undefeated ones, are ranked in either major poll at this point. And I think that I’m pretty safe in saying that, right now, Cal would be favored against any of those teams on the road.
All this is to say that I don’t think Arizona is any good, and while normally we might call this a trap game, what with the big showdown in Eugene next weekend, after what happened last year, I don’t think any of our players will be caught looking past Arizona, no matter how hapless they may appear.
HydroTech: I sure am not looking past Arizona. Until you mentioned that Oregon is after Arizona, I had no idea who we were playing in two weeks.
I was watching College Football Live or something on my Tivo yesterday, and it was saying how Arizona’s defense is their big liability and not their offense. Or well, I suppose it’s better put that the Arizona defense is worse than their offense - and their offense is already pretty bad. People thought at least the Wildcat’s defense would be aight but they’ve served up a big plate of suckage lately. Anyways, the ESPN talking head dude said that Arizona is in for a tough season since their supposed team strength, and coach’s specialty - their defense - sucks.