Game Thoughts: Arizona vs. Oregon State

Arizona defeated Oregon State on Saturday and here is what we took away from the win.

The opponent may not have been great, but it is hard to argue against the win over Oregon State being the most impressive of the season.

If there was a contingent of people that wanted Jerrard Randall as quarterback, there shouldn’t be any more. That’s not to say Randall isn’t good, but rather that it is obvious that this offense is significantly better with Solomon behind center.

The receivers were actually used as offensive weapons instead of blockers and when Solomon is spreading out the ball and the running game is going, Arizona’s offense is basically impossible to stop.

David Richards has been putting together his best season in an Arizona uniform and almost looks unrecognizable at times with his ability to break away from opposing defenders.

You can make a legitimate argument he has been the best receiver on the team and not many would have taken that bet before the season.

The running game was obviously a strength on Saturday and it will be interesting to see how carries are divided moving forward. Arizona has three backs and each brings something different to the table.

Jared Baker is the fastest of the bunch, Nick Wilson is probably the best mix, and Bradford may be the strongest.

No matter who is back there, Arizona has found a way to make sure that each is dangerous in his own way.

The coaching staff also made a great move putting Freddie Tagaloa at left guard and Lath Friekh at left tackle.

Zach Hemmila has been inconsistent this season and Friekh has been playing very well, so it made little sense to have Tagaloa and Friekh splitting reps. Instead, Arizona decided to get its best five on the field and it looked like it worked Saturday. 

Defensively, there is no question this was Arizona’s best game. The coaching staff moved Paul Magloire to linebacker and the move paid off significantly.

Magloire led Arizona with nine tackles and basically looked like Tra’Mayne Bondurant out there. It remains to be seen if he is truly the answer or if it was one good game, but this was a move that probably should have been made a few weeks ago and at the very least makes Arizona more athletic.

The secondary had its best game of the season, although it was against a quarterback that isn’t much of a deep threat. Still, there weren’t really any breakdowns and the tackling was better than it has been all season.

Arizona isn’t going to let up seven points every game, but Saturday was a huge step in the right direction.

Winning at Colorado is likely going to be more difficult than people think and it could be a close game, but a win next week has Arizona going in the right direction. 

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