Cats need to right the ship against Cardinal

The odds going into the game against Southern California at Memorial Coliseum were definitely against the University of Arizona. Four quarters later, the averages prevailed, and the Wildcats lost the ball game 42-21 but the score was closer then it appeared. The first half was feeling out period where Arizona battled the Trojans for 30 minutes and only trailed by seven. This was considered a moral victory.

The cats nabbed a couple turnovers on a Desmond Reed fumble and an interception by Wilrey Fontenot on an overthrow by all everything, mister sunshine Matt Leinart. The second half the Trojans did what they do best, pull away from its lesser opponents, but the Wildcats showed a lot of heart and continued to gain yardage and confidence going into next week's game against the Cardinal of Stanford.

The Stanford game is probably the closest to a must win that Arizona has had in years, and aside from the rivalry game against Arizona State last year, probably the first in Mike Stoops tenure. This team has to win, there is no question about it. If it doesn't come out produce and defeat the less talented Cardinal, the progress they made against USC is all for not.

Stanford is led by a good sized, and decently mobile quarterback in Trent Edwards. Stanford's biggest weaknesses are the Cats' best chances at winning this ball game. Stanford's offensive line is not good to put it bluntly, so Copeland Bryan (2nd in sacks in the Pac-10 unofficially) coming off the edge should be a big advantage for the Cats as Stanford has given up an average of three sacks a game, and if Edwards is rattled he tends to make mistakes.

Stanford will give up rushing yards, they have a talented nose tackle in Babatunde Oshinowo but they will break if the offensive line decides it wants to dominate. It is imperative to get Mike Bell and Gilbert Harris off to a good start, this will open up the offense for deep threat Mike Thomas, the Tucson Kid Brad Wood, and Syndric Steptoe. Other items of importance are not allowing T.J. Rushing to return kick offs, he is a very explosive returner and the top candidate to place first team All-Pac-10 in that category. It is also important for Danny Baugher to keep doing what he has all season, punt the ball like it stole something, and to pin them deep in there own territory. They are not a good punt returning team, and this is an advantage Arizona should take care of with potential Ray Guy Award winner and All American punter at the wheel.

With the crowd in the game and the intangible leader Arizona should not win by anything less then fourteen points in this readers mind. The only advantages Stanford seems to have is at the linebacker spot and that they do play better on the road then they do at home. The odds said we wouldn't defeat an undefeated Southern California team, the odds say we should defeat a two and two rebuilding Stanford squad. It's a must win, and not because I say so.

Interesting Research Facts- (Record Against Unbeaten Current Pac-10 Foes)

1899- Arizona State L
1901- Arizona State W
1924- Arizona State L
1936- Arizona State W
1957- Arizona State L
1970- Arizona State L
1975- Arizona State L
1996- Arizona State L

1979- California L
1991- California W
2005- California L

1982- Washington L
1984- Washington W
1989- Washington W
1991- Washington L
1992- Washington W

1981- Washington State L
1992- Washington State L
1997- Washington State L
2001- Washington State L

1976- UCLA L
1980- UCLA W
1982- UCLA T
1988- UCLA L
1992- UCLA W
1998- UCLA L
(Record- 2-3-1)

1994- Stanford W

1922- Southern California L
1924- Southern California L
1928- Southern California L
1979- Southern California L
1980- Southern California L
1981- Southern California W
1988- Southern California L
1995- Southern California L
2004- Southern California L
2005- Southern California L

1964- Oregon L
1984- Oregon W
1986- Oregon W
1990- Oregon W
2001- Oregon L
2002- Oregon L
2003- Oregon L

Oregon State (Never Played an Undefeated Oregon State Team)

Overall Record (13-30-1) (Average .295)

One day Arizona will knock off another Undefeated Pac-10 team and they may have a shot against UCLA when they roll into Tucson on November 5 for Arizona's homecoming. As Marty Schottenheimer has coined though, only one play at a time, hopefully Mike Stoops and his gang of ‘average Joes' has a few up there sleeve for the Cardinal just another team in the line of what is hoped to be stepping stones for the Arizona Wildcats!

Wildcat Authority Top Stories