I- We have to face facts, the BYU game did happen and it sucked. When only one facet of your football team plays well on Saturday the outcome will be exactly what the Cats got. One thing Arizona fans did not expect was an offense so vanilla that the play calling in the Fall Scrimmage was more open and fun to watch. Conservative isn't even a word worthy of describing what the Cats did on offense for the first three quarters and after the coaching change and the new ‘Air-Zona' offense was installed Wildcat fans expected much more than they got. Michael Vick had a better chance of not being suspended by the NFL than the Cats had at actually scoring through the first three quarters. Things WILL get better as Sonny Dykes opens things up and they have to because the general fan's confidence in the Stoops led Arizona regime is disappearing quicker than a fart in the wind.
II- Now that the BYU game is over and the memory is hopefully out of everyone's head the Cats have a few things they MUST do against NAU this week. First and foremost they MUST hang a minimum of 40 points on the Lumberjacks from Flagstaff. It is a 1-AA team NOT named Appalachian State and the Cats simply must run them out of Arizona Stadium from the opening kick. Amazingly enough the Cats have NOT scored more than 30 points against a 1-AA team since John Mackovic was the head coach in Tucson.
III- The Special Teams units for Arizona got off to a very good start against BYU, which was the lone bright spot for the Cats. Losing all-everything kicker/punter Nick Folk to the NFL and having the rules change forcing kickoffs from the 30 didn't seem to bother the Wildcats once the whistle blew. From Jason Bondzio to Keenyn Crier's plus 45 yard punting average the Cat special teams units were strong. They will prove to have growing pains throughout the year but the BYU game proves that Joe Robinson knows what he is doing and he was honest when he told WildcatInsider.com in July, "We will struggle from time to time but we have the talent on the special teams units to be very good again."
IV- Maybe the most disheartening thing about Saturday's debacle in Mormon land, other than the offense, was the overall play of the defensive line and linebackers. The only one to stay steady and play well the entire game was, big shocker here, Spencer Larsen. The Arizona defensive front seven MUST polish themselves and play more consistent or else the Wildcats could once again find themselves arguing with fellow Pac-10 fans in December about another turd of a season.
V- Robert Golden is a solid Wildcat commitment. Yes he is going to be taking other official visits this fall and yes technically he is interested in UCLA but as of right now he is a Wildcat and plans on staying one. "Man I am all Wildcat," Golden said. Robert went so far as to send out a bulletin via his MySpace page trashing U of A's rivals to the north as well as a certain fellow class member of 2008 that recently switched commitments. In the world of recruiting anything can happen but right now Golden is safely in the Wildcats' recruiting commit list.
VI- Appalachian State beat Michigan in the Big House in front of the typical 108,000 Big Blue fans last week. Ummmm, hahahahahahahahaha, aint college football grand! The only thing better would have been Notre Dame losing to, say, anybody, oh wait, Notre Dame lost too, to Georgia Tech. Maybe Saturday was a good day after all. Michigan losing to a 1-AA team at home and Notre Dame losing to anybody is just funny as hell to the Fat Irish Bastard. I hate the Big-11 and Notre Dame and their arrogance and chubby head coach almost as much as I hate ASU.
VII- This week's Virginia Tech/LSU match up is certainly one for the ages. No I am not talking about the fact that both schools have become suddenly known for tragic events that turned their respective campuses upside down but rather, I think it is one of those one of a kind match ups, defensively, that makes me weep with tears of joy. Two programs geared towards defense and special teams first. Hell, since U of A isn't on television maybe I will DVR that bad boy. Defense rules the roost in my mind but then again I am spoiled, I witnessed the Desert Swarm era.
VIII- The State of High School football in Arizona is just fine and getting better but it still pales in comparison to other places. I am not even going to try and compare Arizona high school ball with places like Texas or Florida or California or Ohio but instead to see the difference you should compare it to Hawaii. The state of Hawaii has about one-sixth of the population than that of Arizona yet it produces the same amount of Division-1 football players every year, maybe even more. High school football used to be a part of the culture in Arizona and I wish it would be again. With nearly 7 million people in the state now the football could be better, it should be better.
IX- Clarence Ward did NOT de-commit from Arizona to look around and find a new home. What Ward did was see the light and after talking with the Arizona coaching staff it was decided the two parties should go their separate ways. Due to Ward's current academic situation it will be nearly impossible for him to qualify at Arizona since there is no chance his two D's would be accepted in Tucson.
X- Offensive Line play for Arizona was good but not great on Saturday. The protection of Tuitama was better but the running game still lacked any consistent holes for the backs to get through. The Wildcats, even with the new system and the new line splits, need to get better in a hurry. Once the Cats start playing blitz happy teams in the Pac-10 Willie will be under a full scale assault. The line problems better get fixed quickly or else Bryson Beirne might have to come out of his red shirt year.
XI- Message Board/ArmChair QBs need to settle the hell down. After Saturday's loss there were so many calls for a new quarterback and a new coach I wanted to puke. There is plenty of blame to go around and the debacle in Provo needs to be forgotten. It was a team and program wide pooch screw and there is no one person to blame. Arizona does NOT need to pull Tuitama to ‘light a fire under his butt' and there is no way Mike Stoops is getting fired. I am as big a fan as anyone but come on folks, it was one game and guess what…the damn sun came out the next day and then again on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Today and it will tomorrow and it will on Saturday again and again and again.
XII- Brad Allis, WildcatInsider.com's midget Frodo looking Editor-In-Chief recently put himself squarely on the top of my crap list. Not only did he take his beautiful wife on vacation, something I have not been able to take in over ten years, but he did so without telling me where he was heading. Where the Allis' went shouldn't be important but it turns out it was very important because they went to the place where I dream to once go. Brad and his lovely wife went to Wrigley Field in Chicago to see the Cubbies. And how was I forced to find out about it? I saw pictures that Brad posted on our message boards. I mean, WTF? Take a vacation dude, you need it, but don't rub it in, especially since it is your wife that will not allow me to even watch a Cubs game since I am the bad luck guy. Thanks for the knife in the back Frodo.
A quick editor's note before this week's Dozen is finished. My fear of the number 13 is as real as the ass kicking Brad Allis is going to get the next time I see him. So with that in mind, I will no longer be writing a full Baker's Dozen. I will be writing 12 each week and the 13th will be written by WI.com's resident redneck Kraut, Bubba.
XIII- Howdy Ya'll, Bubba is back. Seems that either it is durn near impossible for an Irishman to write 13 coherent thoughts in a week or Bonney really is skeered of the number 13. So to save on the Insider having to buy him a XXXL straight jacket they begged me to stay off the Anheuser Busch sody pop long enough to fill out the Baker's Dozen. The Good -- our D is better than #8, Louisville, who gave up 42 to Mid Tennessee State. MTSU. . . are you kidding me???? The Bad -- we still don't know what offense we have this year. I'm hoping for the one we've been hearing about since Sonny got hired and not the one we saw for the first 44 minutes last week. The Ugly -- hopefully the score this weekend. Anyone else like the sound of Wildcats 77 Lumberjacks Nada, Zilch, Nothing?
A special thanks to Bubba for helping the Fat Irish Bastard out.