No Bubba again this week but this time it is by design. While Bubba is in rehab for his wretched and rampant alcohol abuse, he still has access to a computer and could add his two cents to the Dozen but not this week. There are many things that the Fat Irish Bastard (FIB) wants to see unfold this week when the Cats take the turf at Arizona Stadium. The FIB has even decided to throw on an extra tidbit at the end and it is the most important of the bunch.
1- FIB wants to see Arizona quarterback Willie Tuitama NOT take a needless sack this week. The junior signal caller has gotten consistently better with his pocket awareness and has started to throw the ball away more when feeling the pressure but he still needs to be better. Tuitama has started to show off a little of his running ability, which makes everyone cringe, but he needs to just go through his reads and get rid of the ball. His timing and feel have gotten better but he needs to NOT take a sack this week when throwing the ball away is an option.
2- FIB wants to see Spencer Larsen, Antoine Cason, Jason Parker, Yaniv Barnett, Dominic Patrick, Pete Graniello, Chris Jennings, Anthony Johnson, Lionel Dotson, Dane Krogstad and yes, even Louis Holmes, go out winners. The seniors have given there all, at least most of them, in their time in Tucson and it would be great to see them leave Arizona Stadium winners one last time. Obviously getting the win would be huge for bowl hopes and in bringing national attention to the program by beating the second ranked team in the country, but I would rather see them go out winners with smiles on their faces. They have given a lot to the building process in Tucson and they deserve it.
3- FIB really wants to see a lot of trick plays Thursday night. The Oregon defense is good but not great and they have a tendency to over pursue so misdirection plays and just old school ‘sand lot' plays should be shown. The Cats have not run too many trick plays this year and it is the perfect time to break them out. Arizona has shown well in running reverses and even a double reverse here and there but getting even more creative will be fun to see and should work against the Oregon defense. Go Boise State and have some wild fun.
4- FIB wants to see the Arizona defense give up under 150 yards rushing to the Ducks. The past three years the Cats have played the Ducks well, especially last season when they went to Eugene and throttled Oregon at Autzen Stadium. For whatever reason the Cats have really struggled to stop the Washington version of the QB read offense but they have done very well against the Oregon version. It all may depend on the Wildcat defensive ends. The UA ends have to stay disciplined and maintain their contain on the edges.
5- FIB wants to see the Arizona offense continue to progress. The Wildcat air attack has really spread the ball around well this year and they need to continue to do so. Rob Gronkowski can really eat up the Duck linebackers in the middle of the field and the Cats should be able to stretch the field just as much against Oregon as they did against Washington. The Duck secondary is better than Washington's but they take more chances than the Huskies and they are still very beatable on the outside. The Cats MUST run the ball effectively to keep the Oregon defense off balance and they need to be able to run the ball downhill. The Arizona version of the spread has really improved from day one to now and that progress should continue against a susceptible Oregon defense.
6- FIB wants to see better coverage on special teams this week. The Wildcat coverage teams have been solid all year but the Washington Huskies were able to return some kicks and gain field position too easily. Jason Bondzio and Keenyn Crier have done their jobs extremely well all year long and the Wildcats need to win the special teams battle this week. You can expect the two kicking specialists to continue to do their jobs so the coverage units will be the key for the Cats to win the field position battle.
7- FIB wants to see Louis Holmes live up to his hype. Even if it is for just this one game Holmes needs to step up and earn the five stars he came in with. Louis needs to step up his play and make his final home game a very memorable one; if not for the program then he needs to do it for himself. With his mediocre two seasons in Tucson Holmes has seen his draft status deteriorate pretty drastically so if he has dreams of making millions immediately after he leaves Arizona he needs to have a great final two games and it all starts with Oregon. If he listens to his coaches and fellow ends and plays disciplined football he can do just that. He played great against the Ducks last year and he needs a repeat performance this week.
8- FIB wants, nay NEEDS, to see a packed house for the Oregon game. There are some special seniors playing their final home game and the it is a rare occasion to see U of A Football on a Thursday night in Tucson. The stands need to be packed and louder than ever. FIB doesn't care if the game is on ESPN and I don't care if it is a school night, there needs to be 56K plus fans in the seats and they need to be louder and rowdier than they have ever been. The team needs the fan support and the outgoing seniors deserve to play their final home game in front of a packed house. The 'Zona Zoo is always loud and rowdy but the rest of the crowd needs to follow suit.
9- FIB needs to see everyone in the stands honor their country in the right way. With Veteran's Day being on Monday everyone, regardless of their politics or beliefs, needs to stand and honor the flag that so many men and women have fought and died for through the years. The United States Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard have provided the very opportunity for everyone to gather at events like U of A football games and everyone needs to show the respect that those men and women so sorely deserve and demand. Everyone needs to be on their feet and respect what others have given them.
10- FIB wants to see the ‘Zona Zoo really show the recruits that are in town some love. The Zoo always does a good job but this week it needs to be the best it has been yet. Aaron Tipoti, Andrew Mitchell, Phillip Garcia, Mike Diaz, Juron Criner, Solomon Koehler and Alameda Ta'amu need to be shown some serious love. If the Cats do their part on the field then it could be an amazing recruiting weekend for the program and the Zoo needs to do their part yet again.
11- FIB wants to see a well officiated game. I know it is impossible because this is still the Pac-10 and the officiating is still beyond pitiful but it would sure be nice to see a well officiated game this week. The only thing better than watching the Cats win a well officiated game this week would be to see Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen announce his retirement during the halftime festivities of the game that is being well officiated and won by the Cats.
12- FIB wants to see no stupid mistakes by the Wildcats this week. At this point in the season there should be no false starts, no bad timeouts, no hesitation on decision making by the coaches and no dropped balls. Ten games into the season the Cats need to go an entire game without making one of these key stupid mistakes that they have made week in and week out, win or lose. The mistakes have been cut down as the year has gone on but there cannot be any "we beat ourselves again" talk after the game. I know this is college and I know everyone makes mistakes but the kind of boneheaded mistakes that are easy to correct need to once and for all be corrected.
13- FIB wants to see a drunk and chubby former Master Chief in the United States Navy. ‘Massa Chief', as he is known on our message boards, is going to be in town, FINALLY, for a game and he will be at the Flying Wilbur Tailgate before the game. As is his custom, the Massa Chief will have a cigar in hand and the beer will be flowing so the chubby Mexican Navy man should have no problem having fun and getting lit up this week.
BONUS NUMBER 14- FIB needs to see the Flying Wilbur Tailgate packed and I demand that the Kitty, that little red box that helps pay for the tailgates, well fed. The Kitty hasn't done too badly this year but more people need to step up and the Kitty needs to be overflowing with green paper. Just think of it this way, Oregon will be wearing green and you should not want anything green on your person when you go into the Stadium for the game. So ditch everything green and leave all your little green papers with the Kitty. The Flying Wilbur crew does a hell of a job every week and this is the best way for everyone to show their appreciation. FEED THE KITTY!
Mahalo Y'all, Bear Down and BEAT THOSE DUCKS!