Proving time for Arizona

The Arizona Wildcats will face quite the tough test when they travel to Autzen Stadium to take on the Oregon Ducks. Implementing two similar offenses, fireworks are sure to fly in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday night.

On Saturday, September 22, the Arizona Wildcats (3-0; 0-0 Away) will have their toughest test of the season when they face the high flying Oregon Ducks (3-0; 3-0 Home).

The Wildcats will come into this contest ranked 22nd in the nation (AP Poll) after starting their season with three home victories, including an upset of then-number 18 Oklahoma State. While they did have a tough go of it in their first contest against Toledo (winning 24-17 in overtime), the Wildcats have had quite the offensive resurgence as they have put up 115 points in their past two contests.

Arizona comes into this game much better off than many expected them to be at this point, yet the Wildcats still know that they will have to play near perfect football to overcome the Oregon Ducks at the always rowdy Autzen Stadium.

"It's one of the most hostile environments in college football and the crowd is into it," said Arizona Head Coach Rich Rodriguez during his weekly press conference on the atmosphere of Autzen Stadium. "It's going to be loud."

These words were also echoed by Senior offensive lineman Trace Biskin and quarterback Matt Scott.

"Every time we go up there, it is always an experience," said Biskin on Autzen Stadium. "It's really loud and really hectic."

Scott also reverberated that noise would be a big issue when the Wildcats travel to Eugene on Saturday.

"I just remember it being very loud up there, and it's a great atmosphere. The crowd plays a huge factor, so it's going to be a great game."

So far, without a crowd screaming at the top of their lungs on every down, first-year starting quarterback Matt Scott has done nothing but impress. A senior who took his redshirt year in 2011, Scott has proven he can run Rich Rodriguez's spread offense as he completed 88 of 123 passes for 995 yards, seven touchdowns, and one interception while also rushing for 190 yards and two touchdowns on 42 attempts.

"They have a good defense," said Scott on Oregon's defense. "This offense plays hard and tough as well...the past three games, our playmakers have been coming through. This offense is capable of beating them."

A quarterback that exudes confidence, Scott also feels like the Wildcats have something to prove.

"Oregon is a top-five team," said Scott. "We're coming off a strong week, and we want to show them that we are capable of beating them."

The aforementioned Trace Biskin is another player who believes the Wildcats can more than match an impressive Oregon defense that flies to the ball.

"Our film of them shows us that they move around really fast," said Biskin. "If we play physical and move around with them then we can defeat their defense."

Though there are a few uncertainties surrounding this game, one thing that can be guaranteed is that this week's contest between the Oregon Ducks and Arizona Wildcats will feature two spread offenses that are each in their own way, unique.

"I've said it many times, if you see one spread, another spread can be completely different," said Head Coach Rich Rodriguez. "In the spread, there can be two different versions of the spread."

Rodriguez made sure to note that there are some similarities between the Ducks and Wildcats.

"I don't think it would be way off (to say they are similar)," said Rodriguez. "It would be closer to a lot of other comparisons in the spread."

With such similar offenses, Rodriguez is sure to have a plan as to how to go approach Oregon from a defensive standpoint.

"The key, to me, is you have fast guys in the open field so you can get more than one guy to (the player with the ball)," said Rodgriguez on how to stop Oregon's offense. "...tackling in the open field is going to be a big issue. We have to make sure we get guys there."

One of the key players that the Wildcats will have to stop if they want to have a chance at beating the Ducks will be Oregon backup running back and wide receiver, De'Anthony Thomas.

"He is one of the most explosive college players," said Rodriguez on Thomas. "I mean, there's no one catching him. They'll hand him the ball, they'll throw it to him, and he'll return kicks and punts. I just wish he wasn't in the Pac-12."

The Arizona Wildcats will face the Oregon Ducks on September 22nd at Autzen Stadium.


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