Hi everybody! The Arizona Wildcats face their toughest challenge of the season Saturday, when USC comes to town for a 12:30 p.m. game. The UA (4-3 overall, 1-3 Pac-12) thumped Washington a week ago, and seems to be playing better of late. Fire away with questions, and I'll do my best to answer them in the next hour or so.
Too soon to tell: I think ASU's actually playing well, and Oregon has made better teams look worse. Truth is, I think Arizona and ASU are about the same, talent-wise. The Devils may finish with 1 or 2 more wins. (Also, Paul, if you're really in Kabul, that's amazing; new record for furthest-away chatter).
Great question, and something we — and I'm sure, you and your friends — have been talking about a lot lately. There's some serious fan apathy in Tucson right now, for a myriad of reasons. My theory is this: Arizona fans no longer equate "high-scoring" with good, especially since last year's team featured a handful of record-breakers and NFL draft picks and still went 4-8. Coach Rich Rodriguez is going to have to win fans over with defense, and isn't that weird? We'll see how Saturday shakes out: If Arizona can't pack the house for a noon game on a gorgeous October day against the league's premier team, there are issues.
I think one — or both — will, yes.
If I were USC, I'd play for ball-control on offense and hope to get Arizona chasing a lead early. There's no reason why the Trojans shouldn't just pound the ball on offense, huddle, and try to keep Matt Scott on the sidelines.
Still questionable. I think he'll play. (He dressed-out last week but didn't see the field).
I think, "Coach", it depends on how you attack the Wildcats' D. I can't see Arizona stopping (or even slowing) USC's run game. If the Trojans try to pass to the outside all day, like Washington did last week, the Wildcats will have a real chance.
Marqise Lee and Robert Woods are NOT overrated — but, if we're looking for a silver lining here — they're not particularly big or physical either. That's good for Arizona's small secondary; if I were Arizona, I'd rather face speedy receivers than hulking tight ends (like Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Stanford's Levine Toilolo) any day.
Huge recruiting weekend: 25 kids will be in attendance, including a few big names. I'll write more about that as the weekend goes on.
Probably not, but wouldn't that be fun? The Bill Bedenbaugh Bowl.
It's possible, sure, that the Trojans could play flat. But I wouldn't bet on it: Stanford took away any hope of USC running the table; I don't think they're going to sleep on another game.
Saturday's game will be broadcast live, most places, on ABC. Check your listings to see if it's "mirrored" — shown on ESPN or ESPN2 instead — in your market.
Writing about that for later in the week, and yes. Rodriguez said they'll keep an eye on it, but frank-ly (see what I did there?), it's really hard to learn (and track) faces. Trojans don't have names on the backs of their jerseys, making all of it sorta tough to track. Also, want to know why people dislike Lane Kiffin? He pulled that stunt in a rout over Colorado.
I don't think so. The two sides still seem pretty far away.
Uhhh … how about 7? Three turnovers, and four forced punts.
Holding USC to 19 points? Wow.
I think they're going to give him a little space at the line and hope he doesn't burn them deep.
No, nobody's offense is better than Oregon's. Consider USC sort of an Oregon-Stanford mix: The Trojans are big and strong, like the Cardinal, and fast at all the skill positions like Oregon.
Ted Miller's been all over that. I remember watching the game on TV, back in the Prime Ticket days. Man, Scott ran a bunch.
Arizona's injury report won't be released until later today, but I'd expect Jared Tevis, Kyle Quinn and Trace Biskin to try to play. Johnny Jackson is DEFINITELY playing.
Not sure the west coast, which is where most Arizona grads/fans live, would take to 10 a.m. football. (Also, for half the season, 10 a.m. Tucson games would start at 9 a.m. in the big West Coast TV markets). While I understand fans' frustrations — and I have my own, as someone who works on deadline — I sorta like night football in Tucson. We've been doing it for years; why the complaints all of a sudden?
Only for third downs. Cool, or annoying? I've heard people say both.