Hi everybody. Welcome to our latest in a series of weekly chats. This week, the Arizona Wildcats (3-1 overall, 0-1 Pac-12) take on 18th-ranked Oregon State at Arizona Stadium. Should be an interesting battle of styles and personnel. Let's get started!
The spread — whether its the Air Raid-derived version that Arizona ran in past years — or the read-option/lead-option attack that Rich Rodriguez brought to Tucson this year — tends to struggle more than most schemes inside the red zone. Much of it has to do with personnel, and the fact that an under-center, power-run game typically works best inside the, say, 5 yard line. It's a good news-bad news situation for the Wildcats: They have a bigger, more powerful back in Taimi Tutogi, but they're so thin on the defensive line that Tutogi's playing more defense than offense. Expect a few wrinkles this week; but until Arizona can establish more of a power-run game, some of the red zone issues are going to persist.
No. It's good to have an AD who's mentioned when high-profile, national-level jobs open. That said, I don't see Byrne going to Lincoln: His father, Bill, was the AD there for 10 years. My guess is Byrne enjoys forging his own path. But we'll see.
Pooch kicks and quick-kicks don't need to be pretty to work — remember Matt Scott's excellent punt in Week 1? (That's probably the nicest thing I can say about those). Rodriguez has Arizona ahead of schedule at 3-1; they'll finish better than 4-8. If Arizona can make a bowl game, it's a successful season.
Nope! So many good ones, it's hard to pick my faves.
All things being equal, RM, I think Arizona needs a healthy Scott more than OSU needs a healthy Mannion. The running game is such a critical part of Arizona's offense that the Wildcats can't afford a gimpy QB. It certainly limited them a week ago, especially in the end zone.
Scott showed me the bruise Monday, said he was OK. From what I've seen after practices, he's moving around OK. My guess is he plays.
Scott was all over the place with his throws a week ago — not just high. So far, he's been fairly accurate. I think Arizona should throw more fades/jump balls to Buckner and Hill; the tall receivers have been the Wildcats' best receiving options so far this season.
Great question. The last time Scott struggled this badly on the road, at Iowa in 2009, he lost his job. While there's no danger of that happening this week, Scott must play sharper — and with better confidence — for the Wildcats to have a chance. The offense is too reliant on the quarterback for him to be anything but ready to go.
They did. But Scott's numbers Saturday were badd.
Rodriguez has been emphasizing the run in practice, but it's hard to say what — if anything - they'll do. I liked the two-back look with Carey and Jenkins a week ago; next, I'd like to see Arizona incorporate its bigger receivers/tight ends a little more. Could be a nice wrinkle.
Good question. I'd like to think so: They've played fairly well so far this season, and Oregon has made far better teams look worse.
Rankings and media attention are all hype — just like they were when Arizona played at Oregon at week ago. IMHO? Oregon State is a bad matchup for the Wildcats because of the way they play and the schemes they run, not their rankings. Mike Riley is as good of an in-game coach as there is in college football. That should be the source of your concern.
See below comment re: Riley. His schemes, the way he uses personnel, etc., always gave the Beavers an edge against Mike Stoops-coached Arizona teams. It's the same reason the Wildcats always struggled against Harbaugh and Stanford, and Carroll's USC teams. Pro-style offenses always drove the Wildcats nuts.
WAY too soon to tell. As of today, I think Arizona's firmly in the middle of the league, along with Arizona State, Utah, UCLA, Washington, Oregon State and Cal. I think we can all agree that Oregon, Stanford and USC are a cut above, and that Wazzu and Colorado are bringing up the bottom. No?
Good question. Coaches like the little bit of depth that they're developing on the D-line, and the linebackers are better than most would have guessed at the start of the season. Don't let Mannion's passing yards against UCLA fool you, however: The Beavers are a balanced, run-and-play-action team: Arizona needs to slow that part of their game down to win.
Ha! Doubt it! But, then again, I never thought I'd see an Arizona team wearing copper helmets.
Credit the Ducks, who were a lot faster/more physical than I (or anybody, really) though they'd be. The inside running game is going to be a struggle this week and next, because of OSU and Stanford's size. I wouldn't be surprised to see more sweeps, reversres to the outside.
We'll get the official injury report today. I haven't seen/heard of anything major.
None taken! (I think the whole idea's kinda silly). Arizona will wear its usual home uniforms. The seniors, who pick the weekly gear, sound like they want to wear navy tops and navy pants.
Probably a little bit of both. If Scott's healthy (and I think he is), he'll continue to run; the offense is too reliant on a QB run game to do anything else. But, like I said earlier this chat, I wouldn't be surprised to see different personnel packages and more outside runs/sweeps against a tough Beavers front.