Hi everybody! Welcome to the latest in our weekly series of football chats.The 22nd-ranked Arizona Wildcats will travel to Eugene, Ore., this weekend for a nationally televised game against the third-ranked Ducks. Both teams are undefeated — for now. Lots of excitement building for the game, so let's get started:
The X factor is definitely Arizona's 3-3-5 defense; it's funky enough that it might confuse Marcus Mariota, Oregon's redshirt freshman quarterback. If the Ducks can figure out Arizona's defense, however, it could be a long night. Oregon is VERY fast, and the Wildcats, well, aren't.
Too soon to tell: I think Arizona would need some help (ie, teams ranked above them would have to lose) to stay in the top-25.
Nope. This is what he does, and he's sticking with it. Long-term, I think you'll see that the Wildcats will be better off for running a funky scheme.
I think Arizona needs to follow the blueprint it set during this month's upset win over Oklahoma State: Force turnovers, turn picks into points and hope to get a little lucky. It's happened once; maybe it can happen again.
No. Rodriguez adds walk-ons typically at the end of semesters/school years. Jared Tevis and Blake Brady were given full-rides at the end of the last school year (May); expect Tevin Hood, a nose tackle who they love, to receive similar consideration in December.
I think Scott will be good for points and yards — he's proven over the first three games that he knows this offense — but he may not continue his turnover-free ways. Secondly, I think it's pretty tough for an Arizona player to receive legitimate Heisman hype. Scott would need to lead the Wildcats to a BCS-type bowl — or a Rose Bowl— to get any traction. Remember, the award often goes to the best player on the best team, which is silly.
A glass half-full guy. Like it.
Maybe. I wouldn't be surprised to see RR mentioned for the Arkansas job regardless of how Arizona plays. It's a good job that can pay well.
Yes and no. I think the Ducks have enough talent to win all their home games and go to the postseason. Do we know if they're Rose-Bowl-winning, national-championship-contending studs yet? No. But I'm guessing that, yes, they are.
Re-evaluating. I like Ndiaye a lot, but he's super-raw as a player — he played less than one season at San Diego's Hoover High School. He's going to be a work in progress for most of his career: But if he can figure it out? Wow. Guy is one of the most physically imposing humans I've ever seen.
I think they could, sure. But they're going to need to follow the OSU blueprint, minus the 14-0 deficit: Score on more than half their possessions, force multiple turnovers and hope for help.
My guess? Yes, unless the Wildcats and Ducks can force turnovers.
Arizona's tackling has impressed me so far this season, but there's a difference between the talent they faced against Toledo and South Carolina State — and, heck, even against OSU — and the players they're going to see this weekend. Like Rich Rodriguez said this week, the Wildcats first have to catch 'em, then they have to bring them down. Easier said than done.
No. It'd be better to win.
I think the Wildcats are ahead of schedule and surpassing Rich Rodriguez's meager expectations. But television appearances and talks with Van Smack don't make you relevant; winning does. I'll agree that Arizona's back with the big boys when they finish with a winning season.
The Wildcats practice tackling and stripping the ball every day in practice, so yes. The key, to me, is how they're going to gameplan De'Anthony Thomas. Guy's a stud.
Too soon to speculate. Arizona wouldn't be the first, or the last, to lose big at Oregon. IMO, "death spirals" typically happen when teams lose games they're supposed to win: last year's loss at Oregon State messed with the Wildcats' season.
I'm familiar with some of the accusations, sure, but I don't know enough to speculate as to whether they're in trouble — or how much trouble they could be in. Chip Kelly's flirtation with the NFL reminded me a lot of Pete Carroll's dash to the Seahawks a few years back. Makes me wonder if something's up.
No. Too soon to label anything "biggest" ever. If Arizona's still undefeated when USC comes to town next month, then, yes, that could be in the conversation.
Confident enough. Remember, he doesn't have the three years of trauma on his mind like fans do. He wasn't here. I think the job is Bonano's to lose, and he'll have to kick a LOT worse than he has been to lose it.
Agree on your second point. I think the defense can, potentially, win the Wildcats a few games down the road. It's just different (some say gimmicky) enough to confuse teams that don't prepare properly.