Welcome to our live chat on UA football with reporter Ryan Finley. The chat will begin in a few minutes. You may submit questions at any time. Questions won't appear immediately, but will be posted as Ryan answers them.
You are looking LIVE at our first Arizona Wildcats football chat of the season. Plenty has changed since the last time we all met — Rich Rodriguez was hired as Mike Stoops' full-time replacement, the UA won a College World Series in baseball, and names like JoeTavious Washington and Shadow Williams have become unlikely contributors on the football field. The Wildcats open their season Saturday night against Toledo. Fire away with the questions — we already have quite a few in the queue. Let's get started!
Odds are good, my dear Headley (gotta love the Blazing Saddles reference to kick off the season).This defensive unit is thin, young and probably too slow to run the 3-3-5 "odd stack" defense right off the bat. Stay tuned: You could see a lot of points Saturday night.
Quite possibly. I seem to remember a Middle Tennessee State team in the mid-90s and a few North Texas teams that were hard to watch, but SCSU ranks right up there with The Citadel a year ago as two of the, on paper, least-competitive teams to ever play in Arizona Stadium.
Possibly. Arizona's thin at linebacker, but somewhat deep at safety and defensive back; Marquis Flowers has already moved from Spur to linebacker to make room for Tra'Mayne Bondurant; you might see more shuffling as the season goes on.
Just a guess here: Arizona. Wildcats fans can always look forward to basketball, right?
Great question: I think the pressure's a different kind of pressure than the Wildcats brought in the 4-3. Casteel will blitz his backers and safeties from all sides, while Stoops was typically content bringing one backer up the middle or a safety off the edge every once in a while. I guarantee this defense will blitz more than Stoops' teams did. And while that's exciting, it leaves the defense vulnerable.
It's a transition season, so I'm keeping my expectations low: If Arizona can go 6-6 and play in a bowl game, it will have overachieved. I think Rich Rodriguez needs to be given 5 seasons —aka, the length of his initial contract — to turn things around. Arizona football will not be a quick fix.
He'll back up Ka'Deem Carey and play in certain personnel packages. I like 'DJ' as a player, but his YPC averages are a bit misleading. Many of his runs came late in games and against either tired first-team defenses or backups. I still think Carey's more capable of carrying the load.
See if that link works, Big Shooter.
A 2-for-1 deal; it was the only way the Wildcats would visit Toledo in 2010. And no offense, people of Ohio, I'm not sure they (or I) want to go back anytime soon.
Fair, I guess, since Pac-12 has decided to control revenue stream. I think the Pac-12's "open letter" to fans last night was bush league. No reason to insert the poorest/most passionate people into the equation here. Just get the dela done.
Probably right in the middle, yeah. I'd put what Arizona's doing on par with Oregon State. The Beavers have a nice stadium, giant video board and a pleasant, if understated, look.
Offensively or defensively, I think it's going to be "playing fast" — the team has to play at a breakneck speed for either scheme to work properly. And yes, I think Week 1 is always a major test/eye-opener, regardless of opponent.
No, though Rodriguez has said he wants to play Michigan… eventually. Here's guessing that if UA-UM ever happens (it won't), it'll be in the Big House.
Hey, I have cable! Biggest downside of the Pac-12 Network-DirecTV? Bars. Most establishments have DirecTV or Dish. So if you don't get it at home, and you can't go to a bar to watch it either, you better make friends with cable people. Like me.
Speaking of bars! I'll be on "Happy Hour with Jody Oehler" today, live from Rusty's. Come on out to the West Side and see me talk football from 5:20-5:30 or so.