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Another Dangerous Top 10 Opponent for the Wildcats

Posted By Matthew Hesse On Sep 23 2011 @ 1:09 am In Arizona,Pac-10 | No Comments

The Arizona Wildcats are licking their wounds AGAIN this week.  Another week another crushing defeat by a Top 25 team.  This will be the third Top 10 opponent in 3 weeks. First it was the slaughter at Oklahoma State.  This past week, it was at home against Stanford.  Now, the Wildcats will face off against home against Pac-12 favorite Oregon.

Sure, they struggled against LSU and only hold a 2-1 record.  Sure, LaMichael James has not had a Heisman worthy season.  However, he has not needed to as QB Darron Thomas has stacked up 741 yards and 10 TD’s.  9 of those TD’s have been in the past two games.  The Ducks have a high flying passing attack and the very thing that Andrew Luck exposed last week was a thin Arizona secondary.  If Oregon can execute it will be a very long day for Arizona.

The one bright spot for Arizona is their passing offense.  They have been lights out.  Nick Foles is 3rd in the nation for yards.  The only problem is his pass protection.  In last week’s game against Stanford, Nick Foles was almost perfect, only throwing 2 incompletions in the first half.  However, that faulty pass protection finally broke down in the second half.  Nick Foles was sacked five times against Stanford.

If Arizona wants to stay competitive they need to keep their defense fresh by staying on the field offensively.  They must balance their offense attack with rushing.  Which has only averaged 55 yards per game and ranked 116th in the nation.  Once again that offensive line must find a way to hold up.  Getting multiple looks from their running backs will be key along with their high-powered passing attack.

Finally, special teams have been Arizona’s Achilles’ heel.  No matter who the kicker is no field goal is a guarantee.  In fact, Arizona is better off going for it on every 4th down.

Oregon is favored by 16 points and it could be even worse than that if Oregon gets on a roll.

Final Prediction:  Arizona 21 Oregon 45

Other news:  The Pac-12 decided against expanding into the Pac-16 with Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State.  This is probably the best news head coach Mike Stoops has received all season.  Adding those 4 teams would make for a difficult season scheduling wise.  The Pac-12 is competitive as it is, getting those Big-12 teams would make the Pac-16 possibly the toughest in the nation.  Perhaps in a few years Arizona will be ready for that competition but not next season.

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