TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 09: Wide receiver Markus Wheaton #2 of the Oregon State Beavers runs with the football after a 6 yard reception against the Arizona Wildcats during the college football game at Arizona Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona. The Beavers defeated the Wildcats 29-27. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
I am at a loss as to what happened last night. The offense seemingly put enough points on the board, yet the defense was unable to stop the pass, allowing 393 yards and 2 TDs. The run defense was stout, but that alone will not win a game.
The constant cushion around the Oregon St. receivers had me, and everyone in the stands around me, infuriated all night long. The Arizona secondary is very good. Why were we handicapping them all night by forcing them to play back off of the receivers? Katz was passing well, yes, but many of those passes looked ripe for picking. Unfortunately, our DBs can't pick him off when we are forcing them to play off of the receivers. This in turn gave Katz ample room to scramble when he couldn't find an open man, which wasn't often.
Let us not forget that the offense had a good night, acquiring 541 yards and 27 points. Unfortunately, when your defense is allowing the opposing offense to score at will, you need to have a great night. The offense seemed to take a step forward here, it was the defense that took a step back.
Are the Beaver WRs really that good? Were the defensive coaches playing prevent defense all night? I tend to think the Arizona defensive staff is among the best out there, but I cannot defend the play calling last night. The Oregon St. receivers are good. They are not good enough that our DBs can't play press coverage on them. Would they have been burned a couple of times? Yes, but they certainly would have broken up more passes. And they certainly would have had more opportunities for INTs.
I can only hope that this will be a galvanizing moment for the Wildcats. That they will learn from this, and be better for it. The Rose Bowl is within reach this season, but the road just got a little bumpier. Now, it's win out the remainder of the season, and hope for an OSU loss. Are the Wildcats capable of winning their remaining games? Yes, but then, they were capable of defeating Oregon St.
Only time will tell how the Wildcats will fare in the remainder of the season. Here's hoping they find a way to win the remaining games.