If Mike Stoops were still the football coach at Arizona as the Wildcats face a mediocre UCLA squad, I wouldn't be all that excited to watch. I'd expect the same ol', same ol' thing -- mistakes, confusion, poor red zone offense, etc.
Honestly, I'm a little anxious and excited. Why? The Wildcats are 1-5, and they could have asked for the check and called it a season. But there's something telling me we're going to see something happen tonight that's something we haven't seen this year, and I don't mean a win against an FBS opponent.
I think we're going to see the gloves come off. The signs?
Kish has kept all the players away from the media this week. Only Nick Foles and Trevin Wade spoke to the media (once) following Stoops' firing. And then there was hat day. Is it wrong to believe that Kish is keeping quiet because this team's going to play a lot differently than it has under Stoops? John Bonano being named the FG and PAT kicker is a start in the right direction, too.
The team has refocused on playing football for the sake of. Whereas Stoops was all business, the Wildcats have just want to toss the old pigskin around.
The Bruins have talent, there's no doubt about it. But they're banged up. I've admittedly held a negative opinion of Neuheisel for a while, and I think he's on the verge of being Stooped. So yeah, I think Arizona has a good chance to win.
Anyway, here's what I'm hoping to see from Arizona.Wildcats play like they DGAF
I want to see some fire. I want to see more emotion. I loved Adam Hall's borderline craziness in the Oregon State loss. He's likely out for the year with a knee injury, but all I want to see is for the Arizona defense to fly around and knock some heads off (in a sportsmanlike way, of course).
Kish is all about the fun. He had his coaches participate in a hat day, something a little silly-sounding, but a hint that he's all about this team enjoying the sport rather than worrying about their coach chewing their head's off. Not that they hated Stoops for doing so, but at some point that mindset could have players overthinking or second-guessing on the field. On defense, I believe it showed.
Coaches pull out the trick plays
I want Foles to throw a bomb on the first play from scrimmage. I want to see a hook and ladder. I want a kick-off return to include a reverse hand-off.
Look, the vanilla we've seen all year isn't working. There's a fine line between getting cute and pulling off trick plays, but the Wildcats have nothing to lose. Making it fun for the players makes it fun for the viewers too, Mr. Kish.