It's painfully obvious that this Arizona Wildcats football team is quite one-dimensional on the offensive side of the ball. While it's also obvious that there are problems across the board, one needed fix comes in how the Wildcats run the ball.
Senior Keola Antolin isn't a bad player, but he's not the dynamic threat to pick up even three yards should the fresh-faced offensive line struggle. In the open field, he is a playmaker, but last time I checked, coming out of the backfield isn't "open."
Should Arizona give freshman playmaker Ka'Deem Carey more of a look?The feeling here is that this should happen. While it was only in garbage minutes, Carey ran the ball against Oklahoma State six times for 19 yards, a 3.2 average that bested Antolin's 1.7 yards-per-carry. Carey's dynamic nature -- he's blazing fast and while he is listed at 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, the dude can take a hit -- makes him a tempting option that could help out the Wildcats and negate the offensive line's youth.
Why is it imperative the Wildcats find some juice on the ground (and soon)?
As we've seen time and time again these past two seasons, quarterback Nick Foles can throw the hell out of bubble screens, the idea being that a 4-yard pass is similar to a run. But is it? For one, it doesn't pressure the opposing defensive line and challenge their conditioning as the game wears on. Secondly, it means defensive backs on the other team can sit back, give up the screen and nothing more.
How many times did those bubble screen lead to big-time plays? None. Not that Arizona doesn't have athletes to do so either.
Defenses aren't in much need to cover the middle of the field against the Wildcats. Foles likely doesn't have the option to throw it over the middle -- he either throws the bubble or goes deep -- because defenses aren't playing up in the box, giving him fewer options than he should.
So should the Wildcats find a little run game, force opposing defenses to play up, Foles could start to see daylight behind the linebackers for some 15-to-20 yard gains. Not that going deep with guys like Dan Buckner and Juron Criner is a bad thing.
And hey, the run game will probably help out those bubble screens, too.