A View from the Zoo: Thoughts on Arizona vs NAU

For those who are new to Arizona Desert Swarm, as well as returning readers, I welcome you to another season of Arizona Wildcat sports and we at Arizona Desert Swarm appreciate your support.  Personally, I am a sophomore at Arizona, and an avid member of the ZonaZoo.  My hope is I am able to give readers an opinion, or view, of what is happening on the field or court, from just feet away from the action. 

Now onto the game which made reading a textbook seem enjoyable. 

Thank gosh that game is over.  For 20 minutes the crowd was into the game, but then the first game excitement wore off and people realized it was only a game versus Northern Arizona University.

Even though tonight’s game was against NAU, it was still great to be back in Arizona Stadium and shedding the last moments of last year’s home finale.  (If you had forgotten them, I am sorry I brought it up.)  But enough of last year, let’s put that in the rearview mirror and look to the 2011 college football season.   Tonight’s game was by no means a ‘statement game,’ but a ‘measuring stick’ game.  A 41-10 victory always looks good.  But the same can be said for a Varsity team killing a freshman team in high school.   

Arizona came into this game with more injuries than an emergency room as well as lingering questions on how special teams would hold up.   Luckily the aforementioned situation did not get any worse, as the injury bug seemed to have, for me moment at least, perished in the scorching summer heat.  However, I must sadly report, special teams is still an ‘I can’t watch, but I can’t help it,’ weekend drama. 

I can assure you 100%; special teams were on the minds of every person in the ‘Zoo.’  On the first extra-point attempt, there were murmurs about if the kick would go in.  This was Jaime Salazar’s first game as a Wildcat and he stayed true to what the country has learned about UofA kickers; perfect kicking games don’t happen much.  Salazar missed a field goal as well as an extra point at the end of the third quarter, which prompted Stoops to call on Alex Zendejas for the rest of the game.  

Remember how I reminded you earlier about last year’s game?  Well, the fans remaining at the game needed no such reminding.  As Zendejas ran onto the field to kick the PAT after the last touchdown, booing ensued; if I delved into what they actually said, let’s just I’d be getting a call from my editor. 

As this team heads to Stillwater, to battle the Cowboys of Oklahoma State, UA has three things they need to do.  The first and most important is do NOT repeat last year’s game.  It was awful and a repeat would not look good heading into a matchup versus Stanford. 

The second area that needs to be improved upon is the special teams.  How many times do games come down to the wire only to be decided by a FG or botched punt or kick?  I think the New England Patriots would attest to how important special teams were to their championship runs.  

The last is the running game.  The only reason they were not listed as number two is due to the fact we have a really good passing attack and sometimes running the ball is overrated.  Arizona rushed for only 75 yards against an NAU team, which it takes no rocket scientist to point out, isn’t the biggest or most athletic team in the world.

If Arizona does not have a repeat of number one and number two performs like a normal D-I team, I’ll be happier than all get out.  However, with how Arizona played, especially in the first half, I’m fearful of what will happen next week.  That being said, if the Wildcats bring their ‘A game,’ or even ‘B+,’ it will definitely be a thriller to watch. 

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