Things are simply not in Arizona's favor.
First, there's the opponent itself. The Stanford Cardinal and their pro-style offense use a 300-poundish offensive line to push around teams, especially small ones like the Wildcats. Running back Stepfan Taylor will surely be the biggest weapon against Rich Rodriguez's team.
"I've told y'all how to eat an elephant: One bite at a time, right?" Rodriguez quipped. "We might be like a bunch of fire ants or something, jumping all over those guys. It may take five or six of 'em.
"The first guy to get there, you hit him as hard as you can, hold on for dear life and hope the cavalry comes to help you out."
Now, let's talk about context. Stanford is coming off its first loss of the year. Last Thursday, the then-No. 8 team in the land fell 17-13 to the Washington Huskies on the road. Stanford put up just 235 total yards. That's given time for the Cardinal to stew, and they're likely itching to find themselves redemption.
They'll get that shot against the Wildcats at home, where the Cardinal has won 16 of the last 17 contents. Game time is set for noon Pacific Time, earlier than UA has played all year.
Oh, and to make matters worse, it's homecoming. The usually lackluster crowd in Palo Alto, Calif., is expected to sell out
With the Thursday loss, the team was already back to practice before Arizona had kicked off its 38-35 loss to the Beavers. Shaw told the San Jose Mercury News it was back to work.
"I got reports from the guys that they were fired up, jacked up and got after it," he said of the Saturday team run. "These kids bounce back. These players are more resilient than the coaches, more resilient than the media, than fans. We dwell, they don't."
Maybe the Wildcats could take care of the quarterback controversy that might have arisen following Josh Nunes' 18-for-37, 170 yard day against the Huskies that resulted in no touchdowns and an interception. Shaw said there is no quarterback controversy, calling the thought "asinine."
So much for a little something extra weighing on the mind of Stanford's players.
The only thing looking into Arizona's favor might be the speed aspect that will counter the size of the Cardinal.
Said linebacker Shane Skov of playing against the spread offenses like Arizona:
"In general it's a little annoying when teams are going sideline to sideline. It's like basketball on grass. I'd rather be hitting people rather than running around chasing them. But if that's what teams want to do, I got no problems doing it."