Here we are. 3-2. I don't like it, but I am proud of the way we have played. Going into Iowa City, Corvallis, and Seattle and competing in every single game is fun to watch. For those of us who have been following the Cats this year, we realize how close we really are to 4-1 and a smidge further from being 5-0. Our guys are really gelling out there on the field and once it all comes together, Arizona is going to be a tough football team to beat.
FYI, apparently my comcast all access doesn't have a replay for the Arizona vs. Washington game. I have been relegated to highlights and "the miraculous reception" as my cornerstones for the game. Needless to say, I am not going to be grading the cats this week. WEAK, I KNOW.
The Stanford Cardinal (Am I the only one who is annoyed by the lack of the s?) head into Tucson this week coming off of a 28-38 loss at Oregon State last week. Jacquizz Rogers rushed for 189 yards for the Beavers and Stanford scored late to make it respectable. Stanford is 4-2 this year beating Washington State, San Jose State, Washington, and UCLA while falling to Wake Forest and Oregon State. Andrew Luck leads the Cardinal at QB this year and he is 76-133 on the year for 57.1%. He has hit for 6 TD and 2 interceptions on the year. Needless to say, the Cardinal will not (and should not) beat the Cats through the air.
The Cardinal rushing attack is led by Toby Gerhart who already has 140 rushes in 6 games. He is averaging 5.3 yards per carry and is tough one to bring down. The Cats defensive line is going to have to have a huge game to shut down the rushing attack from the Cardinal. The linebackers absolutely need to step it up. Too many underneath dumps by Locker and not enough tackles at the line of scrimmage bring this group to be our lowly performers for 2 games in a row.
Keys to the Game:
- Shut down the run. Easier said than done. Ask Washington. Stanford dominates the line of scrimmage and their backs will hurt you in a heartbeat. Our interior linemen will need to step it up on Saturday. I'm still hoping for some new looks from Stoops and maybe some more substitutions along the way to keep the guys healthy. Mitchell, Horton, and Mikaele will be the keys to winning this game.
- Establishing our running game. Grigs, Antolin, and Nwoko need to get busy. I love Dykes. I absolutely think that defending our passing game is a nightmare for defensive coordinators. You know what would make them lose more sleep? Having a running game. Stanford's defense is their weak point and we should not have any problems putting points up on the board. I would like to see Chris Gronkowski in the I formation this weekend and I don't care who is behind him. Putting all of the offense on Foles' shoulders is not how this should be working.
Special Teams. Our kickoff coverage has got to get better. Giving Locker the ball on his own 40 yard line last week allowed Washington to score a TD in less than 2 minutes, putting them back in the game. I don't know if we need a new kicker or some new guys streaking down the field but I will be looking for improvement here.