For the entire season last year, all we heard about was how the Arizona Wildcats didn’t have a bye week.
Well, here we are, with no football game scheduled for Saturday. It seems to come at the right time, allowing this team to regroup before trying to make a late-season run.
So are we grateful that it comes right now? Here’s our writers’ take on it:
Gabe Encinas: It’s nice because the second half of the season gets much easier for Arizona. There aren’t very many games that you can say Arizona will win, but these are certainly much more winnable games and I wouldn’t be shocked if Arizona can pull off wins against Colorado, Oregon State, or Arizona State. Depending on how healthy Stanford is that could be an interesting matchup as well. I also like the bye week because now I can go home for a weekend.
Drake Horner: Very. When we all looked at the schedule to start the year we saw 2-5 as the worst case scenario. Well, it’s the worst case scenario; Arizona has been riddled with injuries and hasn’t been competitive since Washington. There’s a bye week where Arizona can refocus and get a little healthier. The Wildcats aren’t very good right now, but this half of the schedule has a lot of winnable games. If somehow the Cats can generate an offense, they will have a chance to win. It’s not like they haven’t won games with a defense like this before. Stanford isn’t nearly as scary as they were at the beginning of the season, but there will have to be a passing game to have a chance. Put Nick Wilson in bubble wrap until Stanford please.
David Stevenson: The bye is nice but it won’t fix any problems. Even if Brandon Dawkins comes back, the squad is one hit away from having to resort to a backup tight end under center. Nick Wilson can not be counted on to start, or much less finish, the game. The defense is completely depleted by injuries again this season. It is pretty shocking to see how there is an extreme lack of talent depth this year.
David Potts: Moderately grateful. As David said, I don’t think the bye week will fix much - J.J. Taylor isn’t walking through that door - but it’s nice to have a reprieve from this dreadful season. Maybe the extra week gives the coaching staff some time to look at the tape and fix some of Arizona’s issues (particularly on defense).
Alec Sills-Trausch: It gives the entire program a chance to catch their breath and maybe forget the first half of the season. So I’ll say very grateful. Plus, it means we don’t have to watch them this week.
Brandon Combs: Extremely. You could see that the team was very tired by the end of the USC game, and this week is a welcome reprieve. The injured guys get time to heal and the coaches will be able to refocus their respective groups. After multiple close attempts at getting over the hump, I feel the team was getting worn down. This bye week will do some good for the ‘Cats and might actually get them over the hump and on to some wins.
Ronnie Stoffle: I’m very grateful for this bye week and it’s something that would have been useful last year. I think it’s great for the players to mentally take a break, especially riding this four-game losing streak. This will be an opportunity to clear the mind a bit and rest up for the last five games. I know the 2-5 mark isn’t what everyone was expecting but at least they have been competitive. These last five games are crucial for bowl eligibility which is certainly still a possibility.
Ryan Kelapire: While Rich Rodriguez said he wishes the bye week would’ve been two weeks ago, it still comes at a good time for Arizona. It looks as if Brandon Dawkins will be back in the starting lineup, plus it’s a much needed break — mentally and physically — since the team has dropped four games in a row and has a host of injuries.
I mean, who knows how much better Arizona will look following the bye, but as Rodriguez said following the 48-14 blowout loss to USC: “it’s better late than never.”