For the first time in 2017, the Arizona Wildcats hit the road on Friday night when they make the four and a half hour trek down I-10 to take on the UTEP Miners.
UTEP lost at home to Rice last weekend, so the keys to a win for Arizona are pretty straight forward.
1. Who’s your Padres?
This is probably the last time this year that Arizona is far more talented than its opponent, and the Wildcats will need to impose their will on UTEP early to set the tone. Getting out to a big lead early will be crucial, since Friday night games can get weird if the underdog is allowed to hang around for too long.
It’s also the best chance to get revenge on El Paso for turning the Tucson Padres into the Chihuahuas.
2. Getting back on TRAK
After a tough loss like the Houston game, this contest could be seen as therapeutic for many players (and coaches) before heading face first into the Pac-12 schedule with Utah.
This could allow someone like Brandon Dawkins to gain some confidence, much like he did in the Hawaii game last year, leading to a stellar performance against Washington the next week.
I actually think this game is almost exactly like that Hawaii game; it comes on the heels of a game where Arizona struggled, and is right before a big time conference opener. Perfect time for everyone to get back on the horse and feel good about themselves.
3. Banner Health Night
Get out of this game healthy, don’t risk Nick Wilson, and everything will be just peachy in Tucson for next Friday’s game.