The problem with many of the posts I have seen this week in regards to UCLA's poor outing in Tucson is none of the bloggers are giving Arizona any credit for the beatdown they put on us. If I'm not mistaken, everybody seems to be saying that Arizona is a pathetic 2-6 squad that should've been blown out.
If you actually examine the Arizona Wildcats, they are anything but pathetic and their record could easily have been 6-2 instead of 2-6 going into the game. Many of Arizona's losses have been by very close margins. They have very good defense, the product of Mike Stoops, an import from perennial powerhouse Oklahoma. Their offense was inept up until a few weeks ago when Stoops got frustrated with Kovalcheck and decided to burn Willie Tuitama's redshirt and name him as starter. Since this decision, Arizona has not looked back.
Arizona gave USC a very hard time at the Coliseum and the only reason the Wildcats lost was because Tuitama was still on redshirt status. If Stoops had played Tuitama in that game, USC would not be talking about a 3-pete right now.
So even though we lost to a 2-6 squad, we lost to a really good team that has a good coach, good defense, and what looks to be lights-out offense. Tell me what team in the Pac 10 can play offense AND defense. Even the Trojans are struggling on defense. I dare USC to play Arizona again with Tuitama as the Wildcats' starting quarterback. I'll put my money on Arizona.
Arizona will be a power to reckon with in the Pac 10, and perhaps the nation, next year. You can't really have a better coach than Mike Stoops who really emphasizes defense which has shown on the field. And they have now stumbled upon the missing key ingredient to be successful in the Pac 10, a star studded quarterback. With how Willie Tuitama has played so far, I can see him being the second coming of Matt Lionheart.
Our loss to Arizona on Saturday could be the start of a very bad losing streak in the UCLA-Arizona series. USC was lucky to get out alive. We, on the other hand, were not as fortunate.