Given what Stoops troops did to the Bruins last year I don't think we need motivation for this Saturday. Arizona was one of the worst teams in the Pac-10 last year. This year they are not only one of the worst teams in the PAC, but in the country. Here are some highlights of LSU kicking the sh!t out of Mildcats in Baton Rouge. It was a thorough beat down of what looks like a hapless team on both sides of the ball:
Their offense is a joke, and there defense is mediocre. Things are not looking good for Mildcats who are coming off a deflating loss against Huskies (who were of course reenergized by Dorrell's gift in Seattle). Here is the inside slant on Mildcats from Sportsline:
The Wildcats were the surprise pick coming out of fall camp.
Arizona had an up-and-coming quarterback, a solid defense and was entering the third year under coach Mike Stoops.
The quarterback doesn't have much time to throw because there is no such thing as a running game.
Arizona went the second straight game with negative yards rushing. After being held to minus-16 against USC a week earlier, the Wildcats were minus-seven against the Huskies.
The defense, the same unit that held USC to one touchdown until the final minutes of a 20-3 loss, was exploited against Washington quarterback Isaiah Stanback. The Husky signal caller completed 10 straight passes in the second quarter to pile up 244 passing yards, two throwing scores and a 21-3 lead at halftime.
And as for this being Stoops' big year: The Wildcats are 2-3 after flopping in what he said was the "biggest game for the program since I've been here."
As I jave mentioned elsewhere Arizona?s offense basically has been a joke. DeWayne Walker?s defense, which is now number 3 in the country, should have no problem shutting down one of the worst offensive units the country if it wants to live up to the hyper of a top-5 defense. And it sounds like they themselves are expecting a repeat performance of the Stanford perfomance (on defense).
Here are some gory numbers on Arizona?s lousy offense:
Again not much to say here after taking a look at Zona?s offensive stats. Sure they have played a tough team in LSU, but those numbers are god awful. Walker?s defense if it wants to live up to the hype of being number 3 defense in the nation, shouldn?t allow this team to score in double digits. They should be able to shut down the Zona running game, and rough up QB Willie Tuitama, who was sacked 6 times by Washington. Tuitama killed the Bruin defense (well whoever lined up against him pretending to be Bruin defense) last year. But this year he has been totally inconsistent completing 55 percent of his passes. I believe right now he has the worst passing efficieny rating in the Pac-10. His OL is not giving him any protection. So we can expect our DL to have a field day slamming him into the ground getting some revenge for last year's debacle.
As for Arizona?s defense it?s not atrocious unlike it?s offensive unit but is way below average:
|Pass Efficiency Defense
Given those numbers ? the Bruin offense ? should be able to put up some balanced numbers this coming Saturday.
The first thing that jumps out to me is the Arizona rushing defense which is giving up almost 140 yards a ground. Again you?d think this would be a great opportunity for Dorrell and Svoboda to put together a game plan built around pounding an effective running game down throats. Right now we have a running game, which is ranked 29th in the country, gaining about 174 yards a game. We should keep pounding the Zona DL with Markey, who is gaining over 100 yards the game, and then mix in our passing game with effective play actions keeping the Mildcats mediocre defense on its heels. Again emphasizing the running game doesn't mean the Bruins have to become on dimensional on offense. It would be nice if they don't run the ball on first downs over 70 percent (89 out of 124) of the time. Bringing down that ratio to something around 55/45 or even 60/40 against horrible rushing defenses could be nice. It could be worth it to have Ben throw on some running downs, using a short passing game to set him and the offense up on 2nd and short or 3rd and short situations, keeping the opposing defense off-balance.
If the coaches truly mean their words about their offense taking advantage of its learning points and going through its growing process then they should be able to put up some great numbers against a D that hasn?t done much to stop the run or put up an effective pass defense on Saturday. We will be watching.