After scoring a huge win over Texas Tech, a bye week for the Arizona Football team, could act as a momentum killer for the Cats moving forward.
What a game last Saturday! This game had it all from Khalil Tate exploding for a massive run just like Arizona Football fans had grown accustomed too, to the defense forcing three and outs along with some key turnovers against a high flying Red Raiders offense.
Surely all this momentum can be taken into Saturday’s game. Oh wait, Arizona has a bye week and that may not serve well for the Wildcats as momentum has all but been stalled.
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This bye week for Arizona Football is like a football coach calling a time out to ice the kicker before kicking a field goal, or even basketball coach calling a timeout before two critical free throws. To me, it is a break that kills any time of positive energy and vibes gained up until this point.
After two weeks that had Arizona Football go under the ultimate microscope from its fan base, and maybe had the players and coaches alike taking a look in the mirror. They finally put together back-to-back games that both players, coaches and their fan base can hang their hat on.
For starters, Tate seemed to gain the confidence in his running ability yet again, after torching the Red Raiders’ defense. This was seen as he blew past Texas Tech defense for a vintage type of run that had every Arizona Football fan going crazy. Tate finished the game with 129 yards rushing, along with 185 passing yards to go along with two total touchdowns.
Then there was the running game who took a page or two out of the ‘ground and pound’ style of offense to put the finishing touches on the game! Especially that drive in the fourth quarter where the Cats pounded the ball down the throat of the Red Raider defense? That would surely give any avid football fan chills to the bone!
Running back Gary Brightwell did plenty of the heavy lifting for the Wildcats, as he carried the ball 21 times for a total of 85 yards. Not to mention finding pay dirt twice during the game. One of those touchdowns being the close out drive in the forth quarter.
And lastly, following up the stellar running game was the defense that seemed to gel underneath all the criticism of their defensive coach, Marcel Yates.
Early into the season, the cries have rained down from almost every Arizona Football fan that Yates needed to be fired.
However, the players have backed their coach the week leading up the game, as many players stated that their defense is close to coming together. On Saturday, they proved that to be true, forcing Texas Tech quarterback Bowman to throw two interceptions, all while holding their running back Armand Shyne to only 68 yards on 13 carries and also kept T.J. Vasher out of end zone!
This bye week also leaves the Cats with only one bye week remaining late in the season that comes between the Oregon and Oregon State game, so the stretch until then could be grueling.
If there is any Saturday that the Wildcats should be taking the field, it would be this weekend. Mainly so they could continue to build upon what they built against Texas Tech, which was a formidable defense and an offense that was well balanced.
Instead as a fan base, coaches and players we sit and wait for the game against UCLA. Hopefully using this bye week to rest any nagging injuries and watch film to adjust any weakness or kinks. As always, Bear Down, Arizona!