Just days away from taking on a talented Mississippi State team in week two, Arizona Football will have a battle on its hands but these are the keys to victory.
Just like that, we are in week two of the 2022 Arizona Football season. And after a statement victory against San Diego State, the Wildcats return to action for a big match-up against Mississippi State.
Coming in, we’re all too familiar with the challenge the Wildcats face. The Bulldogs are a skilled, physical, and athletic football team that can put up a lot of points in a hurry. And for Arizona, beating them won’t be easy by any means.
Adversely, Arizona looked good in week one, but it is hard to take too much stock in this team just yet, as week two should provide a lot more insight into this Wildcats group.
And as Arizona Football enters this game as an underdog against Mississippi State, if the Wildcats are to pull off the upset, these are the keys to doing it!
Pressure the Quarterback, Create Disruption
Easier said than done, but a big part of this game is going to be how the Wildcats play on defense, and in particular along the line of scrimmage.
Mississippi State likes to pass the ball a lot, and they love to spread the field. The Bulldogs have a very talented quarterback in Will Rogers, and the junior gunslinger put up monstrous numbers in 2021. Against Memphis this last week, Rogers looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the country.
For the Wildcats to succeed, they must excel in coverage, yes; however, to me, defensive success on Saturday starts along the line of scrimmage first. Arizona needs to create disruption and pressure the quarterback.
If the Wildcats can get Rogers down a few times and impact his rhythm, I like their chances of staying in this one and possibly even winning.
Get the Offense Going Early
Arizona did a great job of setting the tone early against San Diego State, but we will see if they are up to the task with a talented MSU team coming to town.
If the Wildcats can find their offensive rhythm early, I like their chances of winning in this one, but either way, they have to find a way to get going and get going early on in this one. The Bulldogs are too talented on offense, and the last thing you want is to be down 2-3 scores early.
No Silly Mistakes
Even though Arizona won by 18 on Saturday and played a largely clean game, there were still quite a few mistakes, things you don’t want to see happen in week two against a tougher team.
Arizona is already facing a tough challenge against a good football team, so they cannot afford to give up very many turnovers if any this Saturday.
Once again, the Wildcats are going to need to play smart and efficient, and to me, it starts with protecting the football (i.e. – no fumbles, no silly interceptions, and no botched punts in the end zone). If Arizona can do that, that will keep them in this one and give them a chance to pull off the upset.
Stay Hot in the Red Zone
Last season, Arizona had just a paltry 39 red zone attempts, scoring just five rushing touchdowns, seven passing touchdowns, and kicking 29 field goals. So far in 2022, they look like a completely different group.
This past Saturday, the Wildcats found themselves in the red zone five times, scoring all five times with three passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown, and a field goal.
Against Mississippi State, I would like to see if the Wildcats can replicate their success from this past Saturday. However, against a bigger and more athletic defense, the challenge will be on.
If the Wildcats are going to beat the Bulldogs on Saturday, Arizona will need to finish its drives in the red zone again.
Still looking to lock in your bets ahead of the Wildcats’ weekend action in San Diego? Check out WynnBet for more betting options!