Despite coming up short in a hard-fought battle against USC, Arizona Football (3-5, 1-4) returns to action to take on the No. 12 Utah (6-2, 4-1).
Week eight of the 2022 Arizona Football season is upon us, and just one week after the Wildcats’ bye week, Arizona returns to action against the No. 10 USC Trojans for Homecoming.
Coming in, Arizona enters this one as double-digit underdogs, and the Wildcats will have a significant challenge on their hands, especially as they welcome a Trojan team fresh off of a bye week as well.
As we saw against Washington, the Wildcats still have a lot of issues, particularly on defense, and if Arizona is somehow going to win, they will virtually have to play a perfect game.
With that said, here are the keys for Arizona Football to knock off the No. 10 USC Trojans.
The Defense needs to get a few Stops at Least
What has been a constant theme with this group this season, Arizona’s defense has been abysmal in slowing down opposing offenses, and against USC, the Wildcats struggled mightily, surrendering 621 yards and 45 points.
That effort is not good enough, and if Arizona is going to beat Utah, they are going to have to show some sort of modicum of improvement this week, otherwise, it is going to be a long day.
Not Getting too far behind, too Early
Like its past couple of opponents, Utah is too good of a team that can score in bunches, and Arizona’s defense AND offense have to be ready to play in this one.
To me, if Arizona is going to win on the road, they are going to need the momentum early on, and should the Wildcats find themselves down against the Utes early on, I do not like their chances of winning.
Arizona will have to be ready to play and keep this one as competitive as possible if they hope to score the upset against Utah.
Protect the Football
I know this goes without saying, but if Arizona hopes to beat Utah on Saturday, then they need to take better care of the football.
The Wildcats are not good enough of a team to turn the ball over and still come away victorious. Should Jayden de Laura and the Wildcats make too many costly mistakes, then you can kiss their chances of getting the upset, goodbye.
Take care of the football, and improve your chances of winning.
Arizona started the year off hot by forcing quite a few turnovers en route to a 3-2 record. Unfortunately, over the past several weeks, the Wildcats have not done so well in forcing turnovers, and as a result, the team is currently riding a three-game losing streak.
If Arizona hopes to even beat Utah this weekend, they are going to have to do something more, as we know the defense is unlikely to slow down Utah enough on offense to put them in a position to win. So the defense has to be better about forcing turnovers.
Should the Wildcats get a couple of turnovers, this one could potentially go in their favor.