Arizona notched an impressive win on the road at Utah Saturday, taking down the Utes 42-10. It was a solid all-around victory for Rich Rodriguez and co., but questions loom now for their final game against Arizona State. The Wildcats remain in the Pac-12 South title hunt, but need a little help. Here’s what we learned about the Wildcats as we head into rivalry week:
Weather-guard…Arizona State went up to a frigid Corvallis last week, and lost a tough game to Oregon State. Some thought similar weather conditions, and a tough road game could spell the same result for the Wildcats this week, but that was not the case. Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez scheduled Thursday’s practice at 6 A.M., and turned on the sprinklers to replicate the weather they would endure in Salt Lake City against the Utes. Throughout the game, it seemed like the weather had little effect on the Cats.
Slick Nick Wilson…Wilson was a man possessed against the Utes, rushing for a career-high 218 yards. He also found the end zone three times, including a 75 yard sprint that would beginning 21-point fourth quarter. This is the third straight 100 yard game for Wilson, who has bounced back nicely from injury earlier in the year.
Big Win, But Potential Loss… Wilson’s performance also took an immense amount of pressure off the passing game. Anu Solomon, who had a rushing touchdown against the Utes, injured his right leg and was in a walking boot. Jesse Scroggins took over for the Cats, but only threw the ball five times, mainly because of the rushing game’s success. Solomon will be evaluated early next week for his availability against Arizona State on Friday.
Turnovers A Plenty…The Wildcat’s defense gave up a season-low ten points against Utah. Arizona’s defense also forced four turnovers, including Tra’Mayne Bondurant’s pick-six off Connor Manning, which was the exclamation point on the 42-10 victory. The Wildcats picked off Travis Wilson twice, which matched his season total entering today.
Road Warriors…Saturday’s win marked the last regular season road game for Arizona, and the Wildcats sport a 4-1 record away from Tucson, including their 31-24 win over #2 Oregon in Week 5. The Wildcats will try to bring the Territorial Cup to Tucson for the first time in Rich Rod’s tenure as head coach on Friday in Tucson.