Pause. Deep breath. Moving on…

After games like this you have to force yourself to look at the big picture. At 3-2 the Cats are exactly where most of us thought they’d be when we looked at the schedule before the season. We’re still on pace for winning season and that second straight bowl game.

So we’re not going to be 8-0 and playing USC for first place in 2009. I can live with that.

Think back to the Iowa game. If you knew then we’d have a quarterback who completed 72% of his passes for 737 yards in securing a road split to open the Pac-10, you’d be ecstatic, right?

Nick Foles leads the Pac-10 in pass efficiency. #1. Yeah, he’s only started two games. I know his toughest games are ahead of him. But when’s the last time a UA QB was on top of any sort of positive ranking? Nothing builds football hope like quarterback potential.

Speaking of which, can you guess the guy right behind Foles in terms of pass efficiency? Stanford’s Andrew Luck. Big game this weekend.

The old common-opponent paradox comes into play with this one. Is it UA > OSU > Stanford, or Stanford > UW > UA?

I’ll answer it for you: Stanford is better than Washington. The Cardinal rank ahead of the Huskies (and Beavers) in scoring defense, pass defense, total defense and sacks. Mr. Foles isn’t going to be able to just sit back there and throw darts like he did in his first two starts.

So why do we still have a good chance to win? I looked it up and they do in fact let you play football games at home.

Finally. After 35 long days we have another game at Arizona Stadium. How is this game not Homecoming? When you’ve been gone for five weeks the least they can do is throw you a parade.

The crowd is going to have a lot of pent up energy and the players will feed off it. That should help bring focus after a week of distracting memories. Where Washington was last week after the Notre Dame loss, Arizona is this week.

The silver lining with all these last-second losses is this team knows how to bounce back. If there’s a plus to being inconsistent, that’s it. Bad losses don’t automatically mean a season-ending slide. The New Mexico, Stanford and Oregon State losses last year were all followed up with a win. In that sense Mike Stoops is the Anti-Tedford.

But that doesn’t mean he and his troops don’t drive us crazy sometimes, which means it’s time for another installment of…

Things Nobody Else Does

– Call timeout before the first snap of the second half
It’s not like you’re going to need that timeout when your quarterback gets sacked forcing 3rd-and-8 with less than a minute to go on the brink of field goal range in a three-point game.

– Get called for holding on an extra point
Our field goals are plenty scary. We don’t need to also turn PATs into adventures.

– Lose your starting defensive tackle to a door injury
Is that what it said on the injury report? RB Nic Grigsby (shoulder) – Questionable, RB Keola Antolin (ankle) – Doubtful, DT Earl Mitchell (door) – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Pause. Deep breath. Moving on.

The best way to get over a brutal defeat is with a solid win, and a victory over this Stanford team would be just that. In Tucson, we get to tailgate again. We get to see Nick Foles start in person for the first time. And we get to cheer on the Arizona Wildcats again.

I think we’re going to be just fine.