The Arizona Wildcats are riding high after their dominant victory over Washington. Does it make them the team to beat among those trying to beat Oregon?
Sorting through the Duck-chasers, here are this week’s Survivor Rankings:
2. Oregon State
X. Arizona State
X. Washington State
Not a whole lot of movement. Last week’s #2 drops to 5th and everyone else moves up. Cal and Washington are hanging on by a thread but they do both get a crack at Oregon so they’re technically still alive.
It’s worth noting that five of the six remaining contenders will reside in the Pac-12 North next year.
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The bowl bubble watch is crystal clear at the top as a couple more teams punched their postseason tickets:
(*ASU’s second FCS win not included.)
Cal looks to be in pretty good shape after walloping Groupon U. The Bears still get WSU and they finish with three games at home. Yes, two of them are against Oregon and Stanford but there is the season finale against Washington in case a last-minute sixth win is needed.
Don’t dismiss the significance of the Wildcats getting eligible for a third straight bowl game. When you’ve only done something once before in your program’s history, it’s a big deal.
As for the rest of the team’s goals? We’ll see how things look after the UCLA game.
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More from the joy that was the Washington game:
The game started with a UA fumble and the secondary getting beat deep. Can’t start much worse, right? The Cats were so devastated at that point they went on to outscore the Huskies 44-7.
Matt Scott was a huge reason why. He made all the throws that were asked of him and even a couple that you won’t find in the training manual. There was the Tebowesque jump-pass to get the ball over the oncoming defender and into his running back’s hands. But nothing could top Scott’s final snap of the night when he dropped the ball, distracted the defense, picked it up and found Juron Criner in the end zone. It was the passing version of the fumblerooski.
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Nick Foles’ passing efficiency rating is 156.37 for the year. Matt Scott’s is 156.28. Foles has completed 75.3% of his passes. Scott is up to 72.7%. Does this mean Arizona is now producing system quarterbacks?
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The White/Red/Red uniform combination is now 3-0.
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Nic Grigsby is deservedly getting recognition for moving into 2nd place on the UA’s career rushing touchdowns list but it should be noted that Keola Antolin has joined him in the top 10. With his two scores against Washington Antolin now has 19 career TDs on the ground, tying him with Chuck Levy and Clarence Farmer for the 8th most in school history.
The best part of Antolin’s career-long run wasn’t the move he put on the safety to turn a double into a home run, it’s Grigsby leading the way as a blocking back and Scott sprinting downfield to run interference. The formation with those three lined up next to each other is the speediest UA backfield since Trung Canidate lined up behind Keith Smith.
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One Wildcat who did not have a good night was Trevin Wade. He absolutely whiffed on multiple one-on-one tackles and Washington’s second touchdown drive was the result of Wade grabbing air on a short third-down pass.
Maybe Wade could get some pointers from Nick Folk’s brother, the kicker who brought down Travis Cobb to save a touchdown. Why are your genes so strong, Nick Folk?
Speaking of strong-gened kickers, Alex Zendejas has now missed five extra points in the past two years. Why do you have no more eligibility, Nick Folk?
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Hidden big play: Trailing by 16 at the end of the first half, UW completes a 43-yard pass. The Huskies rush to the line and snap the ball but Sione Tuihalamaka breaks through and sacks Jake Locker to set up a 2nd-and-20 and effectively kill the drive. Tuihalamaka didn’t have time to get into his three-point stance so he just juked the guard and made the hit before Locker could think.
In other sack news, the defensive ends did a great job of finding the football when they got near Locker. Ricky Elmore swatted the ball loose to record his sack and later D’Aundre Reed ripped it out on the play that was (incorrectly) blown dead.
With the trio of B.Reed, D.Reed and Elmore continuing to wreak havoc the only thing missing is a nickname. Just in time for Halloween I give you Breed, Dread, and Hell More.
Back to the fumble that wasn’t, they should have let Lolomana Mikaele’s recovery and rumbling return stand on principle alone. Let the big man tote the coconut!
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Washington’s most embarrassing moment wasn’t the final score. It wasn’t Jesse Callier woofing with the Red Zone before the game and then dropping two passes including one off his facemask. The biggest Husky fail belonged to the UW cheerleaders. Late in the game, with the stands emptying, the Dawg cheer squad decided to try some new stunts. They attempted to do this but it ended up like this. There were no injuries except for bruised egos.
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Seeing the Boise State game Tuesday (?!) night got me thinking: What if Oregon loses to USC, Auburn loses to Alabama, Michigan State loses to Iowa, and Missouri loses to Nebraska? Do Boise State and TCU play for the national championship?
If the establishment were to allow it, it would be the third straight year the Broncos and Horned Frogs met in a bowl game. But since it would mean they went from the Poinsettia Bowl to the Fiesta Bowl to the BCS championship game, I don’t think you’d hear any complaints.