More than five years after leaving the UA for an NFL career, Earl Mitchell returns to campus...
Cats Look to Snap Skid at Oregon State
Arizona will take on Oregon State Oct. 8 in Corvallis, Ore. The game will be televised live on Fox College Sports Pacific at 12:30 p.m.
Arizona will look to break its four-game losing streak Oct. 8 at Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore. The game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. PDT in Reser Stadium.
Oregon State also has lost four games in a row, so one team will go home happy. Both teams have surrendered some serious points and rate near the bottom of the FBS in scoring defense.
Arizona will take a strange mix of top 25 offense and bottom 10 defense into the game. Arizona's secondary, which watched a fellow (R. Woods) catch 14 for 255 against it last week, will face a guy (Markus Wheaton) who's among national leaders with eight catches a game.
Discipline could be a byword for the winner this week. Only six teams in the FBS have more penalties per game (8.6) than Arizona, and OSU had a flag day at Arizona State University last Saturday with 13 penalties for 139 yards.
Arizona will wrap up an early slate of six games in six weeks, then will get a breather before its next game Oct. 20, while OSU will continue a bye-less streak of 10 weeks after its respite on Sept. 17.
Last week, Arizona spotted USC 17 points in the early going and couldn't overcome the deficit in a 1,000-yard track meet at the Coliseum, dropping a 48-41 decision for its fourth consecutive loss.
Trojan quarterback Matt Barkley threw for 468 yards and four scores, while the UA's Nick Foles threw for 425 yards and four scores. One difference – two picks off Foles in the first quarter led to USC scoring drives.
Nearly anything led to a USC scoring drive as the Trojans scored on their first six possessions before Barkley was picked by Shaq Richardson in the third stanza. That led to an Arizona score as well – one of six consecutive scoring possessions for the Cats.
Once the Cats started scoring, they pulled to within a touchdown, 41-34, but couldn't get a stop and USC mounted a quick and definitive drive, going 79 yards in five plays for its final points with 9 minutes left.
Arizona answered but couldn't pull off an onside kick attempt inside the final minute. Foles (41-for-53, 77 percent) and Barkley (32-39, 82 percent) were sharp throughout, but USC's 12.0 yards per attempt – fueled by the second play the Trojans ran, an 82-yard swing pass to Robert Woods for a score – were devastating.
Woods ended up with 14 receptions for 255 yards and two scores, joined by Marqise Lee with eight grabs for 144 yards and a score. Foles spread his goods around, complete three or more passes to nine different receivers and throws to a dozen overall.
The UA's running game improved, with Keola Antolin netting 87 markers on 15 tries, and Ka'Deem Carey scoring twice on 12 tough runs. True freshman Carey added a first receiving score to the inaugural running touchdowns in his young career.
The Wildcats posted a school-record 37 first downs, but USC was gaining yards in chunks (9.1 per play) and couldn't fit more than 26 first downs in its 582 yards of offense. The Cats gained 554.
There were two punts in the game, one in each half by the UA's Kyle Dugandzic. USC did not punt.
Over the summer, Arizona Athletics completed work on a new video board for the south end zone at Arizona Stadium and has begun plans for the North End Zone Complex.
The new video board measures 113 feet wide by 47 feet high – 6.5 times larger than the existing board and will be one of the largest in all of college sports.
The North End Zone Complex will include 5,000 upgraded end-zone seats, and among them 420 premium loge-level seats.
Arizona football staff offices will move from McKale Center to a four-level, 185,000-square-foot operations center that includes football-specific strength and conditioning facilities, a sports-medicine suite for student-athlete care and treatment, a team dining hall, coaches' offices, team locker rooms, small group and auditorium meeting spaces, and equipment and laundry rooms.
Arizona reaches its first and only open date of the season on Oct. 15, fittingly at the mid-point of the season. The Wildcats will return to action on Oct. 20 against UCLA at Arizona Stadium. The game is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff on ESPN.