Anybody concerned about this weekend's game in Tucson?
As much as Mike Stoops has been railed upon in recent years he has finally put together a decent team this season. Now, I am not going to say that Arizona are a bunch of world beaters, because other than Cal all the teams they have beat have losing records, but they have the making of a team that could SC fits if SC is not on their game on Saturday night.
Make no mistake, this is an Arizona team coming off a huge win against Cal at home and this weekend's game is Arizona's homecoming so you know they will be looking to play the spoiler.
The thing that is most concerning is that newcomer RB Keola Antolin is a lot like Oregon State's Jaquizz Rodgers. Antolin came in against Cal after Nic Grigsby after an early fumble and Antolin lit the Bears up for 149 yards
Antolin, listed at 5-8 -- right! -- 180 pounds, gashed Cal for 149 yards on 21 carries -- 7.1 yards per pop -- and scored three touchdowns, including a 59-yard scamper that gave the Wildcats the lead for good at 28-27.
Antolin, who's been bothered by a toe injury much of the season, entered the game with just 66 yards on 25 carries.
"We didn't see anything of Keola on tape," Cal linebacker Anthony Felder said. "He's smaller and hard to defend."
Which is sort of what the Trojans said about Rodgers.
"I hide behind the linemen all day -- just like [NFL players] Darren Sproles and Maurice Jones-Drew," Antolin said. "It's the exact same. I stay low and hide and explode through the hole."
Now for whatever the reason, SC just wasn't up for that Oregon State game, but I believe that while Antolin is similar to Rodgers, SC will be more prepared for this type of running game. Will SC be 100% effective at containing Antolin? Probably not, but they also won't get schooled like they did against the Beavers. Grigsby will probably start on Saturday but you know Stoops will throw Antolin at us, trying to catch us off guard.
I have a hard time believing that SC will take this team lightly, and while Arizona washed the bad taste of their mouth over the Stanford loss with the win over Cal you know they are licking their chops at the possibility of taking down USC, just like they took down Oregon last season.
They also think they may have found a another twist to add to their gameplan...
Arizona threw caution to the wind and attacked.
The Wildcat defense blitzed when it hasn't blitzed much before, stunted its defensive linemen to open holes and went from giving up a few yards to taking away almost everything.
The carefree strategy worked perfectly in the second half for a 42-27 win over then No. 25-ranked California at Arizona Stadium on Saturday.
It's an approach Wildcat players think might be best suited from here on out, starting with a homecoming challenge against No. 6 USC on Saturday.
Arizona seems to play best when the odds are greater, winning its fourth game against a ranked team out of its last five. The Cats (5-2, 3-1) moved into a four-way tie for first in the Pac-10 with USC, Oregon and Oregon State.
The only thing I can say is that SC just needs to keep focused. Pac-10 teams have had a hard time on the road, so SC needs to bring their A game as Arizona will. They can taste a bowl berth, they are in the race for the Pac-10 title, and they are playing USC...at home so you know they will be bringing it.
Lots of things to wary of... like I said, it could be the perfect storm.