October 21, 2006

Plenty to work on heading into bye week

While there are some positives to take out of Saturday's game against Oregon State, there were obviously also many things that are quite disappointing.

One of the better parts of the game that Wildcats fans saw was that Kris Heavner was able to come in and play well despite not getting a substantial amount of work. eavner's performance on Saturday makes you wonder how good he could have been had he gotten work in during fall practice and throughout the season.

While it is understandable that he is going to get less work because he is a third string quarterback, Heavner did not show the signs of rust that many may have expected of him.

While Heavner was a positive, the running game was once again a negative. The offensive line played pretty well in terms of pass protection but once again there was little room for the running backs.

It is hard to blame the offensive line too much, however, because the running backs also are having a difficult time getting it done. While Chris Henry is a better runner outside, he is still having trouble playing to his strengths and seeing his openings.

The one positive thing about Henry is that he showed his ability to catch the ball. Although it would be nice to see some running ability from the running backs, it was a positive that Henry was able to gain yardage through his receiving skills.

Once again the defense was able to keep the team in the game, though the slow start was a little disappointing. Arizona's defense played well for three quarters but unfortunately the effort in the first quarter put Arizona in a very difficult spot.

After a slow start, Arizona's defense really played well against Oregon State and was good enough to expose the Beavers' weakness through the air. Matt Moore is simply not a good quarterback and the Wildcats were able to put him in a position in which he forced throws, as he is known to do.

Arizona now has a bye week to get things straightened out in preparation for a game at Washington State and the bye really could not come at a better time.

It will be interesting to see how the quarterback situation plays out with the health of Willie Tuitama and Adam Austin, but the opinion here is that Arizona is not in such terrible shape for the rest of the season should Heavner have to play.

It is difficult to believe that Arizona will be able to make a bowl game, especially with games against Oregon and Cal remaining on the schedule.

However, Arizona can possibly try some new things and get momentum for the next season.

The Wildcats should still try to win games and the coaching staff should still try to put the players in the best position to win, but there comes a time when you have to wonder if the players on the field are the right ones for the job.

It is too late to burn any redshirts, but there are players who have already played minimally that should see more playing time. If Arizona is going to have a more open offense, there is little reason why Terrell Turner and Terrell Reese should not be seeing playing time.

It is frustrating at times to see that the younger players are not getting reps, especially considering their eligibility status. The Wildcats are at a point where they must look at themselves and really try to see what is going wrong.

This is a team that should have beaten an Oregon State squad that simply is not much better than them. From here on out, Arizona will be the underdog in each game it plays. It should be interesting to see how Arizona handles the underdog status, something that unfortunately seems to be more common with each passing week.



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