September 24, 2007

The Big Cat Speaks - The Tussle In Tucson

One of the legendary creations contained in the adolescent periodical bible, Mad magazine, was a tiny cartoon found at the bottoms of the pages - Spy vs. Spy. In it, two nearly identical spy-type characters would constantly scheme against each other every few pages. This week's game between Arizona's and Washington State's football teams looks like a classic Spy vs. Spy episode.

Both squads bring in productive offenses and questionable defenses and are at a crossroads in their respective seasons where a victory in this game could prove to be a catalyst for the season. Both are also coming off double digit road losses to conference title contenders and in both cases, there was little doubt of the outcomes of those games after the second quarters were finished. In WSU's case, falling behind early to USC in what would eventually be a 47-14 loss, was because the Trojans pulled a little bit of trickeration out of their bag in the first quarter - passing the ball on virtually every play in their first possession as they glided down the field for the game's opening touchdown.

"Offensively, they started throwing the ball - which they hadn't done, we had prepared for the run. We were making adjustments and they were going to different options," said head coach Bill Doba of the first Trojan touchdown drive.

The Cougar defense, of course, was not expected to shutout the Trojans, but Doba was hoping to periodically slow them down as the Wazzu offense, which has been productive so far this season against most teams not named USC, is beginning to feel the pressure to score on every possession to make up for a lack of defensive prowess.

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