Preview Week 10… #22 Arizona: Road Trip to LA

Away games are bittersweet events. It is nice to be able to stay at home, eat food that isn’t overpriced, and (if you’re in the ZonaZoo) not have to stand the entire game. But there’s that little bit of sadness in knowing that the players can’t hear you cheer for them, knowing that you didn’t witness that amazing play first hand, and most of all, knowing that the obscenities and jeering comments you yell at the opponents can’t be heard through your television screen. It really is tough. For those of us who will be in Tucson while our beloved Wildcats take the field in Los Angeles, take solace in knowing it will be an amazing game, it will be a close game, and you don’t have to sit in the blazing sun for hours like last week.

The #24 Arizona (5-3, 4th in Pac-12 South) team is coming into this game off a two game win streak, most recently against #9 USC. The Wildcats offense took over last weekend as the defense was unable to provide coverage to high class wide receivers. This week’s match up against the #25 UCLA Bruins (6-2, 2nd in Pac-12 South) will be a close one based off of both team’s past performance. The Bruins’s quarterback, redshirt freshman Brett Hundley has had a good start this season. Throwing for an average of 274 yards per game, with a QB rating of 99.6, Hundley has some good stats behind him. Could it be that his success could be attributed to being raised as an Arizona fan? Hundley’s father played for Arizona in the 80’s and Hundley grew up in the Phoenix area.  Nature or nurture, Hundley has 18 touchdowns and over 2000 yards under his belt in his first year as a starting QB.

Arizona’s Matt Scott had a very notable game last week in the upset win against USC. Throwing for 369 yards, 4 touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing), and only 1 interception, Scott was a key aspect to the win. In addition to the key plays he was a part of (the longest being a 60 pass to Austin Hill), Scott also made national headlines due to his apparent concussion late in the game. After two consecutive hits to the head, Scott vomited on the field. However, Scott continued to play and eventually threw the game winning touchdown before exiting the game. In press conferences following, both Scott and coach Rich Rodriguez commented that Scott did not have a concussion and was going to play in the game against UCLA. Rodriguez grew so fed up with the comments about the handling of Scott’s possible head injury that he stopped taking questions regarding the QB’s health.

In order to support the Cats in their road trip to Los Angeles, Arizona’s ZonaZoo has chosen this game to be its “Road Trip” game. Every year, the ZonaZoo coordinates a road trip for at least one away football game. This road trip includes bus transportation, a ticket to the game, and some free gear exclusive to road trip attendees. This mobile Zoo is a way of showing support for the team away from home and allowing students to watch the game in person, while providing a safe, affordable means of transportation. The only downside to this trip is that it is so extremely limited, not many students are able to participate in the event.

In any case, the Cats will be bearing their claws against the Bruins in an effort to extend their winning streak to three and work their way up the rankings. Those who were not fortunate enough to make the trip to SoCal, the game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 networks and can be streamed from the Pac-12 website… if you have access to the Pac-12 network through your cable provider. Raise your hand if you’re ready to get rid of the Pac-12 Networks….

From the heart of Wildcat Country, Bear Down.