After Saturday night’s 59-38 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys, the Arizona Wildcats have proven that they are ready to be considered an elite team. Through a nearly unstoppable offensive game followed by a stellar defensive performance, the Wildcats were able to earn some attention nationally. In fact, the Wildcats cracked the AP Poll, ranking 24th in the nation.
Overall, the Pac-12 had a dominant week as the Oregon State Beavers upset the Wisconsin Badgers and the UCLA Bruins shocked the Nebraska Cornhuskers in addition to the Wildcats surprising the Cowboys. Currently, there are five Pac-12 teams that are ranked in the top 25.
Nonetheless, UA has a very difficult schedule ahead of them and will have some challenges in the near future. The Wildcats can look forward to playing the Oregon Ducks, currently ranked 4th, the Stanford Cardinal ranked 21st, the USC Trojans ranked 2nd and the UCLA Bruins ranked 22nd.
Although a daunting task, this could potentially give the Wildcats a great opportunity. With a very tough schedule, UA has a chance to be considered one of the best teams in college football. That is, of course, if they are able to pull off the nearly impossible task of beating four ranked teams in a single season.
Through the first couple of games UA has been led by redshirt senior quarterback, Matt Scott, who sat behind Nick Foles for the past two years. In addition, the running game has been more efficient than ever behind Canyon Del Oro 2010 graduate, Ka’Deem Carey.
Scott has thrown for 707 yards and four touchdowns including 129 more rushing yards and another touchdown so far this season. Carey has followed his strong play with 273 rushing yards and four touchdowns with one more touchdown coming from a connection with Scott.
However, the unsung hero so far this season has been the Wildcat defense. Much improved from last season, UA forced four Oklahoma State turnovers including an interception by Jonathan McKnight which was returned for 48 yards and a touchdown putting the final stamp on the game.
Still, the biggest obstacle for Oklahoma State was themselves. Racking up 15 penalties resulting in 167 yards, the Cowboys defeated themselves. They dropped passes and made careless mistakes throughout the game, giving UA the opportunity to take control of the game.
The combination of outstanding play, opposing penalties and a roaring crowd led the Wildcats to their second win of the season over 18th ranked Oklahoma State. UA moves into the rankings posing an even greater task, defending their ranking.
In the past UA has had a tendency to lower their play and underestimate their opponents when they are ranked. The key for Arizona will be to maintain their solid play and avoid being lackadaisical against future opponents.