Arizona Football

Reason to despise USC: Safety criticizes TD pass thrown by Arizona Wildcats QB Denker

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One reason to despise USC: Excuses for shortcomings (Lane Kiffin anyone?). Another reason: Players who make excuses and downgrade the opponent in the process.

That’s what USC safety Dion Bailey did when asked about Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker’s 57-yard touchdown pass to freshman Nate Phillips, with Bailey defending, toward the end of the first half last Thursday. Arizona trailed 28-10 going into halftime and played with confidence in the second half, outscoring USC 21-10 in the Wildcats’ 38-31 loss.

“When I looked back and I saw the ball going long I should’ve got my eyes back to the man,” Bailey was quoted as saying by “I just never got my eyes back to my man. I just looked at the ball the whole way. (Denker) threw a bad ball. He threw it way long but the receiver adjusted to it and I didn’t.

“I feel completely responsible for the whole momentum shift of the whole game. If I would’ve just played the ball better in that situation they wouldn’t have scored going into half and we could’ve really just put our foot on their throat.”

Admit it Bailey: You got burned by a good throw by Denker, who completed a pass of 20 or more yards only once in the UA’s previous four games.

Another reason to despise USC: Interim coach Ed Orgeron did not want to be stuck in the L.A. traffic so he was taken by helicopter to scout a high school football game Friday night. It pays to have boosters without limits.

* * * * *

Utah co-offensive coordinator Dennis Erickson returns to Arizona Stadium this Saturday for the first time since 2010 when he coached ASU to a 30-29 overtime victory over Arizona. That was during a 1-10 span for the UA spread over two seasons that claimed Mike Stoops’ job in 2011.

The Sun Devils canned Erickson at the end of the 2011 season after Arizona returned the favor and beat ASU in Tempe.

Erickson, who works with co-coordinator Brian Johnson, has brought balance to Utah’s offense. Travis Wilson, a sophomore, ranks in the top 25 nationally in seven different individual categories. including 17th in the nation in total offense per game (320.5), averaging 273.3 yards passing and 47.2 yards rushing.

Utah running back Bubba Poole gained 111 yards against a tough Stanford defense in the Utes’ 27-21 upset victory last week.


Additional Twitter reactions in the Pac-12: publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report, Lindy’s College Sports and


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