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I’m not going to lie, I did it. I started looking at the schedule and started thinking, “If Arizona can win out, they can make the Pac-12 Championship game (with some help of course).” I didn’t think it was that crazy of an idea. I thought about it last year after the UCLA loss and some things fell into place and Arizona ended up winning the Pac-12 South.
But after the most recent loss, Arizona’s chances of winning the south are basically gone.
This season is not over, however. The Wildcats still play ASU, which no matter how bad the season may seem, a win there can make this season feel rather successful.
So, what happened Saturday? Anu Solomon didn’t play well and was pulled again for Jerrard Randall. Randall once again was a spark for the offense and threw the ball much better than he had in previous games. He really impressed me in the fourth quarter. He moved the ball down the field with his legs and with his arm. Making smart accurate throws the entire way down the field. Randall went 11-16 for 137 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the team with 108 yards on the ground.
The offense wasn’t the problem this game. It scored 42 points. That should be enough to win a Pac-12 game. The defense with all its injures just wasn’t up to the task of stopping Washington State’s Air Raid offense as Luke Falk threw for 514 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.
The key play of the game came in the fourth quarter on a 4th-and-1 on Arizona’s 7-yard line. A stop gives Arizona the ball back only down three with a chance to tie or win. A first down by Washington State basically seals it. Washington State lined up with Falk under center. Arizona had no one over the center so Falk sneaked it up the middle for a couple yards and then threw a touchdown soon after.
I’m not sure who to blame for that failed fourth down. The coaching staff for not telling someone to specifically line up over the center? Or or the players for not seeing that Falk was under center and adjusting? I think if Scooby Wright was playing he would’ve made sure someone was there. Maybe that’s the real issue. Injures have removed all the leaders and no one has stepped into the role.
Arizona has four games left: at Washington, at USC, Utah, and at ASU. With one win Arizona becomes bowl eligible. But with three or four wins, Arizona has some momentum going into the offseason and keeps its image of an up-and-coming program.
Nick Latta is an accomplished youth golfer from Tucson who follows high school sports and the University of Arizona closely. Currently on the golf team at The Master’s College in Santa Clarita, CA.