Eyes of college football on the state of Arizona before the weekend

Sep 8, 2011, 5:10 AM | Updated: 5:07 pm

Arizona has a big opportunity over a 30-hour period
before the weekend is upon us.

Rise up Wildcats. Rise up Sun Devils.

Both Arizona and Arizona State are playing Top 20
competition from the Big 12 conference on ESPN in
nationally televised games. Arizona travels to Stillwater
to battle Oklahoma State and Arizona State plays host to
Missouri.

The state of college football in Arizona has a huge chance
to show their programs can compete and should be
considered when talking Pac-12 Championship. It doesn’t
matter if they are league games or not; these games are a
great indication of what lies ahead over the next three
months.

These games are the best. We’ve been waiting eight-plus
months for meaningful football. They raced by the cupcakes
with passing grades and now they get into the heart of the
season.

For Arizona it’s the beginning of a gauntlet. Taking on an
Oklahoma State team that beat them by 26 in the Alamo Bowl
precedes a conference schedule that begins with v.
Stanford, v. Oregon and @ USC. Brutal. One. At. A. Time.

The program takes center stage Thursday night. Nick Foles
gets to show off his arm, deep wide receiving corps
(although it looks like it will be minus Juron Criner —
ouch!
) and an offense that put up 41 points last Saturday
and averaged 28 points last year.

For as good as the offense is — and can be –, it looks
like the success or failure of the Wildcats will be in the
hands of the defense. The Cowboys put up 36 on them in
that bowl game. They scored 61 in their tune-up against
Louisiana-Lafayette.

I’m not going to count out Mike Stoops and Tim Kish. I
think these Wildcats keep it closer than Vegas thinks (14
point underdogs).

Back here in Arizona on Friday night, the lower ranked —
yet favored — Sun Devils go at it with Missouri, looking
a lot like Missouri. It will be ASU in the all black, not
Mizzou. The heat will be something new to the visitors but
not the scenery.

Missouri played in Sun Devil Stadium last December and
fell to Iowa in the Insight Bowl. This Missouri team
travels to Tempe Blaine Gabbert-less.

In their 17-6 season opening win over Miami (Ohio) the
Tigers only passed for 129 yards while rushing for 162.
Not something they are accustomed to.

The Sun Devils’ linebacking crew (specifically their run
defense) will be tested in spying quarterback James
Franklin. He was the team’s leading rusher with 72 yards
at more than five yards a carry last week.

A mistake-free offense and a defense doing what it’s
capable of should lead to a good evening for the Sun
Devils.

All college football eyes on the state of Arizona for a
30-hour period. Opportunity awaits.

TY’s Outtakes

What I learned this week…

If you give an SEC defense five or more weeks it is likely
they can shut down Oregon’s offense. Regardless of the
final score, watching LSU’s defense against Oregon
Saturday night felt like them against Auburn in ways. Big
and fast up front gives them all kinds of problems.

The rest of the country? I’m in wait and see mode.

Tweet of the week…

Statement from Peyton http://t.co/vF6yJRTless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

I was not going to believe Peyton Manning was sitting out
Week 1 until I heard it from the man himself. This tweet
did just that.

I hope he soon returns to the field and can play at the
high level we’ve all watched over the years. Watching him
run and execute an offense is great entertainment.

Suggestion of the week…

“Most of you don’t want success as much as you want to
sleep. Some of you want sleep more than you want success.
I’m hear to tell you that if you’re going to be successful
you got to be willing to give up sleep.”

Penguin Air

Tyler Bassett

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Eyes of college football on the state of Arizona before the weekend