Mike Stoops, Wildcats have tough road ahead

Sep 28, 2011, 8:12 PM | Updated: Sep 29, 2011, 1:58 am

The Arizona Wildcats just finished a brutal three game stretch where the team saw college football’s best wide receiver, best quarterback and best running back.

The Wildcats lost all three games by at least three touchdowns.

The opponents were Oklahoma State, Stanford and Oregon all of which are currently ranked in the top 10.

The team’s only win came in the season opener against Northern Arizona, an FCS team.

This has ESPN college football analyst Mark May wondering if the Wildcats will be able to get to six wins and become bowl eligible.

“Things are not going to get any better because this team can’t beat anybody, particularly an FBS team,” May told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo. “It’s devastating because right now they don’t know where to go.”

The Wildcats lost eight of nine starters on both lines and even though the team returns starting QB Nick Foles and wide receiver Juron Criner — the one bright spot for the team — it is the team’s lack of a rushing attack that has hurt the Wildcats.

The team is ranked 119th out of 120 FBS teams in rushing, averaging 62.3 yards a game.

“They just can’t get it done on the ground,” May said. “When you’re a one dimensional team just about anybody can beat you if they are halfway decent.”

The easy way out is to blame the schedule for the team’s early struggles, but May believes it’s more than that.

“They can go back and say ‘yeah we played these tough teams’ but once in a while you have to play them close or beat one,” May said. “This team just doesn’t have it and looking at the remainder of their schedule I think it’s going to be very tough for them to get to 6-6 and I don’t think they will.”

May thinks head coach Mike Stoops has his work cut out for him to keep this team from quitting on the season.

“He’s going to have to do the best coaching job of his career to keep them together and keep them focused,” May said. “He can tell them that, ‘guys we’ve played a tough schedule you can lay out all these excuses but here it is, we’ve got to go out an play we’ve got to find a way to win.'”

According to May the biggest challenge facing the Wildcats is being prepared mentally.

“Here’s the job Mike Stoops has facing him, not only getting on the field and playing but getting the players mentally ready,” May said. “With the remainder of their schedule they should get to six wins but the thing is mentally will they get there.”

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Mike Stoops, Wildcats have tough road ahead