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.”

Arizona Football

Arizona State University president Michael Crow interviews with Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona'...
Kevin Zimmerman

ASU, Arizona presidents: Not preparing to leave for Big 12

The presidents of Arizona State University and the University of Arizona went on the record reaffirming their commitment to the Pac-12.
18 days ago
Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark speaks to the media during Big 12 NCAA college basketball media d...
Arizona Sports

Report: Big 12 recently contacted ASU, Arizona amid Pac-12 uncertainty

As a Pac-12 media rights deal remains undetermined, the Big 12 has recently had contact with Arizona State and Arizona, according to reports.
27 days ago
From left to right: Jerry Colangelo, Dan Bickley, Michael Bidwill and Vince Marotta on Tuesday, Feb...
Kevin Zimmerman

The Cardinals bring fresh voices and more Newsmaker Week 2023 highlights

Bickley & Marotta welcomed 25 guests representing Arizona's teams and events to their show on Tuesday through Friday. So what did we learn?
1 month ago
TUCSON, ARIZONA - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Jedd Fisch of the Arizona Wildcats looks over his play ca...
Kellan Olson

Arizona football shifts vision of growth from offense to defense for 2023

While the previous regime didn't leave much room for anything but improvement, Arizona football is trending positively.
1 month ago
Arizona Diamondbacks CEO and president Derrick Hall visits the Arizona Sports studios on Tuesday, F...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Sports’ 2023 Newsmakers Week recap

The important figures making the biggest decisions in Arizona sports join Bickley & Marotta throughout a one week span each February.
1 month ago
Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort speaks with reporters during his introductory press conference...
Jake Anderson

Arizona’s Jedd Fisch: Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort will bring an ‘unbelievable attention to detail’

Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort and Arizona Wildcats football head coach Jedd Fisch go back over 20 years.
2 months ago
Mike Stoops, Wildcats have tough road ahead