Arizona 59. Oklahoma State 38. Wow. Amazing. By now, the University of Arizona’s upset win over Oklahoma State has made you thrilled, excited and caused perhaps a trickle of hope for the rest of the football season. Visions and premonitions of what this football team is capable of accomplishing dance through your mind, leading in seemingly surrealistic directions.
You ask yourself if it is even possible for Rodriguez and company to rebuild the program faster than Miller did for the hoopsters. As you catch your first whiff of roses and realize that it is merely a garden bloom after the summer rains, you look back with pride for last Saturday’s victory and look forward with cautious optimism for what is still to come.
Those of you who read last week’s preview article for the Oklahoma State game, ( http://azsportsandmore.com/articles/cowboys-and-cats-preview-of-the-oklahoma-state-and-arizona-football-game--2 ) would have noticed that the Wildcats accomplished every goal for success that was recommended. They won the time of possession battle 32 minutes to 28 minutes. They forced the Cowboys’ offense off the field, by maintaining a balanced running game and passing game, gaining 181 yards on the ground and 320 yards through the air.
Although they didn’t shut down the Cowboys’ offense by any stretch of the imagination, (allowing 38 points on 636 total yards) Arizona had a successful enough strategy to slow their opponents down.
Overall, they forced Oklahoma State to punt four times, commit four turnovers, turn the ball over on downs twice, and even set a school record with 167 penalty yards. In addition, the Wildcats were opportunistic and capitalized on these possession changes, scoring seventeen points off of turnovers, including a thrilling 48 yard interception return for a touchdown by Jonathan McKnight.
Most importantly, Arizona kept their fans active with exciting plays and truly utilized the crowd as the twelfth man. When Oklahoma State built a two touchdown lead five minutes into the game, the Wildcats retaliated with a score of their own two minutes later, thus building some momentum. The crowd was crucial to the outcome and the relentlessness and consistency of the Arizona offense won them the game as they went on to score five more touchdowns and three field goals. More amazingly, the Wildcats did this all while committing only 27 yards in penalties and having zero turnovers.
Congratulations to the team and all of the coaching staff for such a great early season victory, where everyone contributed to the win. Even the maligned kicker Bonano overcame his first game jitters to remain perfect for the contest. Although it is much too early in the season to get excited, this team has certainly made us all begin to daydream.