With the possible exception of a brief span in the third quarter, the Arizona Wildcats were dominated for the entire game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Here are a few final thoughts about the game and the team going forward:
The Offensive Line Is A Disaster:
Coming into the season, not too many had the offensive line pegged as an area of strength for this team. Matter of fact, most fans would have been happy with a somewhat-decent unit that would keep Nick Foles away from big hits and occasionally open up a hole or two for Keola Antolin to rush through. That has not happened it 2011, and if changes aren't made quickly, it is going to be a long season for the 'Cats.
There were at least three times Thursday night when Oklahoma State rushed three and did not blitz anyone. Foles had about two seconds to make a read and throw the football before running for his life from a defensive lineman that broke through. For an o-line that is as young and inexperienced as UA's is, a blown blocking scheme or two is expected; but when the pressure is continually getting to Foles and having him scrambling to avoid a big hit? That's unacceptable.
The Ka'Deem Carey Era Is Getting Closer:
After two games against Northern Arizona and Oklahoma State, Antolin has 19 carries for 63 yards. That comes out to a decent yards-per-carry of 3.3, which isn't a terrible number. Of those yards, 20 of them came on one play last week against the Lumberjacks. When you take away that one rushing attempt against a D1-AA opponent, his YPC comes down to 2.4.
While part of this comes from an ineffective offensive line, the fact is that Antolin has not performed when called upon this season. If the season gets out of hand early, coach Stoops would be tempted to play his star freshman running back, Ka'Deem Carey. What would he and the team have to lose?
The Secondary Is Bad, But We Knew That:
If Arizona would have gotten torched for 397 yards against the Cowboys with Adam Hall and Jonathan McKnight healthy, the levels of embarrassment would be at an all-time high surrounding the program. And while it certainly wasn't pretty to watch, fans must remember that half of the starting secondary is out with knee injuries, and even Robert Golden missed a quarter of play as well with an apparent knee injury.
Be frustrated about the performance, but it's not exactly like UA had their front-line starters healthy for the game.
One top-25 foe down, three more to go. The Wildcats will now return home and prepare for Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN and is scheduled for a 7:45 MST kickoff.