It is homecoming weekend in Tucson and the Arizona Wildcats are looking for their second win in three weeks. The Utah Utes have struggled in the Pac-12 throughout their first year, but the team is looking to build off a big victory and build for the future.
Here are a few keys to the game:
Containing John White:
LaMichael James, Stepfan Taylor and Chris Polk all torched the Arizona defense and Polk had a record-breaking performance. If UA allows Utah's star running back, John White, to get out into the open field, the team does not have much of a chance on Saturday.
Converting Red Zone Opportunities:
Arizona had multiple chances in the red zone last weekend against Washington and failed to capitalize on multiple drives. This has been a reoccurring theme in 2011 and it cannot continue against Utah. Jason Bonano has done a solid job with the kicking game, but with a struggling defense, the Wildcats need as many points as possible. No lead is safe in Tucson.
Keola Antolin, KaDeem Carey, Taimi Tutogi and Daniel Jenkins:
These four players will be running the football today; someone needs to step up.
Antolin, a solid-yet-unspectacular senior, is usually good for a few yards on every rush, but he lacks the big-play ability to break a game open. Carey, a freshman, has shown flashes of brilliance this year and continues to see his role increase, but his breakout game has eluded him thus far. Tutogi acts as more of a fullback, though he has seen him number of attempts increase in recent weeks. And while Jenkins may not get a ton of action, he is a capable pass catcher in the backfield.
If UA can get a big game from a few of these players, they have a good chance to win. With a struggling offensive line and offensive coordinator known for abandoning the run early, it is imperative that Arizona establishes the run early and often on Saturday.
These are two evenly matched teams and both are hungry for a win. Utah features a talented running back and solid defense, but Nick Foles and the homecoming crowd prove to be too much for the Utes. Arizona wins a close one 34-28.