If Arizona wants to pull the upset on Saturday evening, a lot of things are going to have to go right for the Wildcats. While there are always unknown variables once the game begins, there are a few aspects of the game the 'Cats will need to execute early and often if they hope to stay close to Andrew Luck and the Cardinal.
Run the football early and effectively:
Stanford may have the best offensive unit in the country. UA simply cannot allow them to control the football all game and throw it down the field for a bunch of touchdowns. That begins with ball control on our part, and that happens with solid rushing performances from Keola Antolin and Ka'Deem Carey.
Arizona needs to avoid an early deficit and run the ball at least once whenever the chains move. Stanford will be gearing up for Nick Foles to throw the ball and there's a chance the 'Cats could catch the defense sleeping with a big run or two. The game may depend on it.
Pressure Andrew Luck:
The Wildcats are not going to be able to stop Andrew Luck. There isn't a defense in the country that can do that. What they can do, though, is make life tough on all-american. Arizona Stadium figures to be a raucous environment with a top-10 team and ESPN in town; if the crowd and defensive front-seven are able to slow down Luck with pressure early, it may leave the door open for Arizona to get some early momentum.
Bend, don't break on defense:
Luck has a cannon of an arm and is capable of throwing the football deep down the field. Stepfan Taylor can hit a hole and be in the secondary with the blink of an eye. If Arizona goes all-out on defense, the team is probably going to get burned for a lot of yards. It is imperative for the safeties to keep everything in front of them and to not allow the Cardinal to break the game open with a few deep plays.
DON'T BE STUPID:
Whatever you do this weekend, Arizona, do not lose the game because of stupid turnovers and penalties. Emotions will be high and the very last thing the team needs is to give 15 extra yards to Luck's passing attack with a personal foul or move Foles back 10 yards with a silly holding penalty. Execute clean hits, don't try and be the hero, and just play football.
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