By now you may have heard, the No. 24 Arizona Wildcats football team will be hosting No. 9 Iowa Saturday night in front of a sold crowd at Arizona Stadium. Here’s everything you really need to know before the BIG game.
ESPN senior sportswriter, Pat Forde, said it best in a recent column, “Not since last century — Halloween 1998, to be exact — has Arizona hosted a game between two ranked teams. That changes Saturday night (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)”
He added, “The fact is, Arizona still has a lot to prove outside of Pac-10 play, having largely scheduled its way back into contender status instead of beating anyone of note outside its region. It has lost 10 straight nonconference games against teams from BCS automatic qualifier leagues.”
Be sure to scroll to the bottom and check out interviews from players and coaches on YouTube.
- The Wildcats have won 13 of their last 16 home games. The three losses have come by a combined total of 12 points.
- All wounded Wildcats will play (WR Juron Criner – shoulder, S Adam Hall – shoulder).
- Arizona’s defense has yet to give up a touchdown. To make sure it stays that way, the defense may implement new defensive schemes designed to keep the Hawkeyes’ on their heels. The unit is trying to replace seven starters this season.
- Expect similar wrinkles on offense as well. Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker, has been dealing with back issues and won’t be traveling to Tucson with the Hawkeyes.
- Wildcats’ quarterback Nick Foles took over for the struggling Matt Scott late in the fourth quarter last year against Iowa. Foles completed 6/11 passes for 55 yards and a score. Since taking over the job Foles has gone 8-3 as the starter.
- Iowa’s senior quarterback, Ricky Stanzi, has had similar success. He is 20-4 as a starter. Stanzi has won the last 14 games he started and finished. The Hawkeyes lost twice last year when an injury knocked Stanzi out against Northwestern, with the Hawkeyes leading 10-0, and when he couldn’t start against Ohio State.
- Iowa won last season’s match up vs. Arizona, 27-17. Iowa freshman running back, Adam Robinson, rushed for over a 100 yards and the defense held the Wildcats to just eight first downs. A lot has changed since then but Iowa is still just as big and physical as ever on both sides of the ball.
- The Wildcats have lost game the third game of the season three years in a row with a similar schedule. In two out of three seasons, the opponent’s talent level decreased as the season progressed just like this year. (2007 BYU-NAU / 2009 Toledo-NAU).
- Iowa on the other hand, annually hands out a beat down to their in-state rival, Big 12 conference member Iowa State the week before travelling to Arizona. The Hawkeyes beat the Cyclones in week two of last year, 35-3, and went on to beat the Wildcats. This year the Hawkeyes beat the Cyclones 35-7.
The Match up…
Arizona (2-0, 0-0)
Returning starters O / D: 8/4
Offense ranked: 12th (503 ypg)
Passing: 10th (344 ypg)
Rushing: 63rd (159 ypg)
Defense ranked: 3rd (177 ypg)
Passing: 4th (62 ypg)
Rushing: 47th (115 ypg)
Iowa (2-0, 0-0)
Returning starters O / D: 6/8
Offense ranked: 25th (457 ypg)
Passing: 54th (230 ypg)
Rushing: 25th (227 ypg)
Defense ranked: 9th (216 ypg)
Passing: 26th (144 ypg)
Rushing: 11th (71 ypg)
Iowa Week: YouTube video interviews from WildcatSportReport…
QB Nick Foles
FB Taimi Tutogi
C Colin Baxter
DE Brooks Reed
DE Ricky Elmore
DT Justin Washington
DC Greg Brown
OC Seth Littrell