September 3, 2006

Plenty of positives to take from opener

When Arizona beat BYU on Saturday night, there were obviously things that a lot of UA fans were disappointed about.

Many fans felt that game would have a larger margin of victory for Arizona and that the Wildcats would easily beat the Cougars. When that proved to be untrue, many decided they would pick away at the little things.

However, let's be honest here. Arizona defeated a solid team that will contend for a league title in a game that they most likely would not have won a year or ago or even two or three years ago.

This game was a season opener and obviously it is much different than what the players had been seeing in practice up until that point.

Look around college football and ask yourself, "Would Montana State beat Colorado three weeks from now?" A game like that is a sign that even a good team can look bad early in the season.

However, Arizona did not look bad, not even in the slightest. In fact, the opinion here is that they looked rather good.

Willie Tuitama started shaky but look at the quarterback that was on the field at the end of the game. Here is a guy that still does not have experience, yet had the poise to lead Arizona down field and into field goal position.

Arizona did not have a holding penalty, an unnecessary roughness call, a bad fumble, or anything else that stopped them from winning.

Could you have said the same thing last season or the year before?

Saturday night was the night that the Wildcats finally proved that they knew how to win. The good teams step up in big situations and in every big situation, an Arizona player stepped up.

There are many more positives than negatives to take away from Saturday night.

The Arizona offense was able to step up in the absence of Mike Thomas in the second half. Chris Henry was able to find what he is good at and stick to it, thus making a couple of big runs at crucial moments in the game.

If a game comes down to Arizona's special teams, the bet here is that the Wildcats will be in very good shape with Nick Folk out there.

Louis Holmes was just as good as everybody said he would be and to think, this is only his first game.

The stadium was sold out and electric and for the first time in a while it seemed as if Arizona Stadium was an intimidating place to play.

Arizona still has work to do and it would be foolish to look at the win on Saturday night and be completely satisfied. However, it would also be foolish not to look at the win and be happy with the way things played out.

Arizona won a game Saturday night that in past years, many would have given up on midway through the third quarter.

On Saturday night, Arizona found out how to win. Now the Wildcats just have to make it a habit.

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