Their first place standing enabled them to compete against a tough Oregon Ducks football squad for the Conference Championship. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the high-flying, high scoring squad from Oregon won the game going away by a score of 51-13.
The loss was disappointing, perhaps even embarrassing. Nevertheless, the Wildcats earned an invitation to the Fiesta Bowl where they lost in an offensive shootout against Boise State University. The final score was 38-30.
Coach Rodriguez and his Wildcats began the new season last week with very high expectations. They hosted the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and won the game comfortably by a final score of 42-32.
The Wildcats will travel to Nevada this weekend for a game on Saturday, September 12th against the University of Nevada. September 19th and September 26th will feature home games against the thirteenth ranked UCLA Bruins and the University of Northern Arizona.
The Arizona football squad will complete its home schedule with games against Oregon State University on October 10th, Washington State University on October 31st and the 24th ranked University of Utah on November 14th.
Remaining road games for the Wildcats include a contest against the University of Colorado on October 17th, the University of Washington on October 31st, the eighth-ranked Trojans of the University of Southern California on November 7th and Arizona State University on November 21st.
There is also a trip scheduled to northern California where the Wildcats will try to topple the Stanford Cardinals on October 3rd.
Coach Rodriguez and his players want to prove that last year’s first place finish was no fluke, but a step forward in the development of the school’s football program. The team’s opening game victory was definitely a step in the right direction.
This tough-minded squad with something to prove will surely bring its “A” game this weekend and in the weeks that follows.
This team wants to make winning a habit, something that happens every season. Under a successful, high profile Head Coach such as Rich Rodriguez it seems almost likely that it will happen.
2014 was a great start. The team performed well and its solid, consistent effort produced the winning record that got them to the Conference Championship and an important bowl game.
There is every reason to believe this squad will enjoy lots of success again this season.