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With Arizona last in the Pac-12 in overall defense — and looking more like it is stumbling backward than trying to stand its ground — the Wildcats need to rethink what being a badass is all about.
It helps that fierce competitor and tackler Adam Hall might return from a knee injury when the Wildcats play at Oregon State on Saturday, but let’s not hold anything back any longer: The UA (1-4 overall, 0-3 in the Pac-12) needs to take on a badass mentality.
If I offend anyone with the word “badass”, I am sorry, but that tone is necessary. Yes, the Wildcats are inexperienced and their defense has been ravaged by injuries, but enough with the attempted one-arm tackles and reckless over-pursuits that make the Wildcats look clueless about how to attack the ball-handler.
Witnessing the Wildcats allow 37.6 points and 503.6 yards per game makes me long for yesteryear when the UA had badass players that comprised units such as Desert Swarm and those tough-as-nails defenses that Larry Smith produced annually.
This craving made me think of the UA’s most badass players since the program joined the Pac-10 in 1978. If only their spirit can take over the Wildcats. I will run a list of Arizona’s Top 10 badass players on offense and defense, starting today with the No. 10 Badass Wildcats. Enjoy.
No. 10: AL “BUBBA” GROSS, safety
Although he was nicknamed “Bubba” since his childhood days, former UA All-Pac-10 safety Al Gross was called something more fierce after completing his Wildcat career in 1982. In the week leading up the East-West Shrine game that year, Gross practiced against the East players, who labeled him “The Hitman”.