Arizona-Toledo: Postgame reactionby Anthony Gimino on Sep. 03, 2010, under Sports
A gathering of quick thoughts from around the Internet, including this one from … me:
Arizona coach Mike Stoops, in the final days before the season opener, claimed that his defense was “starting to come together.”
Turns out, that wasn’t just preseason posturing … and it was, perhaps, an understatement.
The Wildcats got huge games from quarterback Nick Foles and wide receiver Juron Criner, and a super 36-yard touchdown run from running back Nic Grigsby in a 41-2 victory at Toledo on Friday night.
But all that — including 518 total yards — was mostly to be expected. There wasn’t much question that the offense was going to be a strength.
It’s the other side of that score that really matters. The two points allowed, rather than the 41 points scored, was by far the most encouraging part of Arizona’s performance.
Read the rest at FoxSportsArizona.com: Defense delivers in Wildcats’ season-opener
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TOLEDO, Ohio — Arizona co-defensive coordinator Greg Brown stepped out of the tiny visitors’ locker room at the Glass Bowl late Friday, looked up at the scoreboard and smiled. Fifty-one weeks ago, Brown had emerged from the same cramped locker room after one of the most embarrassing nights of his professional career.
“Redemption” was the word Brown chose. It fit. Friday, Brown’s defense allowed zero points in Arizona’s 41-2 win at Toledo. Last September, Brown’s Colorado defense allowed 54 points in a 16-point loss.
Brown wasn’t the only one redeemed Friday. Though the opponent wasn’t elite, the win provided a fresh start for a bunch of Wildcats who finished last season on the business end of a Nebraska shutout in the Holiday Bowl. “Everybody always talks about the Holiday Bowl,” Arizona quarterback Nick Foles said. “It’s something people will probably always talk about. We’ve just got to show what kind of team we are.”
Read the rest at SI.com: Wildcats start redemption process
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The questions were numerous and the answers were few entering the 2010 season regarding the University of Toledo’s defense, which ranked near the bottom in most statistical categories in the Mid-American Conference last year.
But no matter how the defense fared, the Rockets’ offense was expected to pick up where it left off at the end of 2009, even with a new starter behind center. To that point, sophomore quarterback Austin Dantin said earlier this week that the offense was “extremely, extremely close to being great.”
The Rockets were far from great Friday night in a 41-2 season-opening loss to Arizona at the Glass Bowl with an announced crowd of 25,907 on hand, although only a couple thousand remained at the final whistle. UT’s offense saw several drives stall near midfield, and the defense did all it could before wilting under the Wildcats’ offensive firepower.
“Of course we’re very, very disappointed, but we played a good football team,” UT coach Tim Beckman said. “[Arizona coach] Mike Stoops has done a great job with that program. That team beat [Southern Cal] last year.”
Read the rest at the Toledo Blade: Rockets grounded: Arizona shreds UT’s defense