Arizona readies for trip to New Mexico - East Valley Tribune: Sports

Arizona readies for trip to New Mexico

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Posted: Monday, September 8, 2008 4:27 pm | Updated: 11:21 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

TUCSON - Despite their first 2-0 start since 2002, the Arizona Wildcats know they can still throw, run and tackle better.

"There are a few plays we would liked to have done a little bit better," Arizona coach Mike Stoops said on Monday, two days after the Wildcats defeated Toledo 41-16. "Our tackling was probably one thing that was a little discouraging. We didn't tackle as well as we did the first week; perhaps some of that could be focus and preparation."

Arizona was going to be hard-pressed to do better than a 70-0 opening season triumph over Idaho, but the Wildcats still racked up back-to-back 40 point games for the first time since the 1982 season.

And after two games it looks as if Arizona might be ready to put an end to a nine-year bowl drought, longest in the Pac-10.

Next up is struggling New Mexico (0-2), which upset the Wildcats a year ago 29-27 in Tucson.

Even though the Lobos are winless, the Wildcats say they won't take them for granted.

"We know we still have to play better," safety Nate Ness said. "The schedule is going to get tougher and we have to keep adjusting."

In the first two games, the Wildcats have reversed two recent trends that have kept them in the lower echelon of the Pac-10.

They're scoring lots of points and playing good defense.

Arizona is third nationally at 55.5 points per game, up from the 16.6 points it averaged during the 2006 season.

The Wildcats are seventh in total defense, allowing 178 yards.

"I still think we can get a whole lot better," Stoops said.

Quarterback Willie Tuitama is completing 78 percent of his passes and has thrown for five touchdowns. Tailback Nic Grigsby is third nationally with 152 rushing yards per game.

The defense, meanwhile, has allowed only one touchdown in the first eight quarters.

The Wildcats still have some details to take care of. They missed numerous tackles against Toledo. They twice had to call time out to avoid penalties for having 12 men on the field. And they failed to come away with touchdowns on two trips inside the Rockets' 20-yard line.

"It was a little sloppy at times," Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes said. "I don't think we were nearly as sharp as last week. Fortunately we executed well enough to move the ball. It wasn't as clean as I wanted it to be, but it was OK. We got it done, something we might not have been able to overcome last year."

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