Arizona-Iowa: Five Things We Learned This Week

Tom PhillipsCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2009

1. Matt Scott Is Not the Answer

It was nice while it lasted, but Matt Scott is not Arizona's quarterback of the future or the rest of the season. Scott was indecisive and tentative whenever he was in the game. He looked okay against lesser opponents but when the time came to step up, he didn't.

After three games it has become fairly obvious why Scott got the job to begin with, he was a runner. Stoops and Dykes liked the intangible that Scott brings with his legs. The problem Scott has is his arm. 4-of-14 passes for 50 yards in a spread offense is not going to cut it.

On consecutive plays in the third quarter Scott missed the same receiver who was running the same route. Not by a little bit either, by at least 10 yards. The next series a new quarterback was in, speaking of which...

2. Nick Foles Will Start Next Week

This is a no-brainer. You have seen what Scott is, now it's time to see what Foles is. He has shown that he is more than a capable passer and has a pocket presence that has been unseen so far this season.

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In less than a quarter, Foles threw for 55 yards and a touchdown on 6-of-8 passing. He was confident in his decision making and was making his passes on target. The receivers look to be more comfortable running routes when Foles is under center.

If this doesn't happen this week it will soon unless Scott makes dramatic improvements as a passer in the upcoming weeks.

3. The Defense Is Not to Blame

Considering the defense spent two-thirds of the game (38 minutes) on the field, the defense did a job of containing Iowa. Iowa had 19 first downs, compare that to Arizona's eight and you can see why the defense might get the blame. The offense's inability to get first downs was the bigger problem, only getting five before the fourth quarter.

By the fourth quarter you could see how tired and physically drained the team was. Then Iowa went on the time-sucking eight minute drive that sealed the win for the Hawkeyes. The Cats D was man-handled in the trenches and the physicality of Iowa beat down the team.

With that said, Arizona seemed to blitz on third down every time and it was picked up with ease by the Hawkeyes. When you blitz you have to get to the quarterback because you are leaving man coverage for the secondary. This showed by Iowa going 10-of-19 on third down.

4. Trevin Wade Is an All-Pac-10 performer.

Wade was the best player on the field for Arizona against Iowa.

The interception return for a touchdown was impressive, but his coverage on Iowa receivers all game was what I took away from the game. Wade was expected to be exposed as the "other" cornerback by opposing defenses opposite of All-Pac-10 cornerback Devin Ross. He has proven to be the one who is the bigger interception threat.

Wade is a ballhawk in every sense of the term. He reads the quarterback great and has a sense for where the ball is going. He had three pass deflections but at least two of them could have been interceptions. Arizona fans can only hope that opposing defenses continue to think of Wade as the "other" cornerback.

5. Left Tackle Has Become a Position of Concern

Arizona's left tackle Mike Diaz got worked by Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn. It seems that whenever there was a play, 94 in black was there.

Clayborn had a sack and forced fumble, and applied pressure on the quarterback all game. The most impressive play was when Clayborn ran across the field and chased down Nic Grigsby from behind.

Diaz looked like the girl from The Exorcist with his head spinning around. He was constantly looking at the back of Clayborn watching him go by. Against weaker opponents Diaz looked good in his switch to tackle but against a bigger stronger opponent he looked out of place. Next week will be a good barometer of whether the move was a good one or not.


-Keola Antolin has gotten really close to breaking off a kickoff return for a touchdown a couple of times this season. I think this will be the year that Arizona breaks its no kickoff return touchdown streak.

-The fake field goal ended up costing the Cats. Instead of being down by seven after the touchdown pass from Foles to Juron Criner, Arizona was down ten, needing the perfect storm of events to happen with 1:53 left in the game. Was this done to get the first down or a lack of faith in kicker Alex Zendejas hitting a 40-yard FG?

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