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Football Notes: Humbled Cats set sights on Sun Devils

Jacob Konst/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Sophomore linebacker Spencer Larsen unsuccessfully tries to stop a Washington quarterback from running through a pocket in the defense during the first quarter of the Wildcats’ loss on Saturday.
By Charles Renning
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
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The Arizona football team will have two weeks to prepare to meet in-state rival ASU at Sun Devil Stadium on Nov. 25, and the Wildcats are hoping they learned a lesson from their 38-14 loss to Washington on Saturday at Arizona Stadium.

“It was a great win (52-14 against UCLA on Nov. 5), but I think we took it for granted, and we can’t go out like that,” said senior running back Mike Bell on Saturday. “You can’t get a big head. You’ve got to stay humble no matter what.”

Freshman quarterback Willie Tuitama, who had five turnovers against the Huskies, agreed.

“You’ve got to take it week by week, because right now UCLA means nothing because we lost,” he said Saturday.

The Wildcats played more like Laxcats against Washington, and it had nothing to do with the men’s club lacrosse team.

“It seemed like we were lax. I don’t know what happened,” said sophomore linebacker Spencer Larsen on Saturday.

Wildcats head coach Mike Stoops said the experience of trying to get up after a big win could serve as a good lesson for his squad.

“I think you’ve got to learn from it,” he said Saturday. “We’re still in a very fragile state psychologically. A little prosperity, (we) just couldn’t handle it. We need to learn from that and come back.”

Stoops and Larsen said Arizona’s energy at practice was down on the Monday and Tuesday the week before the Washington game, but that the team showed improvement in the days that followed.

The extra effort seemed to show on Arizona’s first drive Saturday.

Tuitama found junior wide receiver Syndric Steptoe on a 17-yard post to put the Wildcats up 7-0 just four minutes into the game, but the team never again found that groove.

“You could tell we came out a little flat after (the UCLA) win,” Stoops said. “That’s common for anybody (after a big win). We’re just not good enough to play on edge and not play our ‘A’ game. For whatever reason, we didn’t have the step we had a week ago.”

“We’re still trying to learn how to win,” said Steptoe, who hauled in five catches for 80 yards and a score Saturday. “We came out (against Washington) and thought they were going to hand it to us.”

The Huskies handed it to the Wildcats in the form of 490 total yards, including 333 on the ground.

“It’s always frustrating when you don’t get that consistency that you’re looking for,” said Larsen, who had eight tackles against Washington. “We just need to get back up and learn how to play to the best of our abilities every game and not just one here or one there.”

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