By Eric Wein
Arizona Daily Wildcat
This part of the Wildcats' season was supposed to be a breeze.
They were expected to rebound off a lopsided win over Oregon State and face a mediocre Colorado State team.
That's not how the script will go.
No. 6 Arizona (4-0) faces a team that has won more games than all its previous opponents put together when it takes on No. 23 Colorado State (5-0) at 7:07 tomorrow night at Arizona Stadium.
"I hope it's a matchup of two teams that know how to win," UA coach Dick Tomey said. "The kind of teams that concern me the most are the ones that know how to win, not the ones that have the most gaudy statistics."
The Rams have won eight straight and are off to their best start since 1977. Quarterback Anthoney Hill leads the charge after passing for 364 yards last week against New Mexico and he's backed by tailbacks E.J. Watson and Leonice Brown.
"I don't think we caught people by surprise," Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick said. "We've just had real good days on offense and our defense has stepped up."
After struggling with Oregon State's blitzing schemes last week, the Arizona offensive line wants to rebound with more protection for UA quarterback Dan White and to open more holes for running backs Ontiwaun Carter and Gary Taylor, who are both expected to return from their ankle injuries.
"We want a better game as a unit so we can get more yards," left guard Pulu Poumele said. "We're ready to come back and redeem ourselves."
The UA defense also wants a better game after seeing the Beavers wishbone attack run rampant.
"We were disappointed because of the big plays and because certain guys weren't taking care of their assignments," safety Tony Bouie said.
The defense should get a little boost as linebackers Sean Harris (shoulder) and Thomas Demps (ankle) are expected to return from injuries.
Despite stepping away from their conference schedule, the Wildcats are eager to take on the feisty Rams.
"I think it's very good timing. Their offense is going to get us in gear for the rest of the year," Bouie said. "By any means, it's not a gimme."
Colorado State has barely
made the cut for either of the major national polls despite its winning streak and unbeaten record. That can change in a hurry with an upset or a good showing against the Wildcats.
"I'm sure they want respect because I would at this point," Poumele said. "I expect them to be really hungry."
Respect is hard to come by for teams in the Western Athletic Conference. The WAC traditionally hasn't been as highly regarded as the Pacific-10 Conference.
But Tomey has stood firm in his belief in the WAC, especially since he coached in the conference from 1977-86. At Hawaii, his Rainbows were 5-2 against the Rams.
And he knows Colorado State could give his team fits tomorrow.
"They make plays at the end that give them the chance to win," Tomey said. "It's certainly a big challenge for us."
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