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Saturday, September 18, 2010
'Zona Zoo could be factor

By Ted Miller

TUCSON, Ariz. -- There's a good Iowa crowd here, but they will only be a small portion of the 58,000 or so packing into Arizona Stadium.

Arizona is in all red and the stands look like a sea of red.

Playing at home isn't just about comfort. Noise limits what an opponent can do.

A home offense gets quiet from the friendly audience, so any bits of communication are easy to deliver. A road offense gets hostile noise, so communication at certain times can be limited to hand signals.

Iowa has a veteran QB in Ricky Stanzi. And he's played in front of plenty of noisy crowds. It's not really a matter of intimidating him. That isn't going to happen.

But if things are going the Wildcats way, and the crowd is going nuts, Stanzi will face logistical challenges.

Those could be worth a field goal. Or they could be worth, in the right circumstances, even more than that.

But if Iowa jumps ahead early and shocks the crowd into silence, that advantage is lost.

Not saying a fast start is critical for the Wildcats. But it certainly would marinate the crowd, which has had plenty of time to get lubricated during the daylight hours.