Discussion

Wins over ranked teams have Wildcats feeling good

Updated: November 16, 2006, 9:33 AM ET
By Ted Miller | Special to ESPN.com
A month ago, Arizona fans were starting to grumble about coach Mike Stoops. They wondered if he was the right guy to turn the Wildcats around. Now? Not so much. The Wildcats have beaten two ranked opponents in a row for the first time since 1992. They have won back-to-back Pac-10 road games for the first time since 2001. They have won three of four overall and need one victory in their final two games to become eligible for their first bowl game since 1998. Things are much better than they were after they dropped consecutive games to Washington and UCLA by a combined 48-17 count. "There's a little change in the way our kids perceive themselves," Stoops said.

• There's good news and questionable news in the Wildcats' secondary as they prepare for Oregon. Cornerback Antoine Cason became the first Arizona player to earn Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors twice in a row. His 39-yard interception return for a touchdown was perhaps the critical play against California. Also, free safety Dominic Patrick is expected to return after missing the Cal game with a stinger. On the down side, dependable strong safety Michael Johnson is nursing a hamstring injury and is questionable for Saturday. If he can't go, Michael Klyce, who saw significant action against the Bears, figures to step in.

MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES