Ari­zona over UTEP by 16

Playbook Football (Midweek Alert) - - 2-minute Handicap -

Ari­zona might have a Wild­cat for its team mas­cot but the Desert Cats choked like dogs in last week’s 19-16 home loss to Hous­ton, man­ag­ing just a pair of field goals in the 2nd half to spoil a fine de­fen­sive ef­fort. We’ve seen it all be­fore with UA head coach Rich Ro­driguez, first with West Vir­ginia and then with Michi­gan: an un­de­ni­able de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the pro­gram for sev­eral sea­sons be­fore he fi­nally gets the boot. Af­ter go­ing 10-4 in 2014, Rich Rod has gone 11-16 SU since, and with a mur­derer’s row Pac-12 sched­ule wait­ing on the hori­zon, we think his days at Tuc­son are num­bered. At least he gets to beat up on a UTEP squad that’s been outscored 87-21 in two sea­son-open­ing losses. Even so, the cur­rent 3-TD price seems mighty steep for an Ari­zona squad that’s won only 20 of 189 away games by 20 plus points – with 17 of those recorded by teams sport­ing a win­ning record! It also doesn’t help the Wild­cats’ cause that QB Bran­don Dawkins left the Hous­ton game early in the 4th quar­ter and re­turned with just min­utes to play – where he com­mit­ted two costly fum­bles to seal the de­feat. An un­happy Ro­driguez said Dawkins ‘’got a lit­tle nicked up. I am not go­ing to elab­o­rate. I’m not a doc­tor.’’ (He’s also not much of a coach, we might add). While it looks like UTEP’s Sean Ku­gler will be join­ing Rich Rod in the un­em­ploy­ment line later this year, he can take so­lace tonight in the Min­ers’ prof­itable record as home dogs of more than 19 points. You know the drill. Satur­day, Septem­ber 16

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