higgins2015svsw.jpgTuscaloosa, AL – After spending two years in the humidity of the south, a number of Wildcats expressed concerned about the Egg getting rusty.

“We need to bring this back to the desert,” said Patrick Rodriguez after the game. “It stays fresh and clean there, the humidity here is too much, it might get mildewy.”

And humidity was in full effect in this game, with pouring rain and sweltering heat, this year’s SVSW was like playing football in Thailand. Hot, humid, slippery, it was a nightmare for most. And in year’s past when Arizona would have depended on a wide open passing attack and a middling defense, this weather would have been a problem. But this is a new Arizona, with new players, new philosophy, and a whole new ball game.

This new Wildcat team showed it’s teeth on the first play of the game. Alabama’s quarterback Isaiah McNeal dropped back and threw a wobbling pass that was picked off by Devin Hurst. The first play of the season, the first pass he see’s, Hurst picked it off.

“Desert Swarm is back,” said Hurst. “This is the best defense I’ve ever played on, and we showed it tonight.”holbert2015svsw.jpg

Poor McNeal ended the game with a quarterback rating of 0.0, as he went 2/6 for 10 yards, with 2 INTs and 3 Sacks. This Wildcat team is a beast against the pass.

Against the run, the team had 10 tackles for loss in this game (10!) and a sack from Patrick Rodriguez and one from Deonne Heard who looks like he might finally be living up to expectations.

Offensively, the Arizona passing game is officially – “not what it used to be.” Casey Cook, who many compared to Dane Wright, is more of a White Chad Smith than a White Wright. Casey went 7/9 for 115 and a touchdown. Brent Robinson also saw playing time and went 3/5 for 55 yards, and looked incredible in the pocket.

Also, Marcus Holbert has made his case to be Arizona’s next superstar at Wideout as he pulled in four passes for 142 yards.

“Man, you’ll got robbed today,” said Holbert after the game. “I had the rodeo dance all ready to go, but no touchdowns. But it’s coming.”

But the big playmaker and newsmaker of the day is Brian Haynes, the Pride of Burbank. Haynes had 22 carries, and while Nick Spencer would have turned those 22 carries into an incredible 82 yards, Brian turned them into 213 yards and three touchdowns. He is the first Arizona RB to go over 200 yards in a very very long time, and his four touchdown performance (1 Rec) has already got some talking as though he might be heading for the best RB season in Arizona history.

“It’s been a lifelong dream to play here,” said Haynes. “I grew up watching Alabama football on CBS, I always thought it was cool. And the crowd shots always showed some good looking girls. I was not disappointed in anyway. And the EGG IS BACK! This is the first time I’ve got to hoist the Egg and it means a lot to me.”haynes2015svsw.jpg

Next up for the Wildcats is #21 SDSU and their Heisman frontrunning QB. He’s fast with a good arm – shades of Barrett Dixon