Arizona used a fantastic defense and air attack to defeat Cal 42-27 Saturday night.
Pete Carroll meets with media
"Arizona, coming off an enormous game, I don't know this, but I would think it's one of the biggest games since Mike Stoops has been there, to put themselves and position themselves in a great spot in the Pac 10 beating Cal last week coming from behind," he said.
"They were down 24 14 or something at half time and came roaring back and commanded a great win and the place went crazy. They had fantastic play from both sides of the ball. Keola Antolin hit the big time and just exploded for them at the running back spot. Really, they have got to be flying."
Carroll also strongly believes that Saturday's game could wind up being for the top conference spot.
"For us, we are excited about it," he said. "This is a championship matchup for sure, and we are going to try to take the momentum that we're building here out of the first half of the season and take it to Tucson and see if we can get ourselves a win."
One of Carroll's biggest concerns is the play of the offense. "This offense we are playing with Arizona is very balanced and they have a tremendous passing game with a terrific quarterback in Willie Tuitama, and the tight end is fantastic and Michael Thomas is a great player," he said. "This is going to check us out and it's going to be very hard to hold them down at all. They have scored a ton of points already on most everybody they have played."
Of course, Carroll believes that the key to the success of the offense is Tuitama.
"Willie has been a big, strong thrower since he was a big kid early in his high school days," he said. "We saw him at camps and on film early on and he always had the big arm. Really good all around athlete.
"He's got the kind of stature and just he is a classic pocket type of quarterback. He can throw on the move but he doesn't do much of that, and basically they are a line of scrimmage team throwing the football. He has a big arm for the down the field stuff, and has a nice touch on the game and well ahead of where he was before. He's experienced now and been through a ton of games and been through all kind of situations.
"If you remember, he burst on the scene the first time he played. He had a big, big game and he's grown tremendously since that time. Now you look at his numbers: His picks are way down, his touchdowns are way up and his completion percentage is excellent. He's just really efficient in their system."
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