By John Moredich
Too many times over the past several days, fans have said Saturday's game at California is a "must-win" for Arizona's football team. I have to respectfully disagree. A Wildcats' win would be a huge boost. It would get some pressure off coach Mike Stoops and athletic director Jim Livengood. But it's not a must-win. Arizona must play better defense and with more intensity. It must keep its passing attack going by keeping quarterback Willie Tuitama safe and sound in the pocket. UA must come back and gain confidence after a dismal 1-2 nonconference start, which included losses to BYU and New Mexico. But the bigger games for the Wildcats are down the road against Washington State and Oregon State. Those will determine whether UA has a chance to go bowling. Those are games the Wildcats must win before playing No. 1-ranked USC. Those are games for which Arizona should have the personnel and the scheme to record a victory.
A victory over Cal would be just a bonus. Losing to Cal wouldn't mean the end of the season. There would still be hope afterward. Losing to the Beavs and the Cougs would really leave little hope. The term "must" can't be overused.