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Bye Free

September 29, 2008

Ah, bye weeks. Good for players and coaches, bad for fans. But at least the week off gives us time to take care of some higher priorities. Like researching free tacos.

Thatís right, as we learned against Idaho, Jack in the Box is giving away two free tacos to every fan at Arizona Stadium every time the Cats score 33 or more points. Hungry for more? Here come the free taco facts, Jack:

Save Your Stub. They donít hand out coupons, so if the home team scores the equivalent of four touchdowns, a field goal and a safety, hang on to your ticket stub. Itís your key to free fried (really fried) food (maybe not really food).

Seconds Best. If the kid in the drive-thru gives you tacos but doesn't take your ticket stub, there are other Jack in the Boxes with other tacos.

Zoo Hunger. The ticket stub thing doesnít apply to the student section, as members of the Zona Zoo donít have tickets. All a student has to do is flash his CatCard to receive the priceless treats. And there are a lot of Jacks in the Box in town. Call it the Sonny Dykes Meal Plan.

Eat Fast. Your ticket stubs are only good for 24 hours after the game. If you walk into JITB on Monday attempting to complete your third straight day of free feasting, they will laugh at you. So I heard.

[Surgeon General's warning: Free tacos are not for everyone. Before eating free tacos, ask your doctor if youíre healthy enough for free taco activity. Donít drink alcohol in excess with free tacos, as this may increase your chances of getting dizzy, even dizzier than just drinking alcohol in excess. In the rare event of a free taco consumption lasting more than four hours, seek immediate medical help to avoid long-term injury, and disgusting all your friends.]

What? You want sports? Well, uhÖUSC lost. Thatís big, right? Not really, on the league level at least. Since the Pac-10 went to the full round-robin schedule two years ago, there have been co-champions both years, with 7-2 being the best record. So even a second USC loss isnít that big a deal. Now, if someoneís able to finally pin a third loss on them, then we can talk.

What? You want Arizona sports?? Some people are never satisfied.

Our Arizona Football Wildcats are back at work this Saturday with three wins down and two more to go for the mandatory 5-1 start. As nerve-wracking as it is, itís kind of fun to have so much riding on each game. Anti-playoff people like to talk about how every game in the college football regular season is like a playoff. The national title contenders have to win every single weak or risk dropping out of the BCS championship picture. Well, we Arizona fans are getting a taste of that on a small scale this year.

We lost our one game early so now the pressure is on to win the rest of the games on our six-week mini-schedule. It's like we get to be Oklahoma for a few weeks with the end of our bowl drought as our version of the crystal football.

So ignore the records, the point spread, and the stats. Washington is a big game in our small season.

That said, this appears to be a rare case when you could win a game in the first quarter. The Huskies are experiencing the triple crown of turmoil: a brutal schedule and a plague of injuries, on top of being at a talent disadvantage to begin with.

UW is without its leading passing, rusher (same guy), and receiver (no, that oneís not Locker). Their defense is even worse, even if itís healthier. Everything has snowballed for Washington so you would think all the Cats have to do is not step in front of the avalanche. A fast Arizona start Ė something to the tune of 17-0 or 21-3 Ė should be enough to get that woe-is-us feeling to spread all over the purple and gold sideline.

The plan from the opening kick should be to hit first and get control of the game early. Drub the Dub. Right now.

But in games like this, if you donít win in the first quarter, you often arenít happy with how things end up in the fourth quarter. A perfect example is the 2006 ASU game. We were playing at home as a big favorite against a team with a lame-duck coach. Instead of delivering a knock-out punch at the opening bell, the Cats let the Devils march 80 yards on their opening drive. The UA offense goes 3-and-out on its first three possessions (all before Tuitama got injured) and suddenly ASU was up 21-0 and Dirk Koetter was on his way to his final victory.

Tyrone Willingham may be getting close to that ďfinal victoryĒ point. Hopefully weíre not as kind to Ty as we were to Dirk.

But I would share my free tacos with him.

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