AP Photo/Chris Coduto
As a scout watching talent, many folks need to understand what Jedd Fisch is doing for the Arizona football program. It is remarkable. However, still years away from national prominence, beating North Dakota State was big for this program. If you breakdown film, Arizona was prepared to stop the giant killers.
Tim Daniel NFL Game Scout, Football Writer
TUCSON, AZ The Cactus Junky Report
Great games give you great prizes. A disciplined, turnover-free win over the FCS national champion, who will be champions again this year, was vital for the Arizona football program.
To date, this was the most important win for Arizona it might prove to be the most important this year. Many of you by now know that I am Jedd Fisch fan. This is still a two win team in overall talent my estimate, but they are looking to be a bowl team. What this staff is doing is truly fun to watch.
My pregame assessment for the Wildcats to beat North Dakota State was o play very disciplined football, take care of the ball and be mistake-free. Also, an opportunity for the offensive line to play at a high level against a disciplined defensive front.
I watched the game live Saturday night, then watched it again right afterward until 3 AM, and then again at 9 am Sunday. Usually, my post-game assessments do not sit well with the faithful. I’m not here to soothe feelings, I am generally pretty accurate with these scouting reports, and the North Dakota State game was no exception.
Five things stood out to me. Hunter Echols, the offensive line, Jayden De Laura, Jedd Fisch, and Kyle Ostendorp.
Jedd Fisch’s football team played four quarters of football that took every player to play disciplined and mistake-free football to beat the Bison's.
Echols is the USC-type, and he shows it in an Arizona uniform. He is a difference maker. Her will have the output of a Scoobie Wright this year and maybe even better.
The offensive line did a great job adjusting. One thing to remember, North Dakota State is only a FCS team on paper. This is a FBS type program that hasn't lost to a FBS school in six tries. But their first two games were not much of a look for them with Drake and North Carolina A&T. In the second quarter I noticed a better adjustment with switching in protections and
My player of the game is the punter, Kyle Ostendorp. Two punts over 50+ yards, put the Bison deep and ultimately making them push the entire field and play from behind. Something NDSU has not done in a couple years.
Watching the film on in the Mississippi State game the film of him in San Diego State and North Dakota State, Jayden De Laura is a different player. The reason I say that is because there was a certain type of pressure put on him against Mississippi State. He was a completely different player in all three games. I think Fisch has done a great job learning more about De Laura as the season goes on. He is close to being almost deadly when he has confidence, not only in the passing game but running the ball. Putting massive amounts of pressure on him with different looks I think is a struggle for De Laura.
I think Arizona will be a bowl team this year, but they will struggle with large, active defensive linemen. I have said it before and I will say it again, based on the talent the Wildcats have, the running game is vital for offensive success. Defensively, the secondary must be able to cover deep crossing routes and at the same time cover the deep vertical routes.
To win in this year’s Pac12, they must be disciplined with the ball and decision-making on the field. Run the ball and cover deep routes will be the success of Arizona from here on out.