Arizona's early schedule isn't exactly daunting, but the team the Wildcats face in Tucson on Saturday night, UTSA, might present the biggest challenge of the opening three.
The Roadrunners, in only their third season of college football, beat New Mexico in their opener 21-13 and scored 35 points against 13th-ranked Oklahoma State last weekend. Of course, the Cowboys scored 56.
"Mississippi State only scored three points against Oklahoma State," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. "UTSA has a good quarterback, great skill players, fast guys on the perimeter and good running backs. It's going to be a challenge. Our guys will see that on film."
Oddsmakers have made Arizona a 25-point favorite to beat the visitors from San Antonio and improve to 3-0 heading into Pac-12 play. After Saturday night's game, Arizona has a bye week before opening conference play Sept. 28 at Washington.
The Wildcats, in their second season under Rodriguez, have outscored Northern Arizona and UNLV by a combined 93-13 in their first two games.
Here are five things to watch for in Saturday night's game.
KA'DEEM'S CARRIES: UTSA was burned by the pass against Oklahoma State. The Cowboys' J.D. Walsh was 24 for 27 for 326 yards and four touchdowns. Against the Wildcats, the biggest threat comes on the ground in the form of All-America running back Ka'Deem Carey. Carey, suspended for the opener against NAU for issues in the offseason, rushed for 171 yards in 16 carries in last week's 58-13 win at UNLV. The first time he touched the ball, he ran 58 yards for a touchdown. "He was our offensive player of the week," Rodriguez said. "Granted, he always runs hard, runs hungry, and that's one of his attributes. He made the right cuts, made the right reads, and he helped in protection." Texas-San Antonio has allowed 282 yards rushing in two games, 193 against New Mexico and 87 versus Oklahoma State. Arizona, with another big running threat in Daniel Jenkins, is averaging 351.5 yards rushing per game, fourth best in the FBS.
CONTAINING SOZA: UTSA's Eric Soza, one of just 11 seniors on the UTSA roster and a straight-A student, completed 24 of 41 passes for 308 yards and three touchdowns against Oklahoma State. Granted, most of those yards, and all three TDs, came against reserves after the Cowboys had the game well in hand. But it's still a concern for an Arizona defense that remains a question mark after a difficult 2012 season. Wildcats defensive lineman Tevin Hood said the team has more depth and a different mindset this year. "I think we are more comfortable with the scheme," he said. "We are able to blitz a little bit more than last year. We also can run some different line stunts that we weren't able to last year. The more we are able to move allows us to disrupt the play a little bit more effectively."