“Failure is not fatal, but, ‘Here's what we did. Here's what they did. Here's what they exposed to us.'
“They didn't expose anything to us. Yeah, we felt confident.”
That confidence eventually faded in Tucson, lost in a mistake-marred loss that included four turnovers, many dropped passes and missed tackles and a school-record for penalty yards, all contributing to a 59-38 thumping.
“That's still no excuse,” Rush said. “The team before should never dictate how you do the next week.”
Dictate, no. But such an opener should at least be beneficial.
“It wasn't a true tuneup,” said Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young.
In contrast, Arizona was pushed in its opener by Toledo, winning in overtime after scuffling offensively with mistakes and missing two short field goals. By the time OSU arrived, they'd addressed those weaknesses and made the proper fixes on the way to a relatively clean game and a major upset.
“Every game, somebody does something to you, something new,” Monken said. “And then you go, ‘That was pretty good. Here's how we have to adjust to it.'
“When you don't get that … If we don't play better this week, then that wasn't an issue, it just means we aren't playing worth a darn. If we do better this week and don't have penalties and turn it over, then that will maybe be something.”