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Wildcats hoping to learn from Oregon loss

Associated Press Modified: September 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm •  Published: September 25, 2012

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona got off to a great start under new coach Rich Rodriguez, following a tight opening win with a pair of routs.

There were flaws, to be sure, but the Wildcats managed to overcome those and climb up the rankings.

They couldn't Saturday night in Eugene.

Plagued by mistakes near the goal line and unable to keep up with Oregon's speed or depth, Arizona was blown out 49-0 by the Ducks in its Pac-12 opener.

Oregon moved up a spot to No. 2 in The Associated Press poll after the win and Arizona dropped out from No. 22, left with plenty to work on with a schedule that isn't going to get much easier from here.

"There were situations where Oregon beat us, but then there were situations where we beat us," Rodriguez said. "The ones where we beat us, we've got to fix in a hurry."

He's got that right.

Up next for Arizona (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) is surprising Oregon State, which entered the poll at No. 18 after beating Wisconsin and UCLA, two ranked teams. After the Beavers, the Wildcats have a bye week and will still have to play No. 13 Southern California, No. 8 Stanford, UCLA and rival Arizona State.

One priority heading into the Oregon State game will be to get better in the red zone.

In other words, find a way to score when they get inside the opponent's 20-yard line.

Arizona had been decent in the red zone the first three games, scoring on 16 of 20 trips.

Against Oregon, the Wildcats were able to move the ball, but couldn't finish off drives.

Arizona lost one chance when field goal holder Kyle Dugandzic couldn't handle a high snap, another when kicker John Bonano sent a low kick into the back of his linemen. Matt Scott also threw an interception in the red zone and the Wildcats turned it over on downs when running back Ka'Deem Carey was stuffed on a fourth-and-goal from the 2.

When it was over, Arizona had finished 0-for-6, blowing any chance it had of keeping up with the fast-and-furious Ducks.

"Every time you're in the red zone you expect to score and we just couldn't make it happen," Scott said. "We couldn't finish drives and we couldn't execute. It hurts, our defense came up with big stops and we couldn't capitalize on those."

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