Posted by Tom Fornelli
When Arizona quarterback Nick Foles went down with a knee injury on Saturday against Washington State, fear immediately spread throughout Tuscon that his season was done, and that Arizona's chances of going to Pasadena were done with him. A feeling that is understandable considering that Foles is one of the biggest reasons the Wildcats have been a force this season.
The good news for the Wildcats is that Foles is only expected to miss two to three weeks with his dislocated kneecap. The bad news is that this injury coincides with the part of Arizona's schedule that provides the biggest test of the season, and that they'll have to depend on the much-maligned Matt Scott during the stretch.
When Scott first came to Arizona three years ago, he was pegged as the future. Scott was a dual-threat quarterback that was going to beat opponents with his arm and his legs, but the problem was that Scott spent most of his time on the field forgetting he had an arm, instead choosing to take off at will.
He was beaten out for the job by Foles last season, and now the junior finds himself thrown into the fire, trying to find the promise he had against teams like Washington, Cal and Stanford. And that's if Foles only misses three weeks. After a trip to Stanford the Wildcats have to face USC before heading north to take on Oregon.
Scott played pretty well against Washington State after Foles went down, throwing for 139 yards and completing 70% of his passes while showing a willingness to stay in the pocket he hadn't shown before.
Still, that was against Washington State, the worst team in the Pac-10, and Scott still made some bad decisions in that game and threw an interception without throwing a touchdown.
Maybe there's a chance that Scott will continue to grow and play well in Foles' absence, finally figuring out how to balance his arm and his legs -- something Arizona coaches should help him with by making adjustments to this week's game plan -- and Arizona won't miss a beat.
Still, something tells me that Scott might play better, but won't be good enough to keep Arizona in contention for the Pac-10. By the time Foles is healthy enough to return to the field, I fear it will be too late.