"We make the other team go backward," says Arizona defensive end Tedy Bruschi. How, Tedy? "With a little speed, reading the snap count, getting off as hard as we can, watching film, looking at a back's eyes, watching the offensive lineman—if he's leaning forward, expect the run; if he's leaning backward, the pass."
It sounds so simple. "Our defense is frightfully simple," says Tomey. "It looks the same every time." That wasn't always the case, however. Tomey came to Arizona in 1987 with enough packages to fill a UPS truck—a nickel package, a pressure package and a pass-rushing, man-to-man coverage package called a Bear defense.
"We found our package was getting too big, too complicated, so we simplified it for 1992," says defensive coordinator Larry Mac Duff. "We combined the best of what we had and settled on one thing."
That one thing is called the double eagle flex, in which the four-man front is supposed to stop the run and close the gaps. Meanwhile a linebacker—the flex—sweeps to the side of the field where the ball goes. It has worked: Last season the Wildcats gave up just 8.9 points per game, compared with 32.8 per game in 1991. "The Arizona defense is as good as Washington's was two years ago when the Huskies won the national championship," says Oregon State coach Jerry Pettibone.
Did someone say Washington? Since the Huskies are not eligible for postseason play because of Pac-10 sanctions, and since they do not appear on Arizona's schedule, this might be the year that the Wildcats—the only Pac-10 team never to have appeared in the Rose Bowl—travel to Pasadena on New Year's Day.
After Louisiana Tech ran its record to 0-3 with a 56-3 loss to Alabama, Bulldog coach Joe Raymond Peace said, "I'm tired of learning adversity. Games like these past three do not make us a better team." Louisiana Tech has been out-scored 140-6 this season.... The blowout of a tire on the bus carrying New Mexico State to its game against New Mexico in Albuquerque was the omen of the week. After arriving late, the Aggies lost 42-7. Guess they were flat.