Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 11/6/11
TUCSON Where does the University of Arizona football team go from here? Well, we know where it can't go - to .500 for the season when it eventually ends. And, oh yes, a bowl game with six victories not possible, although realistically that was probably unrealistic even before the game started between UA and Utah given the way Arizona had been playing this season. "I don't even know how it feels to stay home for Christmas," said UA senior receiver David Douglas, referring to not being bowl-eligible. The string of three consecutive postseason trips is now history. Saturday night's 34-21 Homecoming Game meltdown also will prevent Arizona from making it a respectable record when the 2011 season is eventually said and done with. Arizona is guaranteed its first losing season since 2007 when it went 5-7. Arizona will have to win out to even get to that point. It faces Colorado, Arizona State and Louisiana-Lafayette over the next three weeks. "It's about leaving a legacy for the younger guys as they go into next year," said Douglas, explaining what the next month would mean. "To me, winning the last few games would be great." Sophomore back Daniel Jenkins agreed but said the team has to be "strong mentally" in order to get it done. Kish said he wasn't worried about team's psyche moving forward. The same question was asked of former coach Mike Stoops, who said he wasn't worried about it. He was dismissed a couple of weeks later. Stoops or no Stoops it's probably just who they are inconsistent. "Looking into the guy's eyes at the end, this game means a lot to them. This football season means a lot to them," Kish said. "We have three games left. Everyone considers me the eternal optimist but that's the way it's going to be." Against Utah (now 5-4 overall after picking up its first Pac-12 road win), it wasn't pretty again - as it sent Arizona's record to 2-7 with three games left. Arizona is 1-5 in the inaugural season of the conference. Still, Kish, of course, was optimistic "We're getting 100 percent effort out of these guys everyday and as long as that happens ." he said. "No one is at fault here. We are working at becoming a good football team. We're still battling the situation of adversity of the second half of the season. We understand that. "We're going to beat that at the end of the season." Of course, it might eventually be a season to forget. Its first game against Utah in the Pac-12 Conference will be filed away as barely watchable if one is looking for positives. Can the rest of the season be deemed a success if no win occurs? Kish said he didn't know. "We want to win and we want to win the next three," Kish said. "(But) it's a tough situation for these guys to be in because they are going to be down. We're eliminated ourselves from any postseason activity. We will pick ourselves and be positive going into next week." This was the night in a nutshell: Down 27-14, Arizona was on the 2-yard line early in the fourth quarter after a pass interference call on Utah cornerback Conroy Black. A play later, Black stepped in front of Nick Foles pass to end the drive. Seven plays later, Utah was back in the end zone. Few things went right for Arizona. In fact, Arizona suffered the same problems as it had all year, poor special teams play (it suffered two blocked punts), inefficiency on defense (was down 17-0 early) and no running game. UA's running game was affected with the first-half suspension of freshman Ka'Deem Carey. Kish said he suspended him because of an undisclosed "team policy." "He'd be the first one to admit that he's disappointed in himself," said Kish. "One of those lessons that needed to be learned. I expect Ka'Deem to not make the same mistake again." Many about 25 percent of the announced crowd of 50,839 - of those who left Arizona Stadium in third quarter with Arizona down 27-7 just three minutes into it likely were saying the same thing. But Kish made it a point to stay positive. "From my vantage point, that was a team that played hard for 60 minutes," he said. "There was no quite in them; they fought to the very last second of the game. They had no reason to hang their head. They (do) have reason to be disappointed because you cannot make critical mistakes like we did and expect to have a good outcome." Arizona Nick Foles threw two touchdowns and now has 61 for his career, six shy of the school record. With 326 passing yards he moved into second all-time for a season with 3,517 (Willie Tuitama, 3,683). And he inched closer to being the school's all-time offense leader for a career with 8,644 yards (Tuitama, 8,727) But he'll remember his two interceptions and the loss. "I didn't execute in the end and we didn't execute well as an offense most of the game," Foles said.
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