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With the D1A PAC Conference entering its fourth week of play, #10 Arizona’s 70-19 defeat of #14 Utah highlighted the weekend. The Rogers brothers, Kyle and Matt, combined for five tries in the victory with Kyle earning the hat trick and Man of the Match honors. The Wildcats’ next opponent is the defending conference champion, #2 Cal, who completed a three-game sweep of challengers this week by a combined score of 326-17.
In Tucson, Ariz. at Sitton Field, Arizona was hitting on all cylinders in its 70-19 drubbing of Utah. The Wildcats unleashed a total of 11 tries on the Utes with Kyle Rogers leading the way with three tries and Matt Rogers and Sinclair Clinton chipping in a pair each. Zach Biggs, Ryan Hudson, Bronson Teles, and Lucas Bartzis also found the endzone with Anton Grigoriou kicking six conversions and a penalty.
Arizona head coach Sean Duffy felt that the test was good progress from its match last week against UCLA where he thought his team underperformed. Against Utah, “I felt we did a lot to disrupt their attack, both in the breakdown and with our overall line speed. We were much more patient in attack which paid off as well."
Duffy couldn’t say enough about the play of his fullback, Kyle Rogers. “With his hat trick, Kyle stood out. He did a lot in attack and he's continuing to grow into that role. In my opinion, he's the best fullback in the country.”
Although it’s early in the season, Duffy’s confidence in his squad is growing. “I have learned that these guys believe. You always hope they do, but now there is a real belief in this team that we can reach our ultimate goal. We have yet to play our perfect game, but these guys are doing so much in the lead-up and after the 80 minutes on Saturday that you can see how much they really believe in the process.”
The next step in that process is Cal at home on Saturday. Duffy plans on not hyping the match too much. “[It’s] just another game for us. Cal won the conference last year but we really like our team. We will see what happens and it's at home which is always nice.”
As for Cal, the Bears packed their schedule with three games in four days. Cal encountered little resistance as it beat Stanford, 135-0, on Wednesday and swept Cal Maritime and Utah Valley to a total of 171-17 on Parent’s Weekend in Berkeley, Calif. In the three-game stretch, Cal scored 49 tries while only allowing two.
The three games gave head coach Jack Clark and his staff an opportunity to further evaluate every player on the squad. “We are getting a lot of minutes for a lot of guys... Competition is part of development and getting guys minutes on the field is important. I’m happy for the rugby we have had.”
Cal travels to Arizona this weekend with dates against the Wildcats on Saturday and Arizona State on Monday. Clark doesn’t know much about either opponent and is squarely focused on his team and how to make the Bears better.