Syracuse and Arizona want to work out some frustrations on each other in the Aloha Bowl.
Early ties against Michigan State and Pittsburgh started the Orangemen toward a disappointing 6-4-2 finish. Arizona's wins over nationally ranked Illinois and Southern California were coupled with losses to Oregon State, Stanford and California as the Wildcats finished 7-4."We could have had a lot more," said Arizona All-American cornerback Darryl Lewis, the Pacific 10 Conference's co-defensive player of the year. "It's been a strange year, beating powerhouse teams and losing to weak teams."
"We don't feel that 1990 has been the year that we wanted it to be," Syracuse Coach Dick MacPherson said. "I don't think we recovered from those ties."
Arizona is a slight underdog going into the Christmas Day game, but MacPherson said the teams match up pretty evenly.
"It becomes a question of execution and turnovers," he said.
Both teams have question marks: Can Arizona's running game sustain long drives against the Orangemen? How will Syracuse's balanced offensive package stand up to Arizona's defense? Will the teams avoid inconsistencies that have plagued them this season?
Arizona this season became only the second Pac-10 team to defeat Southern California and UCLA in Los Angeles in the same season. But sandwiched between those victories was a 27-21 loss to Oregon State, the Beavers' only victory this year.
"Our losses were more mental than physical," Arizona running back Art Greathouse said.