Bug Wright Copyright 2010 Peter A. Bernal.

Bug Wright, the joke goes, has angered the football gods.

The Arizona Wildcats junior wide receiver has been inexplicably dogged by mistakes and haunted by bad luck in his last two games.

"Maybe it was the eight-man football he played in Oklahoma," inside receivers coach Garret Chachere said with a chuckle.

Wright muffed a punt in Arizona's Week 3 showdown with Iowa, though he made up for it by catching the game-winning touchdown pass. A week later, Wright caught just three passes for 20 yards in a 10-9 win over Cal.

In between, there were enough shoddy plays, penalties and struggles to drive the diminutive receiver crazy.

Wright, 21, will try to put the issues behind him Saturday when the No. 9 Wildcats take on Oregon State at Arizona Stadium. The 5-foot-9-inch, 175-pound Wright spent the Wildcats' bye week catching extra punts and passes in practice with the hope that his unlucky streak will end at two games.

"The last two games have been kind of rough, but I have my focus back this week," he said. "I've been practicing as hard as I've ever practiced."

Mentally, Wright is trying to rebuild a confidence that's repeatedly been shaken over the last two years.

Wright opened the 2009 season as the heir apparent to slot receiver Mike Thomas, but was slowed by a shoulder injury and arthroscopic knee surgery. He returned in time to start at Arizona State and against Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl, but his final stats - 23 catches for 234 yards and a score in 11 games - were well below his expectations, he said.

Wright has been Arizona's most productive inside receiver this season, catching 14 passes for 151 yards and two scores, but has struggled to stay consistent. Though he's easily the team's quickest player, Wright's longest gain has gone for just 23 yards.

Chachere said Wright can be "very frustrating at times," though it's probably a byproduct of Wright trying too hard.

"Sometimes you have a play that you don't do your best on, and then you try too hard on your next play that you make another mistake," he said. "You're rushing, hurrying and not really thinking things through (instead of) being calm and precise about what you're doing. Sometimes, those things tend to backfire."

Wright will now try to get right mentally. The Wildcats will need him.

Defenses are likely to double-team outside receiver Juron Criner in the coming weeks, limiting Arizona's top offensive player. That should mean more opportunities for the Wildcats inside receivers and tight ends, players who have struggled this season.

Luckily, Wright says he has a short memory.

"I know I'm a good player. I just have to get back on what I used to do, and pay attention to the details," he said. "Hopefully, the gods are happy with me now."

On StarNet: Watch Ryan Finley's Wildcat Insider preview of Saturday's game at azstarnet.com/video

Up next

• Who: Oregon State at Arizona

• When: 4:07 p.m. Saturday

• TV: Versus