Arizona vs. Washington State: Keys to the Game

Arizona takes on lowly Washington State tomorrow for a homecoming game that will likely be a one sided affair.  I know  this aint high school, but let's thank the athletic office for scheduling a manageable opponent for this joyous event that we are going to scrub the floor with.   There's nothing like a homecoming with a huge Arizona win to start your night off with

Arizona is currently #18 in the BCS and #21 in the AP Poll.  A dominating win over Washington State should jump us a spot or two in each category. Although Arizona's schedule still holds Oregon, Cal, USC, and ASU, the Cats need to take care of business in Tucson and do it in a big way.  Earlier I broke down some statistics of where the Cats are and how bad the Washington State run defense is.  I'm expecting a big game from Foles as always and Keoli Antolin will get the big rushing game by default as Nic Grigsby and Greg Nwoko are still sidelined with injuries.  Also, look for Brooks Reed to get back into the mix for the Cats.  He's been sidelined almost all of the last four games and will try to get his game strength back against Washington State.

ARIZONA KEYS TO THE GAME

  • Stay Healthy. Let's be honest here.  Arizona is picked to win this game by 28.  Style points are good. Winning big is good. Staying healthy is even more important.  I am one of those guys who has a hard time writing this because I think that numbers are important when recruiting as well.  When do you take out Foles? When do you let some of the young guys get playing time on the O-Line?  I think that if we are able to pass the ball, Foles should be left in until we are up by 21-28 points and he has thrown for over 300 yards. Why not? Strike fear into the hearts of defenses and excitement into young recruits (QB's and receivers) when they see his end of the year tally.  If it becomes a running affair, I say let Matt Scott get his reps.
  • Special Teams. Time for coach Hammerschmidt to try out a few things on special teams to make sure we end our year with no mistakes.  We need better kick off coverage, for one. We are 77th in the nation on kickoff coverage.  That is RIDICULOUS.  When you have as much speed as we do, we should not be anything less than in the top 30.  Put in some of those fast wide receivers and let them earn some playing time and pop those pads. Who cares. I'll be watching for solid coverage against Washington State. 
  • Linebackers. Yes, Xavier Kelly is the team leader in tackles with 46Vuna Tuihalamaka has had some great games.  Watching games and finding our weakness has led me to believe it's the linebacking corps.  Consistently not filling holes, not great angles to the outside, and the softest under 10 yard coverage in the Pac-10.  The linebackers are playing under the system set up for the whole defense so sometimes games can be deceiving trying to figure out the "why" or the "who" messed up on that play; however, other than our soft D-Line for the beginning of the year, the linebackers need to step up and play as well as the rest of the D.

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