This week, John Berkowitz of SBNation’s UW Dawg Pound was kind enough to answer some of our questions. Check out his responses to the questions, and let us know in the comments whether or not you agree with him, and why or why not.
1. What is your biggest concern heading into the game?
JB- The health of Jake Locker is always a concern. Jake is at his best when he works out of a mobile pocket. He gets banged up pretty good every week so if it affects his mobility this week he may be a sitting duck for your two talented defensive ends.
2. How will the Washington O-line handle Arizona's D-line?
JB- Jake Locker’s mobility and Chris Polk’s knack for picking up yards after contact makes this unit look a lot better than it truly is. We are going to have some problems with you DE’s but we will counter that by bringing in an extra tackle to line up in the TE spot.
3. Do you think the Huskies defense is counting on a sub-par performance from Arizona QB Matt Scott? JB- No, Scott is a quality quarterback even though he isn’t quite the passer that Foles is. He has a different skill set which can be just as dangerous. Arizona isn’t going to drastically change their offense but they will attempt to run the ball more to take some pressure off Scott. That being said they will still dink and dunk.
4. How do you think the Huskies will adjust to the fact that the Arizona defense is so dominant against the run?
JB- I am not really sold on the Arizona defense being dominant against the run. A lot of those numbers are skewed by playing less than stellar completion before conference play began. The Husky running backs will get approximately 30 carries and as usual the yards will be there. Chris Polk must lead the nation in yards after contact. He looks like he is stopped at the line of scrimmage and then the pile moves for 5-6 yards. I don’t think that will change against Arizona.
5. Who is the best player on Washington's roster, that Wildcat fans have never heard of?
JB- Cort Dennison is one of the team captains and is our middle linebacker. He is a really smart kid who makes the guys he plays with better. Cort is the QB of the defense. He isn’t the fastest guy in the world but he makes up for that by having a good nose for the football.
6. What do you Washington people think of the fact that we consider it "cold" now that it's dipping down into the low 70's here and (gasp) may even fall into the 60's at night soon?
JB- That’s Arizona…cold is anything below 75. I think it will be great football weather.
7. Will the football gods allow any more freakish plays? (Or non-plays...grumble...)
JB- That was certainly a gift last year wasn’t it? Arizona outplayed Washington the entire game so it must have been a tough loss to stomach.
8. What is the overall perception of the Arizona Wildcats football team among Huskies fans? (Don't pull any punches.)
JB- Arizona isn’t exactly Notre Dame or USC. I believe they are the only school in the Pac 10 that hasn’t been to a Rose Bowl. We have won most of the games in the series and we are 4-4 with the Cats during perhaps the worst period of our football history. So I think ambivalent would be the best term to describe how we feel about Arizona. The Wildcats are on the schedule every year but it isn’t like we are counting down the days until we play you. It is a basketball school that happens to have a football team.
9. What kind of food will your fans bring to tailgate? We'll trade some Sonoran hotdogs for some of that Washington food.
JB- It isn’t much different than anywhere else except for the abundance of seafood. Clam Chowder is one thing that you may find at a Husky tailgate that you won’t find in the desert.
10. What about the Washington football team should concern the Wildcats the most?
JB- Jake Locker…you keep Jake under control and you win the game.