Doing his best impression of Stanford quarterback and good pal Andrew Luck, Arizona Wildcats quarterback Nick Foles said he was in charge of selecting the first 13 plays from scrimmage in his team's first two offensive series against the UCLA Bruins last Thursday. It worked.
Arizona scored on each possession, and oddly enough, the quarterback's play-calling wasn't selfish; an aggressive and motivated run game sprouted as the Wildcats, for the first time in who knows how long, started fast and never looked back.
Much of that should be credited to Foles' coaches. On Monday night, Foles told us that the coaches allowed him to go with what he wanted -- after all, Foles' comfort with his offensive crew would make for production. It wasn't all Foles, however. The quarterback chose plays and went to quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo and then offensive coordinator Seth Littrell to talk shop, implementing suggestions along the way.
Take note, Washington Huskies. The Wildcats will likely remain in their player-choice play-calling mode in Saturday's contest.Defensive unit depleted in the backfield
The main concern against the Washington Huskies?
Following the suspensions to defensive backs Shaquille Richardson, Jourdon Grandon, Mark Watley and Lyle Brown following the altercation with UCLA that ended up becoming a bench-clearing shoving match, the Wildcats will be skinny in the defensive backfield.
Here's how it's looking. Cornerback Trevin Wade, safety Robert Golden -- both captains -- and sophomore Marquis Flowers will be the only players in the secondary that will have enough experience to not be worried. Either freshman Cortez Johnson or Derrick Rainey will start with Shaq (first string) and Lyle Brown (second string) out of the mix opposite of Wade.
And in the Desert Swarm flex packages that interim coach Tim Kish used with a heavy amount of nickelbacks, the loss of Watley and Grandon hurts a lot. Freshman Tra'Mayne Bondurant, who played with balls of fire (granted he had some mistakes) will get his shot at nickel for at least a half.
Against Washington's offense, one much more potent and pass-happy that UCLA's sickly attack, Arizona will need players to step up. It won't be easy, either way.
Desert Swarm defense questionable against Huskies
Furthermore, will the Wildcats even return to their run-stopping defense they saw squash UCLA's pistol offense? UW quarterback Keith Price will surely test Arizona's depleted secondary should the Wildcats remain with the defense they used against the Bruins. Will Wade and an untested corner be able to keep up on one-on-one islands?
Or will Arizona and Kish go with a completely different defensive set?
So many questions, so little time.