Opponent Q&A: Talking Arizona Wildcats football


UWDP: Jayden De Laura is averaging over 300 yards per game and completing over 60% on the year. How has his play been overall? Where does he need to improve? Brian Pedersen: De Laura has massively upgraded Arizona’s quarterback play from a year ago, when injuries and ineffectiveness led to three different starters, none of them good. He had six touchdowns against Colorado, matching Will Plummer’s total for 2021, and could contend for several school passing records if he keeps it up. Where he gets in trouble is when he tries to force things, usually when Arizona is trailing, and he ends up turning it over. This past game he also reacted strangely to Oregon’s pressure, despite not really being in that much danger, and was errant on a lot of throws. If he can treat every play like it’s 1st and 10 and Arizona is leading, he’s spot on. . UWDP: Michael Wiley, DJ Williams and Jonah Coleman have handled the bulk of the work on the ground. Is this a matter of guys being banged up, or is it a "by committee" rushing attack? Describe their running styles. How would you assess the offensive line play so far? Brian: Michael Wiley is the primary back, starting every game, but his status for Saturday is in doubt after missing the second half against Oregon with an abdominal/oblique injury. That will give Williams and Coleman more touches, and they’re more downhill than Wiley. To this point it’s been a by-committee thing, trying to maximize the options, since each runner has a different skillset.