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Arizona vs. Washington: Q&A with UW Dawg Pound

We caught up with Anthony Casino from UW Dawg Pound to answer our questions about the Huskies.

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1. Can you talk a little bit more about why Washington decided to go with a more up-tempo attack this season and also what you've seen out of it so far?

The big reason was that it fits their personnel. Right now, the Huskies have a set of skill players that can stand toe to toe with any group in the country. Running more plays over the course of the game gives them more chances to get the ball into the hands of those guys. It also fits Keith Price's skillset really well, as he's shown by ranking #7 in the country in passer efficiency through this point. The other reason is that the defense seeing this kind of attack every day in practice will (ideally) help them to defend against it when they see it throughout the year.

2. How do you expect the Huskies to attack Arizona's small 3-3-5 defense? I'd expect Bishop Sankey to be a big part of it.

Bishop Sankey should be a huge part of it. The Huskies have been more of a running team this season than any other under Steve Sarkisian, and a big part of that reason is that not only is Bishop Sankey an elite runner, but there's some pretty good bodies behind him that they can plug and play with. A lot of the playbook this season is in Keith Price's hands though, and it's his job to find the mismatch and get them into the best play. If that's giving the ball to Sankey, they'll go that way, but many plays have both runs and passes built into them, so if Arizona overcommits to stopping Sankey, Price will get the ball out to guys like Kasen Williams, Kevin Smith, Jaydon Mickens and John Ross and let them try to make a play.

3. The Huskies seemingly haven't gone to Austin Seferian-Jenkins a whole lot this season, but do you think they'll look to him quite a bit against the Wildcats? Arizona had trouble against tight ends last year, and Seferian-Jenkins led UW with 110 yards in the game between the two schools.

They're still kind of figuring out how he fits into the redesigned offense. It took him a bit to get back into football shape after his suspension, and this will be his first real test on the year. Against Idaho State the playcalling was designed to get him him involved early, and it's possible that they do that again. But the team has so many options that they spread the ball around to that it doesn't seem like he'll have as big a game this season as he did a year ago.

4. Tell us a little about Jaydon Mickens, the Huskies' most-targeted receiver so far.

Mickens has become this season exactly what he was billed to be when a couple years ago when he came into the program as a highly touted recruit. He solved his drop issues from his freshman year and has become extremely reliable. He does most of his damage catching passes behind the line of scrimmage and turning the ball upfield, following the blocks of his bigger WR teammates. He's really quick and shifty, and defenses have had a tough time getting their hands on him. If he gets a crease he can do some serious damage.

5. What's one thing a Husky fan will worry about heading into Saturday, be it the penalties from the Idaho State game or otherwise?

The Arizona run game destroyed the Husky defense last season, as did every other spread team they faced. This is the first true test for the D this year, and most feel that this game will set the tone for the year. If the Dawgs can put in a decent performance against the Wildcats, it will bode well for a schedule that features a lot of high tempo programs.

6. Give us a prediction of how you think the game goes and who wins.

The Huskies at home have been a really good team under Steve Sarkisian, and this is the best UW team in a long time. It's going to be tough for anybody to come into Husky Stadium and beat the Dawgs. I think there'll be some back and forth early, but I think the Huskies will run away a bit at the end of the game, with a final score somewhere around 45-27.