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What Arizona players are saying about the Washington State game

NCAA Football: Washington State at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats and No. 8 Washington State Cougars will battle on Saturday night in frigid Pullman, Washington.

The Cougars (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12) are looking to stay atop the Pac-12 North and continue their push for a spot in the College Football Playoff. WSU owns the nation’s best passing attack (392.3 ypg) and the 20th-best defense in the country (324.1 ypg).

Fresh off a bye week, the Wildcats (5-5, 4-3) are looking to capture their third straight win and remain in contention for the Pac-12 South championship. Arizona beat WSU 58-37 in Tucson last year, but were walloped in Pullman the year before, 69-7.

A few UA players met with the media Tuesday to preview Saturday’s rematch. Here is what they had to say.

Arizona TE Bryce Wolma on what stands out about WSU’s defense:

“They have a great defense. They’re fast and they’re physical and they do a lot things defensively that’s creative. They move around on the defensive line, trying to get us to jump and try to confuse us a little bit, but we’re just going to go in and do our game plan and hopefully that works for us.”

Wolma on how to avoid pre-snap mistakes against WSU:

“It’s a combination of things. It’s a pretty hostile environment so the crowd’s going to be loud, so that’s definitely an aspect. But making sure we’re on the same page with snap counts and motions so no one is offside or false starting.”

Wolma on the cold temperatures in Pullman:

“I’m from Michigan, so it’s going to be like playing in my backyard for me. But I don’t think that’s going to be a huge aspect for us. It’s not going to change our game plan or anything.”

Arizona S Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles on what makes WSU’s offense unique:

“They thrive on being in space, they always find space, they always find holes in the defense. Their receivers are very smart. They’re not just running routes because a coach tells them to run them. They read what the defense likes to give them and sit down in holes, so we’ve got to do a great job of taking away those holes that they like to sit down in, so make sure we’re disciplined in coverage and with our eyes.”

Arizona LG Cody Creason on WSU’s front-seven:

“They’re strong, physical and really athletic. They do a lot to try to confuse offenses too, with their slanting and stunting before the ball is snapped.”

Creason on if the 69-7 loss in Pullman in 2016 provides any extra motivation:

“Whenever you get beat like that you never really forget an experience like that. But (the win) last year definitely gives us confidence going into this week.”

Arizona CB Lorenzo Burns on the keys to slowing down WSU’s lethal passing attack:

“Film study is the most important thing. They like to do some things that are pretty simple. Their coaches even said it, so I think just getting the simple things they do down to a tee, so that we know when they’re going to run it and how they’re going to run it.”

Burns on if he likes to play against an offense that averages over 50 pass attempts per game:

“I do. It’s more opportunities, of course. 50 or 60 (throws) a game is going to allow me to make more plays on the ball and more targets my way. So I’m excited to go out there and play this weekend.”

Burns on what stands out about WSU quarterback Gardner Minshew II, who leads the nation in passing yards:

“He runs the system very well. You can tell they trust him a lot. He calls a lot of plays on the field. He’s like a coach on the field actually from what we’ve seen on him. He’ll change up calls, he’ll make adjustments — smart adjustments too to put them in position to win games and it’s showing.”

Arizona DE JB Brown on what to do as a pass rusher when WSU throws the ball so quickly:

“As we’re getting a pass rush, getting your hands in the passing lane, trying to get a batted ball, hopefully get an interception, but try to be disruptive.”

Arizona WR Shawn Poindexter on if the Wildcats will be keeping an eye on the Utah game before they play WSU:

“Obviously we’ll be watching the game, but will that change the effort I have playing? Definitely not.”