The Dawgs play Arizona on Saturday night at 7 pm in Tuscon. Here’s a look at what they’re up against.
If you haven’t heard by now, Arizona’s starting quarterback, Nick Foles, is out for this game with a knee injury. This is good news for Dawg fans because Foles is one of the best quarterbacks in the Pac-10. Taking his spot for the game will be a very capable backup, Matt Scott. Scott played a little bit last year and showed that he’s a solid quarterback. He also played last week against Wazzu. He was decent in that showing. Scott is more athletic than Foles, meaning we could see him break the pocket a few more times than we’d like. With that being said, I think people have been downplaying the loss of Foles. He’s one of the top quarterbacks in the Pac-10 and their offense could struggle without him. We’ll see.
The Wildcats have a solid 2 back combination in Nic Grigsby and Keola Antolin. Neither are in the upper echelon of backs in the conference but both are solid in their own right. Nic Grigsby has 340 and Antolin has 218 yards on the year. The truth is, Arizona is a pass first team. But, with Foles out, they may turn to the run more. Both of these guys can catch pretty well out of the backfield. Grigsby and Antolin are both capable of big days, but they aren’t on the same level as Jacquizz Rodgers, who was phenomenal last week (just thought I needed to throw that in there).
Arizona has one of the best receivers in the country in Juron Criner. He’s extremely fast and is a big play waiting to happen. Criner has 34 receptions for 562 yards on the year. He was limited last game because of “soreness” but that is ready to go this week. After Criner, no one has been a huge threat. David Douglas has put up some decent numbers, 250 receiving yards. William Wright and David Roberts are also names to look out for. The Wildcats really throw the ball around, so don’t be surprised if someone you’ve never heard of ends up with a big game.
To be honest, there’s not much information on Arizona’s offensive line. They have over 700 rushing yards on the year, so that shows that they are pretty decent in that area. Arizona runs a quick hitting, spread offense that doesn’t involve a lot of sitting in the pocket. This makes it hard to know how good the pass protection is. I’ll get back to you on this area after the game.
To the defense after the jump. We’ll do this a little differently since I’m short on time.
The Arizona defense has been very good, to date. The defensive line lost their best tackle last week in the game against WSU. That could hurt since he was their best player up the middle. The guys on the ends are very quick. Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore are two of the better defensive ends the Huskies will face all season. Our offensive tackles will have their hands full (hopefully this isn’t a holding penalty joke waiting to happen). Arizona is breaking in an all-new linebacking group this year. They have held their own so far and haven’t been a weakness like many thought they would be at the beginning of the season. The secondary has been great except for the game against Oregon State. Ryan Katz carved them up that night. We’ll see which secondary shows up this week.
That’s all for now, thanks for reading!