Wide receiver Juron Criner of the Arizona Wildcats will be Nick Folks key target on Saturday night against the Huskies. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
If you are a fan of high scoring football games Saturday nights game between Arizona and Washington should satisfy your appetite.
Washington and Arizona sport two of the worst defenses in the conference combined with two of its higher scoring offenses.
Arizona has a history of having problems defending mobile quarterbacks but they did a nice job last week against UCLA using a new variation of a double-eagle-flex to destroy UCLA's pistol offense. The Bruins had been averaging 195 ypg on the ground and only picked up 37 against the Wildcats.
Arizona used a defensive player to cover every Bruin at the line of scrimmage to create more freedom for its linebackers and DB's to make plays in the UCLA backfield. The strategy worked and I expect them to use a variation of it this week to help pressure QB Keith Price and bottle up RB Chris Polk.
Another big key to victory over UCLA was the Cats new found ability to rush the football. The Wildcats picked up a season high 254 yards against the Bruins which was 150 plus over their season average going into the game. That balance opened up a lot of opportunty for Nick Foles who was 22-of-27 for 242 yards and three TD's in the first half which was instrumental in helping Arizona open up a commanding 42-7 lead.
If recent history is any type of guide the Wildcats shouldn't have much of a problem moving the ball through the air and scoring points on the Huskies.
To achieve a win the Husky defense needs to play well in the red zone (giving up 3's rather than 7's) and shut down the Arizona rushing attack. If the Cats are one dimensional than they can go after Foles whose passing percentages start sliding when he is pressured.
If Arizona is able to mount a serious running attack against the Huskies which nets out in the 200 yard neighborhood they will likely come away with the win. In that scenario Folk could just sit back in the pocket and pick apart the Huskies all night.
Offensively the Huskies should be able to dominate the Wildcat defense on the ground and through the air. Nobody including Stanford has been able to contain Chris Polk and Arizona isn't going to do it either. It wouldn't surprise me at all to see the combination of Polk, Callier, and Sankey pick up over 200 yards.
Husky QB Keith Price has the ability to absolutely shred the Wildcat secondary. He will also be aided by the absence of four Arizona defensive backs who are serving varying types of suspensions for their part in a brawl with UCLA last Thursday.
I think Washington has the ability to beat Arizona in all three phases of the game this week. I think the offense is going to score early and often while the defense bounces back with a solid performance. The combination of a homecoming crowd, a black out - night game, and the opportunity to clinch a bowl berth should power the Huskies past the Wildcats.
Washington 51 Arizona 31