Know your foe – Arizona Wildcats

Devils Digest invited its Sparky's Huddle members to pose questions to editor, Thomas Preston, concerning the ASU's next opponent. What will the Wildcats' state of mind be after losing out on a Rose Bowl appearance? How confident are they that offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes will stay in Tucson in 2010 and beyond? Preston answers those questions and more in this article.

(from ASUMajor) What is the emotional state of the team after the tough loss against Oregon and missing out on the Rose Bowl?

Preston: Cam Nelson admitted that it would affect the team and how could it now? Arizona went from being a Rose Bowl to fighting for a spot in the top four. The team was definitely disappointed but there seems to be some realization that it will only get worse if Arizona does not beat Arizona State.

(from ASUMajor) How has Nick Foles managed to be so effective as a first year starter at QB?

Preston: The offense is a perfect fit for Foles, especially since he has such a quick release. Sonny Dykes puts his quarterbacks in a great position to succeed and he has done so with Foles. Foles is asked to make simple plays and does so with great efficiency.

(From MR. Herbivore) What has Sonny Dykes meant to the program and do you feel he will be in Tucson beyond this season?

Preston: I feel Dykes will be in Tucson next season but after that, it is anybody's guess. Had Arizona went to the Rose Bowl or should it go to the Holiday, I think there is a chance Dykes leaves. His importance to the team is difficult to state because it is so much. Basically, the team is nowhere as successful as it is now without him.

(from NorCalDevilSouza78) If he were to leave would Mike Stoops look to fill his spot in house or go outside the program?

Preston: I assume this means voluntarily and if so, Sonny Dykes is likely the man. Stoops may talk to his buddy Darryl Wyatt or Chuck Long but, in all honesty, I don't think Stoops would have much of a say.

(from Denver Devil) How does the average U of A fan view ASU's defense?

Preston: It is hard not to respect ASU's defense. While he may not be the most liked guy, I think most recognize that Vontaze Burfict is a great player. ASU's secondary is viewed as a weakness to an otherwise strong unit.

(from Denver Devil) Being objective, what would U of A fans say Erickson needs to do to turn ASU around?

Preston: His recruiting leaves a bit to be desired. For some reason, ASU is struggling to get an offensive line together and the team will never be successful without it. In addition, Erickson likely has to adapt to the current era of college football a bit more and it does not seem like he has done it already.

(from ASUMajor)Would the fan base consider the football season a success if the Wildcats split these last two games and go 7-5?

Preston: Arizona needs to beat ASU or there is going to be major disappointment. Some fans will be okay with 7-5 while others won't, but I think the fan base would lean more towards it being a success.

(from Denver Devil) What does the average U of A fan feel is going to happen next season with their team? Better or worse?

Preston: With most of the offense coming back and likely Rob Gronkowski as well, Arizona's offense will likely be better. The defense may need some holes filled, but it should not be a problem. Most people expect the UA to be a better team next year.

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