Washington’s offense is a bit difficult to predict because there are so many moving parts, but there is some talent there.
For starters, the Huskies have used Shaq Thompson primarily on offense these last few weeks and it has been successful. Although he has only gotten 61 touches, Thompson leads the team in rushing with 463 yards.
Washington coach Chris Peterson announced that Thompson will play defense this week, but we assume he will get a handful of carries.
Coleman has only played in eight games this season, but he is second on the team with 106 carries for 455 yards and one score. Our guess is that Cooper gets a few more carries this weekend now that he is seemingly healthy. He only has 43 carries on the season and has Stapicked up 237 yards.
Cooper has solid speed, but the reality of the situation is that Arizona would rather see Coleman or Cooper than Thompson and that’s a no-brainer.
The Huskies start 6-foot-4, 225-pound sophomore Cyler Miles at quarterback. This season he has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,404 yards to go along with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions.
In addition, Miles can be a running threat at times. He probably does not take off as much as he should, but he has 377 yards on 86 carries.
The biggest issue with Miles is that he is a bit limited. There is not much of a deep game and his ceiling probably is not as high as other quarterbacks in the conference.
Similar to Thompson, Washington has decided to move wide receiver John Ross III to cornerback. He is third on the Huskies with 17 catches for 371 yards and four touchdowns, but it looks like he will only be getting looks on defense for the rest of the season.
Statistically, 5-foot-11, 174-pound junior Jaydon Mickens is Washington’s best receiver with 39 catches for 331 yards and two touchdowns.
The stats can be deceiving though, as he only has six catches in his last four games to go along with inly 30 yards.
Senior DiAndre Campbell will start opposite of Mickens and has 21 catches for 208 yards and one touchdown.
The Huskies will also use tight end Joshua Perkins, who has 11 catches for 159 yards. With the way Arizona defends, it would not be a surprise to see Washington try to get Perkins involved in the middle of the field more.
Players to Watch:
#6, RB Deontae Cooper: Cooper hasn’t put up big numbers this season, but we doubt Thompson would be back on defense if the UW coaching staff didn’t think he was capable. He has good speed and has solid ability, so Arizona will need to be careful in limiting him.
#82, TE Joshua Perkins: Perkins is a big body that Washington will likely try to use in mismatches against Arizona’s defense. If the Wildcats are not careful, the tight end might be able to string together a few catches.
#7, RB Shaq Thompson: We know he is supposed to primarily play defense this week, but we also think he is going to get some carries. Thompson has been Washington’s best offensive player and it really hasn’t been close.
Keys to the Game:Stop the run: The worst case scenario for Washington’s chances offensively would be if Miles is forced to throw. If the Huskies are unable to establish the run at all, the offense is going to have a difficult day. Make UW play from behind: This is somewhat similar to the first key, but the Huskies are not made to come from behind. If Arizona can get a few stops early and the offense gets going, Washington is in an uncomfortable position.
Limit big plays: This isn’t a big play offense, which means that if the Huskies can get big plays, it could change everything offensively. Arizona needs to force UW to be what it is offensively.