Know Your Foe- Arizona

Jason Scheer of Wildcat Authority breaks down the 'Cats...

1. If Utah comes in to the game with the mentality that they are going to run it down Arizona's throats over and over and Arizona knows for a fact that this will be Utah's game plan and Arizona decides to sell out to shut down the run, are Arizona's d-line and linebackers even capable of shutting it down?

Earlier in the season I likely would have said no, but I expect Arizona to play a similar defense to what it did against UCLA when it completely shut down the Bruins' running attack. Arizona's defense has played better under Tim Kish with some changes that have been made and while there are still major struggles, it showed against UCLA that it has the capability of shutting down a run-dominated attack.

2. What kind of an impact will Stoops firing have on recruitment this season?

So far it has not had a ton. There have been some decommits in Leo Thomas and A.J. Hilliard and will probably be a few more, but it is nothing that will be program changing. Most of the recruits have said they want to see who Arizona hires, so I believe the Wildcats will still end up with a decent class.

3. What are the primary areas of focus for Arizona recruiting in 2012?

Defense. Linebacker, defensive line, and likely some secondary as well. Arizona needs linebackers in a bad way and there is very little depth there. I expect the new coach to come in and notice that right away.

4. What are Nick Foles' weaknesses?

I'll tell you, there aren't many. The biggest weakness for him is when teams try to make him do too much. Washington completely shut down the run and made him predictable and when the defense is struggling, sometimes Foles tries to hard and it costs him.

5. Utah has had issues blocking pass rushers over the past few weeks. Who is most likely to put pressure on Jon Hays on Saturday?

Arizona will likely have some different looks for Utah, but I think nickelback Tra'Mayne Bondurant and defensive end C.J. Parish are the most likely. Bondurant is a true freshman who saw his first playing time all year when Kish became head coach and he is already one of the best players on defense. He is aggressive and plays somewhat of a rover on defense, which means he will likely be used as a pass rusher numerous times.

6. How much will the absence of Dan Buckner affect the offense?

Not much, if at all. Buckner is a big receiver who commands respect, but Arizona is plenty deep. It still has Juron Criner, David Roberts, David Douglas, Richard Morrison, Gino Crump, and more. Arizona has six other receivers with at least 15 catches this season. The Wildcats should be just fine without Buckner, though obviously would have been better with him on the field.

7. What are the biggest issues with Arizona's secondary and why are they giving up so many yards?

Just simple skill level really. Arizona has talent with Robert Golden and Trevin Wade, but has suffered a bit due to the season-ending injury of Adam Hall. In addition, Shaquille Richardson will likely miss the game and with Cortez Johnson having a concussion, Arizona is basically on its fifth string corner.

8. Is the kicking situation finally settled?

John Bonano was named the kicker as soon as Kish was named head coach and it has paid off. He has not miss a field goal or extra point yet and has come up big for Arizona.

9. Arizona will win if.....?

It can establish an offensive rhythm and play sound defense. I expect Arizona to aggressively attack the run and if it can contain it, the chances of the UA winning go up dramatically.

10. Utah will win if....?

It can put points on the board and contain Nick Foles. Foles is going to get his yards, but containing him in the redzone and holding Arizona to field goals is vital. If it can do that, Utah has a very good chance of winning this game.

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