WSU in Week 8: Arizona

THE WILDCATS SHOULD be fleet of foot when they meet Washington State in the eighth game of the 2014 season. Arizona, at 219.06 pounds per man, is the lightest team in the nation, according to analyst Dave Bartoo of CFBMatrix.com. Clarity over who will line up at quarterback is a completely different story.

Washington State made Arizona look ordinary last year in a 24-17 win. The next week, Arizona destroyed Oregon 42-16. The week after that, they got blown out 58-21 by ASU.

Whether Arizona is as schizophrenic in 2014 remains to be seen. They do have to replace a good amount of starters (10), and they are expected to play a number of junior college transfers (six JUCOs are in their 2014 class.)

Vying to replace QB B.J. Denker are three transfers - Jesse Scroggins, Connor Brewer and Jerrard Randall come from USC, Texas and LSU, respectively. There are others in the mix and none have separated themselves from the other, says coach Rich Rodriguez. The guess here is that Scroggins may have a leg up.

Some think Arizona has the deepest receiver corps in the Pac-12, with slot man Austin Hill, Trey Griffey, Cayleb Jones and others in a unit that might run eight-deep.

And UA might need to throw it more this year having lost Ka'Deem Carey and his 1,800 rushing yards to the NFL -- there doesn't appear to be a star back waiting in the wings. That said, the o-line is solid and should make the RBs look good.

The offensive line is pretty well set, with only the right guard spot in question headed into fall camp.

Nose guard Dwight Melvin was probably best performer on the defensive line but his job isn't set in stone and Arizona is also replacing two of their best producers up front.

Rodriguez has downplayed the chances Bellevue's Marcus Griffin will play as a true freshman, and it looks like redshirting is in the cards for Griffin.

The linebackers look fairly deep with Scooby Wright leading the way although a lot is still likely to be asked of two incoming highly-rated freshmen.

Meanwhile, the secondary features solid starting players, particular at safety, but little depth. Corner in particular is thin, and it's expected a safety, receiver or both will be converted to corner in fall camp.

Arizona should get off to fast start, with UNLV, UTSA, Nevada and Cal first up on the schedule. But the Wildcats play Oregon and USC just before they meet the Cougs, and could come into the matchup with Wazzu both mentally and physically banged up.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Rodriguez is high on his incoming recruiting class, saying that at least half of them could play this season.

  • Arizona returns 12 starters, six on both sides of the ball.

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