Dawgman.com Goes Behind The Lines With Wildcat Authority

Before the Arizona Wildcats and Washington Huskies square off Halloween night at Husky Stadium, we wanted to go behind enemy lines for a sneak peek. We asked Wildcat Authority's Cody Martin five questions about the 'Cats, and here's what he had to say.

DAWGMAN.COM - Which quarterback do you feel is best suited to attack Washington's defense?

WILDCAT AUTHORITY: While he has struggled the last few games, Anu Solomon is actually the quarterback that Arizona needs to have on the field against Washington. The Huskies have done a decent job against the run and the Wildcats need Solomon's passing game to be on, especially with a forecast of heavy rain. Jerrard Randall has had issues with giving his passes some touch over the years and it isn't much different this season. In a rainy game with Randall at quarterback, Arizona becomes a one dimensional team and much easier to stop. 

DM.C - Does the Arizona attack favor more of a shootout or a lower scoring game? 

WA: With the way that Arizona's defense has been injury prone this season, it seems the only way the Wildcats are going to win is if they put up quite a few points on the board. The Huskies are sure to get their share of points and Arizona is going to have to find a way to counter. Last season, this match up turned into a battle of the defenses, but I can't foresee the Wildcats' defense having a similar performance. Rich Rodriguez likes to keep the tempo fast and that should favor a lot of possessions and points for his team.

DM.C - What's been the main difference between this year's defense and last year's?

WA: The main difference is the personnel and that comes with a few seniors who graduated and the plethora of injuries that the Wildcats have had this season. Reigning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Scooby Wright has missed all but one game with injuries, his back-up, Cody Ippolito was lost for the season with a knee injury, and another starting linebacker Derrick Turituri has missed most of the season as well. Couple that with new starters at both corner positions and a few other new faces on defense and Arizona is left with a very inexperienced defense. The Wildcats are starting two true freshmen, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles and Jace Whittaker, who both could use some more seasoning before being thrown to the wolves. 

DM.C - Have the rumors surrounding Rich Rod's potential departure for South Carolina, for instance, made things more difficult? Have you noticed a difference?

WA: Arizona actually seemed the most focused on the game this week than it has all season so far. The team doesn't seem like it is going to let the rumors become a distraction. Obviously, there are rumors that Rodriguez is one of the leading candidates for multiple schools, but until he comes out and says that he is leaving, the team has to attack every day and every practice with him as the leader and head coach. So far, it looks like the Wildcats have been successful with that. 

DM.C - What are the keys to the game for Arizona and what is your prediction?

WA: The keys to the game for Arizona are pretty simple. The Wildcats have to put points on the board, plain and simple. It seems like an obvious key, but I highly doubt that Arizona will win this game if it does not put up more than 28 points. 

The other key for the Wildcats is getting stops on third down. Against Washington State, Arizona allowed the Cougars to convert on 10 of 16 third downs. If Washington converts at that rate, it is going to be a long road trip for Arizona. 

With all of that being said, Rich Rodriguez has his team focused on the task at hand. The Wildcats seem to be looking at this weekend as a make or break game and it very well could be that way. Even with the rain, I think Arizona is able to utilize both quarterbacks effectively and put just enough points on the board to come away with the win. I like what Chris Petersen has done at Washington, but I'm not sure that there is enough there to top the Wildcats.

PREDICTION: Arizona 35, Washington 34.


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