What To Watch For: Arizona Edition

It's Dad's Weekend in Pullman and the Arizona Wildcats are in town. Arizona brings a pass-happy offense, throwing the ball around 60 percent of the time. Many of those passes, however, come in the form of quick screens to the wide receivers -- man of the bubble variety.

Here's what we're looking for.

  • Can WSU defend the outside screen game? As we talked about on the podcast, the Cougs didn't handle the quick screens Oregon threw at them well last weekend. This week, the corners won't have to focus as much on containing the read option, but they will need to shed blocks and make tackles in space to stop the outside screen game Arizona runs with efficiency. If they can't, it's going to be a long day.
  • The WSU linebackers. C.J. Mizell will again be in the middle of the defense, seeing the majority of snaps no matter what package they're in. Sekope Kaufusi should also see plenty of time today with Hoffman-Ellis listed as doubtful with an injury. The linebacker are thin this week, with Hoffman-Ellis, Ledgerwood and Atofau either doubtful or out for today's game.
  • The WSU pass defense. Outside screens are one aspect of the passing game -- serving almost like outside runs -- but Arizona quarterback Nick Foles can throw the ball and stretch the field when called upon. We've been so focused on the run-game woes that we haven't paid attention to the pass defense. Time to find out if it's any good.
  • The Cougar running backs. With Jeffrey Solomon out, I expect to see more 20 personnel again this week. The two running back sets worked well last week and it's likely we see plenty of the same against Arizona -- with running backs lining up in a variety of formations. In an effort to keep the defense honest, being able to run the ball at least somewhat effectively will go a long way today.

Come back around 3:30 p.m. We'll be doing a live chat to discuss Arizona, WSU, basketball and any other random questions on your mind.

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