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Arizona secondary sees WSU game as a 'chance to pad the statbook'

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Arizona has watched their game tape this week and they see an opportunity to have the game of their lives this Saturday.

Ethan Miller

Everyone knows that Connor Halliday, Mike Leach and the Cougars throw a lot. With a lot of passes, a lot of interceptions may follow closely behind. The Arizona secondary knows this, and they're salivating at the opportunity.

When most people watch Washington State quarterback Connor Halliday, they see yards, touchdowns and a lot of first downs. When Arizona's defensive backs watch Halliday, they see opportunity.
"I enjoy it a whole lot; just to be able to get about 10, 15, 20 picks, because they throw it 90 times a game," UA safety Will Parks said with a smile. "We should come out with a lot of interceptions and pass breakups. It's a chance to pad the stat book for everybody."
Added fellow safety Jared Tevis: "I look at everything as an opportunity, so with a team that throws so much, I look at it as an opportunity for us to make plays and get interceptions."

That's how Daniel Berk of the AZCentral.com begins his game preview. Obviously the line from Will Parks is tongue in cheek, but it's obvious that they think their going to have a banner day on Saturday afternoon.

Halliday is 2nd in the conference in interceptions with 8, "trailing" Colorado's Sefo Liufau who has 9. When you throw more passes, you going to throw more interceptions. I graduated with a communications degree and even I know that. Halliday throws a pick on a 1.8% of his throws. Compare that to 3.8% for Liufau and 2.2% for UCLA's Hundley, Halliday isn't in too bad of shape. The Arizona defense has 4 interceptions this season, spread out across four separate games, but they seem confident that they're going to improve on that number exponentially against Washington State.

That's the line from the players, head coach Rich Rodriguez is singing a different tune.

"His ability to read a coverage and extend a play and scan the whole field is very impressive," Rodriguez said. "All five receivers are viable options. He may go to any of them at any time.  So the ability to see the field and get rid of it so quickly, I think, translates to the next level, because that's what the NFL has become."

One part that has impressed me this season, personally, about Halliday has been his decision making (with a couple notable exceptions). He threw 22 interceptions last season and is below that pace a little over half way though this season. Whether Arizona will be able to use this game to "pad the statbook," I don't know. But I do know one thing, Will Parks will not dectuple (or more) his interception total by catching "10, 15 or 20 picks".

Basketball

Ernie Kent is ready to take the helm of the men's team for his first season and June Daugherty is ready for her 7th in charge of the Cougar women. Before their teams can take the court, they have to face the media at Pac-12 media day.

The women are coming off of a promising 2013-14 season that saw them finish in 8th place in the conference, a spot that is tied for their highest finish since 1997. They are up first as they take the stage from the Pac-12 Network studios in San Francisco later today. Coach Daugherty will be joined by her senior guard Tia Presley when she appears on the Pac-12 Network at 1:19 PM later today. You can watch the entire event live on the Pac-12 Network or online on the Pac-12 website to authenticated subscribers starting at 12. The full schedule and more coverage information can be found here.

The Cougar women will be featured in the first women's game televised on the Pac-12 Network as Nebraska travels to Pullman on November 19th.

The men, led by their first year coach Ernie Kent and senior guard DaVonté Lacy, will follow a day later. The men's event can be seen on TV and, unlike the women's event, can be viewed online by anyone, regardless of whether you subscribe to the networks on TV or not. Kent and Lacy will appear on the coverage of the Pac-12 Network's internet stream at 10:10 AM before showing up on the Network's coverage on TV at 12:25. The full schedule of the men's side and more information on how to watch can be found here.

The men start their season on November 7th when they take on Azuza Pacific in an exhibition at Beasley before traveling to Texas to face UTEP and TCU on November 14th and 17th, respectively. The Cougs will return home for their home opener on the Pac-12 networks on November 21 against Idaho State.

I've compiled all the time and network info that you need to know for the Cougs into one easy to read, yet probably unnecessary if you skim the info above, chart.

Women's Basketball Media Day October 22, 2014
June Daugherty and Tia Presley 1:19 PM Pac-12 Network TV and Online
Men's Basketball Media Day October 23, 2014
Ernie Kent and DaVonté Lacy 10:10 AM Pac-12 Network Online
Ernie Kent and DaVonté Lacy 12:25 PM Pac-12 Network TV


Football

Cougars needed time off - Spokesman.com - Oct. 21, 2014
PULLMAN – Washington State football players addressed the media for the first time since the Stanford game on Monday and the consensus was that the players feel refreshed after a badly needed bye week.

Baseball

Cougar Baseball Announces 2015 Schedule - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The Washington State University baseball team is scheduled to play 29 games at Bailey-Brayton Field in 2015, Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut announced, Tuesday.

Golf? Golf!

Cougars Climb Leaderboard to Finish Third - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Freshman Derek Bayley finished tied for seventh, the best finish of his young career.

Darkness Falls in Southern California - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The Cougars finished the opening round tied for sixth at the Wood Ranch Golf Club.