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Huddle Up: Arizona



NCAA Football: Toledo at Arizona

Arizona blogger Kyle Kensing (@kensing45) joined me to preview the Oklahoma State game on Saturday night. You can find his work at Arizona Desert Swarm.

1. Transitions are always difficult, what is going to be the most difficult part of Arizona’s from Stoops to RichRod?

The end of the Stoops era took a sharp turn from the direction it had been headed, especially on defense. Recruiting on that side of the ball, injuries and transfers mounted the last few years, so retooling is a major undertaking for the new staff. That’s almost beneficial since they are starting from scratch with scheme, but means taking some lumps early on.

2. A three-man front like Jeff Casteel runs isn’t something OSU is used to, how effective can this scheme be against an air raid offense like OSU’s?

Arizona had major pass defense problems last season, largely because it couldn’t establish a consistent blitz. UA is paper-thin up front, so the 3-man front tries to compensate with speed.

A smaller and faster defense should hypothetically match-up well against a team heavy on receivers, since it utilizes the corners, the Bandit, and has that additional, versatile look from the Spur. Of course, if the stunts and blitzes aren’t catching the linemen it’s a moot point since the quarterback isn’t being pressured.

3. Who’s the guy for Arizona who, if he goes off, could single-handedly hand OSU a loss on Saturday night?

Aside from the man upstairs? Arizona has a real mountain to climb because OSU is likely the third best team it sees all year. The offense can’t falter on its opportunities like it did against Toledo, so one of the running backs — I’m looking to Ka’Deem Carey — has to be a reliable option in the red zone.

Score prediction?

Oklahoma State 41 — Arizona 28

I see UA putting up much more of a fight in the first half than the last two times out, but the Cowboys are just too good and the Wildcats’ lack of depth wears them down.

This post is part of our Arizona game week coverage.

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