Washington's secondary will face yet another challenge in senior quarterback Nick Foles. Arizona's offensive leader will try to carve up a struggling Husky defense. While Arizona (2-5, 1-4 Pac-12) is coming off of an impressive 48-12 victory over the UCLA Bruins, the Huskies (5-2, 3-1) are looking to bounce back from a humbling 65-21 defeat at the hands of Andrew Luck and the No. 6 ranked Stanford Cardinal.
Despite coming away with a crucial victory last weekend, the Wildcats still came away with some losses. As a result of the well-publicized bench clearing brawl between the two teams at halftime, defensive backs Shaquille Richardson, Jourdon Grandon, Mark Watley and Lyle Brown were al suspended. The Wildcats will need to depend on either freshman Cortez Johnson or Derrick Rainey to step in for Richardson and Brown who usually see the majority of reps for Arizona's defense.
Defensive coordinator Nick Holt has been the hot topic of conversation after the Washington defense was torched by Stanford. Holt will need to get his defense in order to stop Foles and the Wildcat offense from turning this game into a potential shoot-out.
Husky fans should keep their eyes on these players this weekend,
Offensive Player to Watch:
Nick Foles (Sr.), Quarterback
Foles is on pace to break almost every major passing record at Arizona including passing yards in a season, pass completions and pass attempts. He has been deadly accurate this season, completing 70.9% of his passes and needs 989 passing yards to become the school's career passing yards leader. Interim Head Coach Tim Kish let
Foles take over some play-calling responsibility in the first half against UCLA - the quarterback scripted the plays for the team's first two offensive drives which both led to touchdowns. While Foles does not have the same football IQ or the talent as Andrew Luck, he probably is the second best quarterback the Huskies will face all-season. It is almost certain he'll be able to move the ball through the air fairly easy against what has been a soft Husky secondary so far this season.
Defensive Player to Watch:
Tra'Mayne Bondurant (Fr.), Linebacker
A depleted Wildcat defense will need to get above-average performances from everyone not in the secondary to compensate for the suspended players. Bondurant had a game-high eight tackles in Saturday's victory against the Bruins.
Interestingly enough, the freshman was practicing at different secondary positions during training camp. Will he fill in at a defensive back spot? Or will the Wildcats deploy him at the linebacker position again this weekend? If Arizona is able to stop Washington's potent offense, Bondurant's performance this Saturday will be one of the reasons why.