Professor Pigskin: UW edition
How important is this game?
Very important. If Arizona wins they become a legitimate contender for the Pac-12 South crown. Right now they control their own destiny, but despite being 2-0, they have not played a very good team. UCLA is terrible and Colorado looks like they will probably finish in the bottom half of the league. Washington may be struggling, but they are one of the most talented teams in the Pac-12. A win on Saturday would not only make them 3-0 in league play but prove they can beat one of the better teams in the league.
Was last week Khalil Tate’s best game as a passer?
Yes. He’s had other good passing games, most notably his game against Colorado last year, but this was his best game. Not only did he 75 percent of his passes and throw for three touchdowns, but he was able to attack the middle of the field better than he ever has. Although his lone interception came on a bad decision, the rest of his afternoon showed a great grasp of what Noel Mazzone wants from his quarterback.
Did the Arizona defense come back down to earth?
Not entirely. After giving up 14 and 17 points in back to back games, they surrendered 30 points to the Buffalos, but that did not tell the whole story. They twice held them to field goals after the Buffs had the ball inside the Wildcat 15 and when they were holding onto the lead late in the game they got the stop they needed. After giving up a field goal on Colorado’s first drive, they held the Buffs scoreless until the 2:26 mark of the second quarter.
The bad news is they gave up 17 points in the final 2:26 of the quarter but 10 points came on short fields due to a Wildcat turnover and a punt deep inside Arizona territory.
The loss to Hawaii does not look so bad now does it?
From a record standpoint it looks like an okay loss. Hawaii is 4-1, ironically enough with its lone lost to Washington. Arizona had to open the season with a road game against a solid club and it is tough to travel thousands of miles to open the season.
My problem was how they lost. They looked unprepared to star the game. Hawaii’s offense pretty much scored on every possession where they did not turn the ball over and got key points at key times with their back-up quarterback. Offensively, Arizona found their rhythm, but it took them a quarter to do so after a series of three and outs against a team hardly known for their defense.
Are we sure Washington is good?
They have a lot of talent, but talent has never been a problem at Washington. Right now, they have some issues and are not playing as well as they should be. The Cal game was a weird one due to the weather stoppage, but the Bears were playing good football at the time before their quarterback got hurt. Stanford is a little more perplexing, though the physical nature of Stanford is tough to adjust to. In the end it will come down to Washington QB Jacob Eason. When he is good, he has been very good. In three non-conference games against non-Power 5 teams he has thrown for 801 yards 10 touchdowns and just a single pick. In three Pac-12 games he has thrown for 647 yards, just a single touchdown and two interceptions. He has a cannon arm but needs to set his feet and have a relatively clean pocket to thrive. If he has time to throw, Arizona will be in trouble. If they pressure Eason, the Cats have a real shot at shutting the Husky offense down.
Is Kansas City BBQ really that good?
Yes. 10 minutes into town and we already hit Arthur Bryant’s. At least two more BBQ places are on tap today and more on game-day.