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Arizona led the Pac-12 in running 83.2 plays per game in 2012 while snapping the ball, on average, once every 18.8 seconds. The Wildcats, with new starting quarterback B.J. Denker, are down to 68.3 plays per game this season (compared to 83.7 for UW), but much of that, no doubt, has to do with Arizona’s three nonconference opponents and the blowout nature of those victories.
As Arizona (3-0) heads into Husky Stadium on Saturday, UW coach Steve Sarkisian said he expects to see the Wildcats at full speed.
“This game is obviously a little unique in just the style that Arizona plays,” Sarkisian said after Wednesday’s practice. “They go so fast and they’re so dedicated to running the football. And their commitment to remaining physical and really trying to wear you out from a conditioning standpoint. So to simulate that in a practice setting is sometimes a unique challenge, so we’ve really tried to stress … to focus on the tempo and extend the drive to fatigue our guys, and I think they’ve responded really well to it.”
— On future schedules: Sarkisian and AD Scott Woodward met Tuesday, and Sarkisian said the Huskies will stick with the general outline of their “A-B-C” format, as many around college football do. The Huskies have four nonconference games scheduled for 2014 (which is allowable because of their season-opening trip to Hawaii), with Eastern Washington — an FCS program, like Idaho State — scheduled to come to Husky Stadium on Sept. 6, 2014. Sacramento State is scheduled to open the 2015 season at Husky Stadium, and Sarkisian said scheduling those FCS programs probably won’t change for UW. But finding top-flight competition — an “A” game — remains a priority.
“We’re trying to find people to come play us — that’s a little challenging right now,” Sarkisian said. “We’re working on it. … We want that challenging, BCS-caliber opponent early in the season. I think it’s good for us.”