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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

November 15, 2014 at 6:04 AM

Game day: Huskies at No. 17 Arizona

John Ross III returns a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown against UCLA on Saturday. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

John Ross III returns a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown against UCLA on Saturday. (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

UW GAME DAY

Huskies (6-4, 2-4) at. No. 17 Arizona (7-2, 4-2)
12:30 p.m. PT Saturday at Arizona Stadium
TV: FOX (Ch. 13). Radio: KOMO AM-1000, FM-97.7.

GAME PREVIEW: Desperation has hit the desert.

LATEST LINE: Arizona is favored by 9 points.

A FIRST IN THE SECONDARY: The Huskies had some expected hiccups while starting three true freshmen in their defensive secondary during last week’s 44-30 loss to UCLA. Sophomore John Ross III has made a full-time switch from receiver and will make his first start at cornerback against Arizona, pushing freshman Naijiel Hale into a reserve role. That young secondary figures to have its hands full trying to contain Arizona’s big-play receivers, Cayleb Jones and Austin Hill. Both are averaging 13.9 yards per reception with 12 touchdown catches between them.

RED-ZONED OUT: To win on the road in the Pac-12, and to beat a top-25 team, the Huskies can’t afford to settle for field goals. They’ll have to convert red-zone chances into end-zone production. The UW offense converted all four of their red zone trips against UCLA. That’s the good news. The bad news is two of those trips inside the UCLA 20-yard line ended in field goals for UW. “We didn’t do ourselves any favors down there,” UW offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith said. The Huskies have added “a coupe new wrinkles” in the red zone this week, which Smith hopes will lead to more points.

LINE ‘EM UP? The Huskies’ offensive line could get a boost Saturday with the return of starting left guard Dexter Charles, who has missed the past three games with an ankle injury. “Dex will definitely be in the mix,” Chris Petersen said. Senior right tackle Ben Riva, out most of the season with knee and ankle injuries, has practice this week, but Petersen wasn’t sure if Riva would be able to play Saturday.

UW PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Cyler Miles: 12 TD/2 INT
RB Deontae Cooper: 5.3 yards per carry
NT Danny Shelton: 13.5 TFL
LB Shaq Thompson: 58 tackles

ARIZONA PLAYERS TO WATCH

QB Anu Solomon: 25 TD/5 INT
RB Nick Wilson: 770 yards, 7 TD
LB Scooby Wright: 107 tackles
S Jared Tevis: 80 tackles

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