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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Players to watch

Arizona

Shaquille Richardson

The true sophomore cornerback has had a nightmarish start to the 2011 season. NAU torched him and Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon twisted, turned and blew by him for two scores and 128 yards. Stoops will stick with Richardson through the tough times, but it won’t get any easier this week when he faces Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and lethal receiver Chris Owusu. Keep your eye on Richardson, because if he has a big bounce-back game, Luck may not have as big of a day as some expect.

Austin Hill and Dan Buckner

Redshirt freshman Austin Hill and Texas transfer Dan Buckner combined to catch 18 balls for 270 yards and a touchdown in Juron Criner’s absence against Oklahoma State. If Criner, who’s questionable, can’t go, Arizona needs similar production from its two outside receivers. Buckner and his immense talent are expected to put up big numbers, but it will be interesting to see if Hill can continue his surprisingly quick development in only his third collegiate game.

Mohammed Usman/CJ Parish

While the UA secondary has been bad, the Wildcats’ defensive line hasn’t shown up either. High-energy defensive ends Mohammed Usman and CJ Parish got a lot of pub in the preseason for their relentless motors. But that energy has yet to shine through this season, although they each picked up a sack against NAU. To give Arizona’s secondary a chance, its defensive line needs to put pressure on Luck, and that starts with Usman and Parish.

Stanford

Andrew Luck

Big surprise, right? Luck is the nation’s top quarterback facing a defense that’s giving up 426.5 yards a game. The Wildcats are fresh off of a shellacking against Oklahoma State where they allowed 594 total yards. Just imagine what Luck will do. The guy has his own section on Stanford’s athletic website. He’s that good. The projected No. 1 overall pick is as poised as they come, and his big arm, athleticism and experience poses a huge challenge for a Wildcats defense trying to find its footing.

Chris Owusu

The speedy receiver had a career game against the Wildcats last season, grabbing nine balls for 165 yards and a touchdown. He’s electric on the outside and should give the Arizona secondary fits. He missed six games last season with a knee injury but is back, healthy this year, and already has 14 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown.

Shayne Skov

Stanford’s junior linebacker has been all over the field through two games, leading one of the top defensive groups in the country. So far this season, Skov has had 18 tackles, 4.0 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. Stanford’s entire front seven is as tough as they come. Quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo called them the college equivalent to the Steelers, and Skov is the one to keep an eye on this Saturday.

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