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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona VS. Toledo Breakdown

Arizona keys to the game

Contain Eric Page

Toledo’s entire offensive attack goes through freshman All-American Eric Page. He does most of his damage after the catch and in underneath routes, so the Wildcats have to contain the 5-foot-10 speedster. Arizona is employing an entirely new linebacker core, as well as two first-time starters at safety, so the team that ranked 19th in passing yards per game in 2009 will certainly test the Wildcats. Arizona could combat Page nicely with shutdown corner Trevin Wade, but it may take more than one body to slow down Toledo’s top threat.


Don’t play down to the competition

There is no question Arizona is far more talented than the Rockets, but with the game on the road and Toledo featuring a “”nothing to lose”” attitude, the Wildcats need to make sure they don’t play to the level of their competition. At practice earlier this week, the biggest theme was to stay tuned-in mentally and things will take care of themselves. If Arizona can do that, it should have no problem disposing of the Rockets.


Get to the quarterback

Toledo lost its 2009 starting quarterback Aaron Opelt to graduation, and will turn to sophomore Austin Dantin to run the show. Dantin played sparingly in 2009, throwing for 962 yards and four touchdowns in six games. But he’s still young and new to the full-time starting gig, so the Wildcats need to bring pressure early and often. If they can get to Dantin and give him and Page no time to connect, Arizona will neutralize Toledo’s passing attack, leaving it to its sub-par running game to pick up the slack.



Arizona: Three key players

Robert Golden, CB

Golden started in all 13 games for the 2009 defense that ranked 25th in the country in total defense — but all starts were all at strong safety. Golden has moved back to cornerback, his position out of high school, to replace the graduated Devin Ross. The junior has ideal cornerback size, and the toughness he showed in the box at safety will be an added bonus at corner. With Jim Thorpe Award candidate Trevin Wade manning the other corner spot, Toledo will test Golden early and often.


Adam Grant, LT

Now entering his sixth year as an Arizona Wildcat, Adam Grant has been around the block. He hasn’t, however, made it over to left tackle — the most important position on the offensive line — until this season. Offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator Bill Bedenbaugh decided in the offseason that Grant’s savvy prepared him for the position change. After starting last year at right tackle, Grant slides over to take on the tall task of protecting Nick Foles’ blind side. Standing at 6-foot-6, the seasoned vet seems ready for the challenge.


David Douglas, WR

Douglas emerged as a reliable receiver for Nick Foles midway through 2009. Playing inside receiver, Douglas had 31 catches for 320 yards and two touchdowns. While Douglas was preparing to start at inside receiver this year, outside receiver Delashaun Dean left the team and opened a door at outside receiver. Enter David Douglas. At just 6-foot-1 he’s dwarfed by fellow outside receiver Juron Criner, but Douglas has been receiving rave reviews throughout camp. As if his speed and hands weren’t enough, being Nick Foles roommate might attract some balls his way, too.



Toledo: Three keys to the game

Air it out

The Rockets had one of the most vaunted passing attacks in the country last year, finishing 19th overall with 278.5 yards per game through the air. Precision passing probably won’t be expected since Toledo is debuting quarterback Austin Dantin, but that could work in the Rockets favor. Arizona’s linebackers and secondary are talented, but they might be uncomfortable and out of sorts to start the game. Toledo should test them early.


Shut down Juron Criner

Plenty has been written about Arizona’s depth at the skill positions, but the landscape could change drastically if Juron Criner is limited. Criner is far-and-away the best receiver the Wildcats have and his presence alone calls for a shift in coverage in his side, opening up other Arizona receivers. If Toledo can figure out a way to neutralize Criner without employing too many defenders to his side, Arizona might be in trouble.


Pull tricks

It sounds gimmicky – it is gimmicky, actually – but Toledo should try to catch the Wildcats off guard early in the game. Rather than sit on their heels and let the game come to them, the Rockets could try a trick play on offense or a fake punt or an early onside kick to gain momentum. Toledo is outmatched at nearly every position on the field, but a well-placed trick play could help level the playing field.



Toledo: Three key players

Eric Page WR/KR

Eric Page has established himself as one of the best wide receivers in college football after a record-setting 2009, but the truly amazing thing about Page is that he’s still just 18 years old. The small speedster led all freshmen in the nation last year, with 82 catches for 1,159 yards while also doubling as a kick and punt returner – leading the Rockets in both categories. Page will be depended upon heavily to help break in Toledo’s new starting quarterback.


Morgan Williams, RB

Toledo is known for airing it out on offense, but since it is opening the season with a new quarterback the Rockets might need to lean on the run more heavily than they usually do. Williams has had a productive two years in the system, rushing for nearly 1,500 yards while sharing carries. The two-time Ohio high school player of the year is talented enough to rip off a game-changing run if Arizona is sitting back anticipating a pass.


Archie Donald, LB

Donald has been one of the best defensive players in Toledo history, recording 235 tackles over the past two seasons. Despite the production, Donald has only been named All-MAC once, and it was as a third-teamer last season. Donald, who is expected to lead a Toledo defense that struggled mightily last year, enters 2010 with a chip on his shoulder. He and fellow linebacker Dan Molls combine to make two-thirds of a respectable linebacking trio.

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