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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football notes: Wildcats looking to rebound from last week’s Oregon game

Larry Hogan / Arizona Daily Wildcat Ka’Deem Carey, No. 25, runs the ball in a 59-38 victory over OSU on Sept. 8, 2012.

Speed kills, and last week it killed Arizona (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12).

Oregon ran past and around the Wildcats last week in Eugene, Ore., falling to the Ducks 49-0.

On Saturday at 7 p.m. at Arizona Stadium, the Wildcats will face the fast-rising Oregon State team. The No. 18 Beavers (2-0, 1-0 Pac-12) are better known for defense, but the offense has performed well in recent upset victories against UCLA and Wisconsin.

“It is a little bit different of a formation than we’ve seen all season,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said. “We have pretty much seen a similar style all camp and all four weeks of the season. Now, we are going to get a bigger look and bigger bodies, so we are going to have to adjust to that.”

The Beavers’ run-defense is ranked second in the nation, allowing only 53.5 rushing yards per game, which could cause some problems for the Wildcats’ running game that struggled for most of the Oregon game.

Receiver Richard Morrison doesn’t believe the Beavers’ attempts to make the Wildcats one-dimensional will disrupt Arizona’s game plan.

“For us, we have two great running backs in Ka’Deem [Carey] and D.J. [Jenkins],” Morrison said. “So you’re going to have to prove to us that you can come and shut us down. We also have [quarterback] Matt Scott who can run.

“They have more to worry about than we do.”

Scott and the Arizona offense will have to rebound from its zero for six performance in the red zone against Oregon last week.

Scott was fourth in the nation in total offense prior to Saturday’s game, but only completed 50 percent of his passes on his way to a 210-yard, three interception performance — his worst of the season.

Entering the season, the Beavers’ offense was not highly regarded, and apart from quarterback Sean Mannion and receiver Markus Wheaton, a Phoenix native, offensive playmakers were few and far between.

Against UCLA, however, little-known Beavers running back Storm Woods and receiver Brandin Cooks broke out, rushing for 96 yards on 21 carries and catching six passes for 175 yards and a touchdown, respectively.

“We need to go to them often,” Oregon State head coach Mike Riley said of Wheaton and Cooks. “They’re our playmakers and they have good speed. They’re fun to work with. It’s very important to us that those guys get the ball.”

The Beavers will try to confuse the smaller Arizona defense by using motion and moving their players across the field before the snap, in the hopes that the Wildcats will tip off their defensive strategy before the ball is snapped.

“Last week, we had to line up quickly,” Rodriguez said. “This week, we have to identify quickly. We have to know where their strengths are. They do enough to where they can sell play actions if you are peeking in there too soon.

“It’s not like they are always in a two tight end, two back offense, but it is a drift from what we been seeing from these past weeks.”

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