Guess which two teams combined for over 1,300 yards of offense that are meeting in Week 1 of the regular season? Arizona and Oklahoma State, that's who. Granted, one team was trying to cover a 600-point spread against an outmatched foe and the other ended up piling a grand 24 points on Toledo, but impressive numbers nonetheless for teams currently ranked 1st and 6th in total offense.
There's a lot of potential for new faces in Stillwater and a new system in Tucson. The Arizona Wildcats and the Oklahoma State Cowboys present two of the clearest and present high-flying offenses in the country, and they figure to be real difficult for any team to try and stop. So why not task them with trying to stop each other?
Arizona's offense has run a lot of the same principles with some of the original strains of the Airraid, but it never truly progressed and the team eventually stagnated. Now the Wildcats boast not just an inferior brand of the passing strand that infects Oklahoma State to its core, but instead run an entirely different system altogether that allows them to put the ball on the ground while at the same time giving them a few options to unleash and uncork.
Arizona's defense got ripped apart the last time these two teams played, hastening the demise of Mike Stoops and the advent of Rich Rodriguez. Now Jeff Casteel will be tasked on using his secondary-heavy approach to try and slow down the pass-heavy schemes of the Pac-12. It can't be an easy task.
Which scheme will triumph tonight? We shall soon find out.
SB Nation Snippets
Arizona Desert Swarm did a podcast with the Oklahoma State SB Nation site Cowboys Ride For Free and did Q&A's with other Okie State experts, and we learn more about what Oklahoma State's new quarterback is all about.
Replacing Weeden is true freshman Wes Lunt. Lunt enrolled last spring, and won the job during the spring camp. As far as replacing Blackmon, I don't really know who will show up. There are several players who could be "that guy", Charlie Moore, Tracey Moore, CJ Curry, but this year I feel like we will spread the ball around more. I believe it was the 2009 season we lost Dez after two games to some "indiscretions", and we spread the love to eight different receivers. I think it will be more like that (though, with much higher numbers, that year we only averaged 135 passing yards a game). As far as a leader, I think the team already looks to Lunt. He's been "the guy" all through the summer fall camp, so I think they'll respond to him (I hope).
Kevin Zimmerman of Arizona Desert Swarm lets the Oklahoma State guys in on Cowboys Ride For Free what he believes Oklahoma State will try and attack on their side of the football.
1: I see you run a 3-3-5 defense, and one of the main weakness's of that defense is run stopping. How do you think they will try to slow down our run game?
I think this is the biggest question mark of not only this game but for Arizona as the season progresses. Naturally, the 3-3-5 caters to a smaller, faster defense, but Arizona is still at a disadvantage with its size. Marquis Flowers, one of the defensive leaders, moved to outside linebacker from safety, and he's only about 220 pounds. The size isn't there, so I think we're going to get a good look at how the 3-3-5 ideally works after defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel was very vanilla with it against Toledo.
Expect to see a lot of movement between the linebackers and hybrid players at the rover positions. I expect Casteel to mix it up early and often in having the hybrids sometimes drop into coverage and sometimes get up in the box to stop the run. The hope would be to keep the OSU offensive line guessing as to who they're going to be blocking on run plays.