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Arizona football: Wildcats try to run past Washington again

Will Rich-Rod have his Pac-12 coming out party in Seattle, or are his Wildcats still not ready for the big stage?

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

1. With Arizona State's loss to Stanford, would you consider Arizona on equal or lesser footing than the Sun Devils, and are they the main threat to UCLA now?

I don't think we can say where Arizona stands until after the Washington game. It'll all depend on how the quarterback situation looks and if Rich Rodriguez's offense can put up points without a vertical threat. I happen to think Arizona will be in decent shape even if B.J. Denker can't sling it more than 15 yards at a time, but we won't know until the Wildcats play a very good Huskies team. So for now, I think Arizona is just a step behind ASU in terms of where they stand. But if Arizona shows well this week, then I just might put them ahead of the Sun Devils -- it's just hard to do right now knowing ASU has a very capable quarterback.

2. What have you seen from Arizona through their non-conference schedule that has really impressed you?

The good news is that the offense is scoring decently enough by running, running and running. But aside from that, I think that it's really positive to see the defense creating turnovers and gaining confidence. It gave up a lot of points and yardage last season, but with so many returning players, the defense very well could be good enough to keep this team competitive -- and without many offensive options outside Ka'Deem Carey.

3. What have you seen from Arizona through their non-conference schedule that really concerns you?

The quarterback situation, obviously. We've harped on it quite a bit, but it's scary that they've needed to build a passing attack but haven't implemented it into game play so far. Part of me hopes it's so that B.J. Denker will surprise a lot of people this week and beyond, but the cynical side of me says it's because there's not much the passing game can do.

4. If you could describe Arizona as a dessert, it would be _______________ because __________________________.

Like a really good vanilla ice cream but with no cherry on top. I think this team is going to end up being a run-heavy squad that will still put up points and yardage despite defenses knowing what to expect. There's nothing fancy and only one flavor, but it's not necessarily a bad thing. The Wildcats will be simple but simply effective.

5. Arizona ripped up Washington last year, but this is looking like a much more improved squad.

I think the Huskies are legitimate this season and had a lot of bad things go their way last year. They also didn't do so poorly when you consider the schedule. Last year, the Wildcats were coming off a bye and hosted a Washington team coming off two very tough losses to Oregon and USC. I usually don't go with qualitative analysis like that, but I think the Huskies were simply not in a good place mentally. This year should be very different and a lot more interesting.