Oct 5, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; Washington State Cougars nose tackle Ioane Gauta (95) and teammate Kalafitoni Pole (98) celebrate after a sack against the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The defensive line will have their hands full this weekend when they are forced to take on running back Ka’Deem Carey and quarterback B.J. Denker. Both are very good with their ground game. Both Carey and Denker have 11 touchdowns on the ground. Denker has another 11 through the air. The defensive line will have to stop the ground game of Carey, forcing Denker to make plays himself.
Last week when the Wildcats took on UCLA, the Bruins won by forcing turnovers. The Cougars will have to force turnovers and win the turnover battle if they want to win this game. The Cougars were the first team to force Oregon’s Marcus Mariota to turn the ball over by getting to the quarterback. The Cougars will have to do that this week to help them win the game.
Denker has 1,688 yards through the air so far with 4 interceptions and 11 touchdowns while averaging a 58% completion percentage. Denker has only been sacked 12 times this season. Getting to him in the backfield and forcing him to throw errant passes will help the Cougars out huge.
Stopping the running game is just as important. When Denker drops back to throw the ball more than 33 times in the game the Wildcats have lost. Forcing Denker to throw passes he doesn’t want to throw and forcing the Wildcats to stray away from the ground game could be what causes Arizona to fall.