Arizona beats the Trojans if…
…the Trojans struggle offensively. The offense will need to be prepared for a shootout. Although the defense is playing overall better than last year, there isn’t always consistency in their performance and this will be the best offense the defense has seen this year.
Lane Kiffin will need to call a balanced attack this game. He will need to help the defense out by chewing up the clock with the running game and giving them adequate rest. This will keep the defense fresh and allow more time to make in game adjustments.
Kiffin’s offensive attack will also need to incorporate the entire offensive arsenal. I have been saying this for weeks and hopefully it will happen this game. The offense is at its best when Barkley is getting the ball to all of his weapons and attacking the defense through the air at various levels.
Barkley needs an equal distribution of targets to Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, Xavier Grimble/Randall Telfer, and a sprinkling of Nelson Agholor. The aim of the offense needs to be to keep the Wildcats’ defense off balance and guessing.
Defensively, if the Trojans’ defensive line doesn’t wreak havoc on the Wildcats’ pass protections and run blocking, Arizona will make it a long night. Morgan Breslin, Leonard Williams, and Wes Horton will need to defeat one on one blocking. Monte Kiffin will need to sprinkle in some tackle twists, along with some tackle and defensive end stunts to confuse the Wildcats’ protection calls.
If the Trojans backend can’t hold up in coverage and aggressively attack the Wildcats’ receivers this can be the undoing of the Trojans. The front four may not always get there. The blitzes that are called may not make it home, so the secondary has to be like Velcro.
Tune in to catch the Trojans play the Wildcats on Saturday at 12:30p PT. The game will be televised either on ABC or ESPN2 depending on your location. You can also follow us on Twitter for in game analysis @ReignofTroy.