Potentially huge game today. Arizona at Washington feels like one of those possible turning point games to me. Just talking with the Huskies, looking in their eyes over the past couple of weeks, they look like a team that needs its efforts validated by a win.
And from all indications, the Wildcats are in the same boat.
Today's winner gets a bounce. Who knows what happens to the loser.
A quick look at how things project in these final hours before kickoff:
ARIZONA (2-6 OVERALL, 1-4 PAC-10)
AT WASHINGTON (2-5, 0-4)
Kickoff: Noon, Husky Stadium
Television: Channel 11. Radio: 950-AM.
The series: Washington leads, 16-6-1, including wins in the last two meetings: 21-10 last season, and 38-14 in 2005.
What to watch: Arizona has the lowest-rated running game in the Pac-10, and Washington has the lowest-rated run defense. The Wildcats' spread offense is significantly different from the Oregon one that ran up 55 points on the Huskies last week. Arizona's version is almost a pure passing offense. When the Wildcats run, they generally do it from an obvious running formation. Meanwhile, Washington's offense and Arizona's defense have both shown signs of improvement recently. QB Jake Locker will try to build on what offensive coordinator Tim Lappano calls the best game of his career last week. Lappano will once again work the game from the sideline, rather than the coaches' booth. UW's new Legends Center will open to the public at 9 a.m. in the Graves Building just north of the stadium.
What's at stake: Both teams see this game as a potential win that could turn around seasons that so far have been short on success. An Arizona loss knocks the Wildcats out of bowl contention, while Washington must win five of its last six to be bowl eligible. There are questions in Tucson about coach Mike Stoops' job status in his fourth season. The Huskies need a good result after a long week full of personnel controversy and questions about their loss to Oregon.