Before Nick Foles, there was Matt Scott in charge.
That was often an overlooked component to Arizona's run to a Holiday Bowl, since once Foles took the job over for good in the fourth game, he ran a prolific passing attack.
This week - and for the near future - Foles in on the shelf with a knee injury. And Scott is back in the saddle.
The California product, who was recruited by other Pacific-10 Conference schools, including Washington - the Wildcats' opponent Saturday in Tucson - gives the offense the added element of making plays with his legs.
"They’ve got a nice scheme and a system in place when they spread you out and throw the ball, and then they get into their two-back stuff and run the ball and use their play-action pass game," UW coach Steve Sarkisian said on the weekly Pac-10 call with reporters.
"A third dimension now that they have with Matt Scott in there is the quarterback run-stuff, the zone-read and the designed quarterback runs."
All Arizona coach Mike Stoops wants to see from his No. 2 quarterback is a player who stays true to his nature.
"He’s got to go out and play like Matt, and not try and be Nick," Stoops said. "He has to do what he does well. If he has to improvise, then improvise and use his athletic ability. Don’t try and be a prototypical player. Use his instincts. I don’t think you can ever take that away from a player, and that is what Matt has to be able to do."
Scott threw for 220 yards and a touchdown in relief of Scott in the Wildcats' 24-7 triumph over Washington State last weekend.
Here are some excerpts from Sarkisian's call with reporters:
Do you fear Arizona's pass rush?"I am honestly very concerned. I think that’s the real strength of Arizona’s football team is their ability to rush the passer, especially off the edge."
What makes UW linebacker Mason Foster so effective?"I think one, he’s got a very high football IQ. And two, he’s talented. You can win with those two things. ... And his ability to make all the plays that he does make."
What is with the win-one-week, lose-the-next-week pattern?"The biggest thing is to focus on the task at hand, and not get caught up in and worry about, ‘What just happened against Oregon State,’ and not trying to look down the road at the what-ifs and consequences and potential down the road, but focus at the task at hand. We’ve got a big-time ballgame this week versus Arizona. We need a great week of work. We need a real sense of urgency going in there, and focus on our ability to play in a hostile environment, and finish on the road."
An update on Talia Crichton's right knee injury?"Umm, nothing came in on Talia yet. They are doing some further tests and what-not, which I think can be somewhat encouraging. The worst-case scenario had come out right off the bat, so it’s somewhat encouraging, and that remains to be seen."
Erik Kohler returning to practice after a bout with mononucleosis?"Not like he had drastic (mononucleosis)."
Are UW players having to learn how to win again?"I think so. Some guys are learning how to win again, and some guys that’s all they know, some of our young kids who are playing well for us. It’s a nice combination. A real credit to our coaches and to our kids in understanding that. We talk so much about finishing this offseason – our ability to finish ballgames because we had so many heartbreaking losses last year – that they’ve shown the ability to stay in a ballgames, get refocused even if things don’t go your way and finish against tough opponents."