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After what Nevada's Colin Kaepernick did to them last week, the Bears are probably thanking the college football gods for their matchup with Mike Stoops' spread offense. Indeed, a team that doesn't run the option and that has no rushing attack to speak of must sound like an absolute blessing.
But no team in the Pac-10 moves the ball through the air better than Arizona. Junior QB Nick Foles's 877 yards passing lead the conference, and his 164.5 trails only (surprise!) Kevin Riley and Andrew Luck.
Make no mistake, Arizona represents the first true challenge for Cal's secondary this year. Indeed, Kaepernick's success throwing the ball last week was mostly due to the threat of him taking off on any given play. Judging from the coverage, it was clear that Cal's secondary was more worried about him than it was his receivers.
In actuality, the secondary actually performed better than you might think last week. Sophomore corner Marc Anthony, a first year starter, recorded nine tackles and his first career forced fumble. Sophomore safety Josh Hill added eight tackles of his own. There's no telling how many yards the two of them saved.
Against a pocket passer like Foles, the secondary can afford to take it for granted that they're not going to be relied on to make that many tackles again.
Instead, you'll know they're doing a good job if the pressure is getting to Foles, and perhaps if the Wildcats start running the ball an inordinate number of times.
The good news for both Anthony and Darian Hagan is that Foles' primary receiver, junior Juron Criner, is questionable with turf toe.
At 6'4", he towers above both of Cal's corners. His absence would be a huge break. And on a night where Cal's passing attack is probably going to have to match Arizona's, they're going to need as many breaks as they can get.