Kickoff: 3 p.m. PST at Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: KJR radio (950 AM).
Washington: 5-4, 3-2 in the Pacific-10 Conference.
Arizona: 1-8, 0-5 in the Pac-10.
Washington: Keith Gilbertson (53-41 in his eighth year overall, 5-4 in his first year at Washington).
Arizona: Mike Hankwitz (0-4 in his first year).
Washington: It appears quarterback Cody Pickett will be back in the starting lineup, after having suffered a concussion that kept him out of the second half of the Oregon game. It won’t hurt much to hand the ball off to redshirt freshmen tailbacks Kenny James and Shelton Sampson, each of whom ran for more than 100 yards against the Ducks. Wideout Reggie Williams figures to get his eight to 10 catches, despite being double-teamed. Receiver Charles Frederick reportedly took it easy in practice this week with a bruised chest, but should play. Defensive tackle Terry Johnson has had a stellar year, and linebackers Marquis Cooper and Greg Carothers have been solid. The secondary is banged up, but safeties Jimmy Newell and Owen Biddle have been knocking receivers around.
Arizona: Tailback Michael Bell has had back-to-back 100-yard games and has averaged better than 126 yards in his last three. Quarterback is true freshman Kris Heavner, who doesn’t throw for a great percentage (51 percent), but has a strong arm and loads of potential. Free safety Darrell Brooks averages 7.2 tackles a game and linebacker Joe Siofele has had a solid career with the Wildcats and has a team-high 61 tackles. Cornerback Michael Jolivette has 12 career interceptions.
Washington: QB Cody Pickett (concussion) is probable. TB Chris Singleton (foot) is out. ILB Joe Lobendahn (knee) is out. OT Rob Meadow (knee) is out. TE Joe Toledo (back, ankle) is out. OG Tusi Sa’au (back) is out. CB Roc Alexander (shoulder) is out. WR Justin Robbins (knee) is out. TB Rich Alexis (quad) is out. CB Chris Massey (hernia) is out. WR Charles Frederick (chest) is probable. TB Kenny James (ankle) is probable.
Arizona: WR Lance Relford (thumb) is out. OL Tanner Bell (knee) is questionable. OL Brandon Phillips (knee) is out. RB Clarence Farmer (suspension) is out.
Washington: Run the ball as much as possible, both to establish the two young tailbacks and to get Pickett time to re-acclimate himself to game speed. Later, use Williams and Frederick if needed. Defensively, the secondary should be able to cover the Wildcats receivers. Any pressure on Heavner, considering Arizona doesn’t give up many sacks, is a bonus. Finally, learn from the Nevada loss.
Arizona: Shock Washington early and plant some doubt. Get a big play. A big hit. A turnover. Anything that gets the crowd going. Forget about mistakes. The Wildcats have to play a near-perfect game. Get to Pickett and cut off the running game.
Recent games have been close and this may not be an exception. Arizona has been more consistent under Hankwitz. This won’t be a breather.
Pick: Washington, 31-20.
By John Sleeper, Herald Writer