When the UCLA Bruins travel south to Tucson on Thursday night to take on the Arizona Wildcats, they will face a struggling team with an identity crisis. The 'Cats will be playing their first game without Mike Stoops running the show, they do not have a win in conference play and half of their defense is out for the year.
Coach Rick Neuheisel hinted it was imperative for his team to do a good job of limiting the effectiveness of QB Nick Foles of Arizona in Thursday's Pac-12 game. ""It is what it is, he's going to play, so we have to figure out a way to contain him,'' Neuheisel said. "We are not going to stop him. No one has.''
Foles has been excellent in 2011, completing 71.5% of his passes and throwing for 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions. While he is not very mobile, he has shown an ability in recent weeks to avoid pressure and get off a throw before the defense collapses on him.
So how does a defense slow Foles down? Pressure, pressure, and more pressure. Arizona's offensive line is one of the worst among FBS schools and blitzes can give the Wildcats a lot of problems up front. If the Bruins sit back and fail to pressure the quarterback, he will pick the defense apart. Get pressure on him early and often and the 'Cats become stagnate offensively.