The Sports Guys: Arizona-Washington State preview
Most quarterbacks who play for passing guru Mike Leach are, unflatteringly, labeled as a "system" quarterback.
The Cougars' Connor Halliday, who leads the nation in passing by 61 yards per game, is more than just a plug-and-play quarterback, former Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer said on this week's episode of The Sports Guys.
"He has good accuracy. He has good arm strength. He's smart," said Fischer, part of an defense last season that allowed Halliday to complete 39 of 53 passes for 319 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown with 2:15 to play.
"With a Mike Leach system, you need to have a smart guy. And he's a very intelligent human being. He goes out and he does what he does and he does it well."
Washington State won 24-17 in Tucson last season.
Halliday is more prolific this season, with 477.7 passing yards per game -- 61 yards more than the No. 2 passer.
"It's boring. It really is boring," Fischer said of playing against a team that attempts nearly 63 passes per game. "That short dink-and-dunk pass game that they have -- I know they can get you for some big plays -- but you don't get to hit somebody on every play."
The Cougars also ran 27 times for 127 yards last season against Arizona, which was the Cougars' most rushes and second-most yards in a game last season.
"The biggest thing is, last year we game-planned to stop the pass and in the first half they were actually pretty effective when it came to the ground game. If they can get that balance, it will be hard for us."
Fischer, though, says Arizona has the personnel and know-how to matchup with WSU's Air Raid attack and predicts, "Call me crazy, but I think we're going to blow them out."
Check the video for more of Fischer's analysis, and predictions from me, Steve Rivera of FOXSportsArizona.com and Matt Moreno of goazcats.com.
And, as a Sports Guys extra, we banter about our impressions from Arizona basketball's Red-Blue Game and the team's challenges in the preseason. Check that out below.