Yesterday I posted an interview with Ryan Finley, the Arizona beat reporter for the Arizona Daily Star. I asked questions, he answered. Now we change roles. He asks and I do my best to answer.
1.How much, if at all, does this team resemble the squad that Arizona defeated 41-2 two years ago at the Glass Bowl?
It's difficult for me to say because I did not cover that team. What I can tell you is 2010 was the second year of a rebuilding job and several inexperienced players were forced into action. Toledo wasn't very good to start the season, but it made strides and ended up going to a bowl game. Toledo has recruited well by MAC standards, so this squad is probably more talented and deeper than the one that got rocked two years ago.
2. How will Toledo's quarterback-sharing system work? Do you anticipate it being that way all season?
Yes, I anticipate it being that way all season, which will be the third straight year of this arrangement. The only way that changes is if one of them gets injured or if one of them is mired in a slump. Two-quarterback systems rarely work, but no one can argue with the results produced by by Terrance Owens (lefty) and Austin Dantin (righty). Both will get two series early to show what they can do, and whoever performs better will proceed the rest of the game.
3. What are the pluses and minuses of having the nation's youngest head coach and coaching staff?
Pluses: They enjoy recruiting, unlike some veteran coaches who have grown tired of it, and by all accounts are good at it. Also, they might be better able to relate to their players. Minuses: Obviously inexperience, and a possible reluctance by assistants to challenge the head coach.
4. How do you think the Rockets will adapt to the travel and climate change over the next two weeks; its going to be 100 degrees here at kickoff, and Wyoming is a BEAR to play at.
It's a difficult adjustment. They've held evening practices to prepare for the late start at Arizona, but there is only so much you can do. These are college athletes who are used to going to bed at a reasonable hour. Their bodies will tell them it is midnight --- at halftime. The heat is also an issue. It gets hot here, but not Arizona hot. Wyoming is a day game, so time difference shouldn't be a factor. Tough place to play though.
Win the turnover battle. It sounds cliche, but if they do that they will put up enough points to be in the game at the end. Solid play by both lines is also critical. The biggest difference between BCS teams and non BCS teams is seen in the trenches. Good skill players are everywhere, but there's not a ton of athletic 300-pounders in this country.