Two high-powered spread offenses clash Saturday when the Arizona Wildcats face the UCLA Bruins. Both teams put up an average of more than 500 yards per game, and UA coach Rich Rodriguez knows that stopping UCLA back Johnathan Franklin might be his team's biggest challenge, per Rodriguez's Monday press conference transcript:
"I think you need to get more than one person there. That's the key for us. We've done OK at times with tackling and other times we haven't. We're not fast enough to not have multiple people there. We have to get guys down the blocks to get more than one person."
Franklin rattled off 164 yards on the ground against the Arizona State Sun Devils this past weekend to give him 1,042 total rushing yards on the year with four games remaining. The senior running back is 17th in the nation with a 6.7 yard per carry average.
At 5'11 and 195 pounds, Franklin has been a key in a UCLA offense that tends to run more than pass. Against the Sun Devils, UCLA won 45-43 on a last-second field goal, and the Bruins ran the ball 16 more times than they passed.
That will challenge an Arizona defense that is not only small, but as Rodriguez admitted, not very fast, either.