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Arizona State vs. Arizona: Wildcats Getting ready for ASU's defensive pressure

Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez is preparing his team for the Sun Devils' blitz-heavy defense.


As the No. 24 Arizona Wildcats prepare for their Friday night game against cross-state rival Arizona State, head coach Rich Rodriguez is focusing on getting his team ready for the Sun Devils' defensive pressure.

"They blitz a lot," Rodriguez said in his weekly press conference on Monday. "I think it is over 50 percent of the time that they bring pressure, but they also bring pressure without blitzing. In the last game, they had a three-man rush which brought a lot of pressure. They have great defensive players like Will Sutton, who is a potential first-round draft pick. They are a big pressure team. They are able to get pressure without bringing extra guys and that is a big concern for us."

The Sun Devils (6-5, 4-4 Pac 12) stifled Washington State's offense in a 46-7 win last Saturday, holding the Cougars to just one rushing yard and 241 yards of total offense. They will have their work cut out for them against an Arizona squad that is averaging 37.5 points per game and boasts a powerful rushing attack led by sophomore running back Ka'Deem Carey.

The Wildcats (7-4, 4-4 Pac 12) will have to maintain their composure in what is sure to be a heated battle, and Rodriguez said he isn't worried about having to motivate his players heading into Friday's game.

"There's going to be a lot of intensity. This shouldn't be a game where I have to do all of the motivational tactics to get guys excited. It's a rivalry game, an in-state game and a conference game. Everything is in place. This should be easy to motivate."

Kickoff for the Territorial Cup is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Friday at Arizona Stadium and the game will be televised on ESPN.