Arizona State Sun Devils(5-6 SU,7-2-2 ATS)at No. 20Arizona Wildcats(7-4 SU,6-5 ATS), Week14 College Football,Arizona Stadium(Natural Grass),Tucson Arizona,ThursdayDecember 2, 2010, 8:00 PM Eastern
Jeff Hochman of JHSportsline.com
Betting Odds:ASU +6/ Arizona -6
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The No. 20th ranked Arizona Wildcats will try to snap its three-game losing streak against Pac-10 rival Arizona State Sun Devils.
The Sun Devils defeated UCLA 55-34 as 13-point home favorites last week and snapped their two-game losing streak. Arizona Stateout-gained the Bruins by 153 yards and will needthis win inhopes of having any chance at appearing in a minorBowl Game. Brock Osweiler threw for 380 yards and hit Aaron Pflugrad on two of his four touchdown passes, who entered the game after starting quarterbackSteven Threat got hurt after throwing just four passes. Threet was lostto a head injury early and trailed 17-0 late in the first quarter. Osweiler rallied the Sun Devils with threetouchdown passes in the first half, and Arizona State pulled away in the second halfon a 71-yard touchdown run by Cameron Marshall and Jamal Miles 99-yard kickoff return.
The Wildcats lost 48-29 to the Oregon Ducks as 21-point road underdogs. They were out-gained by only 31 yards but were not able to contain the Ducks’ explosive offense.
Darron Thomas passed for 148 yards and three scores and ran for another, while running back LaMichael James ran for 126 yards and two scores for the Ducks, who actuallytrailed 19-14 at intermission. Nick Foles passed for a career-high 448 yards and three touchdowns, including an 85-yard score to Juron Criner. The game was played in cold and wet conditions so that performance is very encouraging for Wildcat fans.
There are many interesting story-lines in this game. Besides bragging rights, Arizona is still playing for bowl position. The Wildcats have have won the past two Territorial Cups and Arizona State wants to change that. Also, the Sun Devils are simply trying to keep their season alive. Already eliminated from bowl contention, they can obtain a waiver if the rest of the country fails to fill the 35 bowls. Of course, that isn’t a possibility if theydrop this game.
Arizona State is 6-5 ITS (in the stats) this seasonand have been out-gained in two of its last three games. Arizona is 9-2 ITS this season and have been in every gameexcept the debacle against Stanford.
Both teams are putting up big time passing numbers this season. Arizona State averages 288 passing yards per game, while the ArizonaWildcats are ranked No. 2 in the Pac-10at 314 passing yards per game. Arizona has been much better at defending the pass than their rival. The Wildcatsare allowing 200 yards passing per game, which is 43 yards fewer than the Sun Devils. You can pretty much throw out all the numbers when these two teams hook up. The Sun Devils are 5-2 ATS in their lastseven head-to-headmeetings in Arizona, andthe Underdog is 5-1 ATS in their lastsix head-to-headmeetings.
Arizona State is only ranked85th nationally in rushing at 140.8 yards per game, but some of that is due to the team’s emphasis on a pass-happy spread attack. The Sun Devils have the personnel at tailback (Cameron Marshall, Deantre Lewis) to be dangerous, and they might have success vs. Arizona, which has allowed140 yards rushing per game this season. Look for some running plays out of the spread formation as the Wildcats are havinga tough time atdefending this type of running formation.
The Sun Devils are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game. The Wildcats are 4-0 ATS in their lastfour Thursday games.
Jeff’s Pickto Cover the PointSpread:Arizona State +6.
Big time rivalry game and last week’s performance against UCLA tells me they have not quit. This is truly a must win game and it comes against a Pac-10 rival. Take the points in this upset maker!