Arizona Wildcats +4 (6-3) 6-3 ATS, 5-4 O/U at Oregon Ducks -4 (7-3) 4-6 ATS, 5-5 O/U Saturday, November 15 Autzen Stadium (54,000) Eugene, Oregon 6:30 p.m. EST
By Wilson of Predictem.com
The Arizona Wildcats are in new territory, at least new for this decade. Its been ten years since the Wildcats have been to a bowl game, and now it appears that they will likely get an invite as they became eligible last week by beating the Washington State Cougars 59-28 in Pullman, Washington. This week they will try for another win at the infamous Autzen Stadium in Eugene.
Arizona heads into the Oregon game after putting up some solid numbers versus a suspect defense in Washington State, but you cant dis-credit the Wildcats as they have played well in most of their contest- no matter who the opponent.
The Wildcats are averaging nearly 40 points per game with most offensive yardage coming by way of the pass but last week it was a ground attack. Arizona running back, Nic Grigsby rushed for a career-high 189 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown. Grigsbys backfield partner, Xavier Smith also contributed to the cause by scampering for two touchdowns. The Wildcats piled-up an impressive 531 yards of total offense with 317 yards on the ground.
Arizona quarterback, Willie Tuitama was 11-of-15 for 214 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception. With the running game so dominant it opened up more opportunity for Tuitama to air it out.
The Wildcat defense could be better this week against Oregon as they allowed the second worst offense in the nation to score 28 points! The Cougars were only averaging 12 points per game before taking the field against the Wildcats. If Arizona wants to beat Oregon they better tighten up on defense.
The Ducks will be waiting patiently for the Wildcats to creep into their back-yard. Oregon beat Stanford last week 35-28 on a late touchdown run by running back Lagarrette Blount with just seconds left on the clock. Blount finished the day with 90 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Oregon QB, Jeremiah Masoli was 11-of-22 for 144 yards and 1 touchdown. Masoli had a key 25-yard run during the last drive to keep the Ducks alive after they fell behind 28-27 in the last couple of minutes.
Oregons statistics are similar to Arizonas as the Ducks also average close to 40 points per game and allow a bit more per game to their opponents at 25.3 while the Wildcats give up 19.1. Most sportsbooks are giving Oregon the thumbs-up as a 4-point favorite, but this game could go either way. I like how Oregon plays at home- traditionally, they are scary on their own turf, and with the Ducks fans acting as the 12th man (since the Seahawks arent using him) it is a very hostile and rock-concert-loud atmosphere.
Oregon is perhaps a little bitter after they lost two weeks ago to Cal which all but killed their hopes at the Pac-10 title. They face Arizona and Oregon State in their last two games before finding out where they will play for the bowl season. You can bet that the Ducks are determined to get more wins and up their bowl status.
Arizona head coach, Mike Stoops was on thin ice but now that the Wildcats are bowl bound he can only better his position by earning more wins. This late in the season is always tough on the road, and Eugene is merciless. This game should be a fun one to watch, and bet on too!
Wilsons Pick: Oregon survives again at home against the Cats! The Ducks win and cover the points, 31-21. Luck to ya.