College Football Week Two Predictions: Arizona Wildcats at UNLV Rebels

Arizona Wildcats at UNLV Rebels
Sam Boyd Stadium – Las Vegas, Nevada
Saturday, September 7, 2013, 10:30 pm Eastern, TV: CBS Sports Network
Opening Line: Arizona -10

Current Line: Arizona -10 1/2
Opening Total: 62
Current Total: 61
Opening Money Line: Arizona -360 / UNLV +295
Current Money Line: Arizona -400 / UNLV +320

Arizona is a 10.5 point favorite on the road at UNLV Saturday night.

Arizona is a 10.5 point favorite on the road at UNLV Saturday night.

The Arizona Wildcats and UNLV Rebels meet for just the second time ever Saturday in Las Vegas. The Rebels lost in Tuscon in 2001 38-21. UNLV will make the return trip to Tucson next year. Arizona offered UNLV a lot of money to move the game to University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale where the Arizona Cardinals play their home games, but the Rebels turned them down.

UNLV opened the season last week at Minnesota. The Rebels were 13.5 point underdogs and the total was 52. The rebels scored 6 minutes into the game on a 26 yard touchdown pass from Tim Cornett but the extra point was blocked. Minnesota would get on the board with a field goal to make it 6-3 at the end of the first. The Golden Gophers would take a 10-6 lead early in the second. The Rebels would regain the lead 13-10 on a 34 yard touchdown catch from QB Nick Sherry to receiver DeVante Davis.  Minnesota would score to make it 16-13 with 18 seconds left in the half, but they missed the extra point. Minnesota ran back the second half kick off 98 yards for a touchdown to make it 23-13. UNLV was attempting to kick a 51 yard field goal, but it was blocked and the Gophers ran it back for a touchdown to make it 30-13. The rebels kicked a field goal with just under 4 minutes to go in the third to make the score 30-16. UNLV drove deep into Minnesota territory in the fourth but Sherry threw a pick six returned 89 yards to make it 37-16. Minnesota added another touchdown to make it 44-16. Both teams would score late touchdowns to make the final 51-23.

UNLV outgained Minnesota 419 to 320. The Rebels had 193 rushing yards and Minnesota had 220. UNLV had 21 first downs and Minnesota had 17. The Rebels were 6/18 on third down conversions and 4/4 on fourth down. Minnesota was 8/14 on third downs and 1/1 on fourth down. The Rebels had 2 turnovers and the Gophers had 1. UNLV showed some flashes of being a good team, but you can’t give up 3 defensive/special teams touchdowns and expect to win on the road against even a middling Big Ten team like Minnesota.

Sherry completed 35 of 50 passes for 226 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Running back Shaquille Murray-Lawrence had 4 carries for 108 yards. Cornett had 20 carries, 80 yards and a touchdown, plus 2 catches for 17 yards. Davis had 7 catches, 77 yards and a touchdown.

Arizona was a 31 point favorite at home against Northern Arizona and the total was 63. Arizona running back  Daniel Jenkins caught an 11 touchdown pass from quarterback B.J. Denker in the first quarter and also had a 91 yard touchdown run in the second to make it 14-0. That would be the halftime score. Arizona scored on a 23 yard pick six early in the third to make it 21 -0. Denker would score on a 30 yard touchdown run to make it 28-0. Javelle Allen would cap off the scoring with a 61 yard touchdown run in the fourth to make the final 35-0.

Arizona had 393 total yards including 306 rushing yards and 14 first downs. The Wildcats were 4/10 on third down conversions, and 0/1 on fourth down. Arizona had 2 penalties and no turnovers. NAU had 270 total yards and 15 first downs. The Lumberjacks were 4/19 on third down conversions and 4/5 on fourth downs. NAU had five penalties and 3 turnovers.

Deker was 9/13 passing for 87 yards with a touchdown, and also ran for 71 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. Jenkins had 12 carries, 139 yards and a touchdown, along with 3 catches for 13 yards and a touchdown. Allen had 2 carries, 67 yards and a touchdown. Three Arizona wide receivers are listed as doubtful or out against UNLV. Running back Ka’Deem Carey returns to the line-up after serving a one game suspension.

Arizona is 5-2 ATS after throwing for less than 170 yards, 9-22 after rushing for 200 yards or more, 3-9 after a cover, 2-6 in September, 1-4 against teams with losing records, on fieldturf, 1-5 against Mountain West teams, and 0-5 after allowing less than 100 rushing yards.

UNLV is 3-0-1 ATS against teams with winning records, 3-1-1 at home, 5-2-2 after a straight up loss, 14-29-3 after a straight up loss of 20 points or more. 15-33-4 after failing to cover, 7-19 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more, and 1-3-1 in September, 1-5 after allowing less than 170 passing yards, 0-3-2 in non-conference games, 0-4 overall, and on fieldturf.

UNLV showed signs of being a good offensive team last week, but made way too many mistakes. They need to play much better against Arizona or they will get blown out. Arizona didn’t really need to pass against Northern Arizona because the running game was so dominant. UNLV was decent on defense last week against Minnesota. I think Arizona wins by double digits.

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