Grand Canyon State Rivals Meet in Tempe: Arizona Wildcats at Arizona St Sun Devils

Arizona Wildcats at Arizona St Sun Devils
Sun Devil Stadium – Tempe, Arizona
Saturday, November 19, 2011, 9:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox College Sports, Fox Sports Arizona
Opening Line: ASU -10
Current Line: ASU -10 1/2
Opening Total: 68
Current Total: 69 1/2
Opening Money Line: ASU -370 / Arizona +325
Current Money Line: ASU -380 / Arizona +330

Arizona St is a 10.5 point favorite at home against rival Arizona.

Two weeks ago Arizona St looked like they were in control of the Pac 12 South with a 4-1 record in Conference. However two straight road losses to UCLA 29-28 and Washington St 37-27 have hurt ASU’s chances of winning the division and playing in the inaugural Pac 12 Championship game. They are still tied with UCLA for the division lead at 4-3 since USC is ineligible because of NCAA sanctions. Utah is also in the mix at 3-4. Arizona St is 6-4 overall under coach Dennis Erickson as the Sun Devils host arch-rival Arizona in the battle for the Territorial Cup. Arizona is 2-8 this season under interim coach Tim Kish who took over midway through the season for the fired Mike Stoops.

The Sun Devils have losses at Illinois 17-14 and Oregon 41-27 along with the UCLA and Washington St losses. ASU has home wins over Missouri 37-30 in overtime, USC 43-22, Oregon St 35-20, and Colorado 48-14 and a road win at Utah 35-14. Arizona has home wins over Northern Arizona 41-10 and UCLA 48-12. The Wildcats have road losses at Oklahoma St 37-14, USC 48-41, Oregon St 37-27, Washington 42-31, and Colorado 48-29, along with home losses to Stanford 37-10, Oregon 56-31, and Utah 34-21. Arizona has lost 3 straight games, and they had a 5 game losing streak earlier in the season. Arizona leads the series 46-37-1. The Sun Devils have won 4 of the last 6 against the Wildcats including 30-29 last year in overtime in Tucson.

Arizona was a 10.5 point favorite on the road last week at Colorado. The game was sloppy on both sides as you might expect from two teams with a combined 3 wins coming in. There were 14 total penalties and 6 turnovers (4 by Arizona.) Arizona had a 29 yard interception return for a touchdown near the end of the third quarter. Colorado jumped out to a 20-10 lead at halftime. Colorado was up 34-10 at one point in the second half and ended up winning 48-29. The Wildcats missed 2 two point conversions in the 4th quarter.  Arizona had 412 total yards including 352 passing yards from quarterback Nick Foles who threw a touchdown pass and 3 interceptions. Running back Ka’Deem Carey had 2 rushing touchdowns and 29 yards. Receiver Gino Crump had 10 catches for 95 yards. Juron Criner had 7 catches for 86 yards. Davis Douglas caught a touchdown pass for the Wildcats. Colorado had 500 total yards including 273 rushing yards.

Arizona is averaging 459 yards and 29.3 points a game this season. Arizona is only averaging 91.2 rushing yards a game. Arizona is fifth worst in rushing in the country but the passing attack is fourth best with 367.8 yards a game   Arizona has allowed 20 sacks and have 19 turnovers. The Wildcats are 66/154 on third and fourth down conversions, and 31/38 scoring in the red zone with 25 touchdowns. The Wildcats are averaging just over 8 penalties a game for 68 yards a game. Arizona is giving up 457 total yards including 277.2 passing yards a game. Both are ranked near the bottom of FCS football. The rush defense isn’t much better allowing 179.8 yards a game.   Arizona is allowing 36.1 points a game. Arizona has 8 sacks and has forced 12 turnovers. Wildcat opponents are 66/146 on third and fourth down conversions and 48/53 scoring in the red zone with 38 touchdowns. Arizona has 3 interceptions returned for touchdowns.

Arizona quarterback Nick Foles has played well this season, despite playing behind a porous offensive line that struggles to pass protect. He is 319/466 passing with 3,612 yards, 23 touchdowns and 13 interceptions this season. Running back Keola Antolin has 98 carries, 491 yards, and 3 touchdowns, along with 17 catches, 120 yards, and a touchdown. Carey has 78 carries for 333 yards and 6 touchdowns, and 11 catches for 13 yards. The Wildcats spread the ball around, as 7 receivers have at least 20 catches. Criner has 57 catches, 693 yards, and 8 touchdowns. Dan Buckner has 39 catches for 577 yards and 2 touchdowns. Criner (knee) and Buckner (shoulder) are both probable for the ASU game.  Douglas has 51 catches, 566 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Crump has 56 catches, 537 yards, and a touchdown. David Roberts has 36 catches, 358 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Kicker John Bonano replaced the stuggling Alex Zendejas who replaced Jamie Salazar earlier in the year. Bonano is 14/14 on extra points and 6/7 on field goals with a long of 47 yards.  Zendejas was 6/10 on extra points and 1/2 on field goals with a 28 yard kick.  Salazar was only 1/4 on field goal kicks with a long of 27 yards.  Salazar also missed an extra point Arizona has 8 defensive players listed as questionable doubtful or out.

Arizona St was an 11.5 favorite on the road last week at Washington St. The Sun Devils ran back the opening kickoff for a touchdown. From that point on the teams traded scores until the fourth quarter. ASU was up 27-23 at the end of the third, but the Cougars scored 14 fourth quarter points to win 37-27. Each team had a turnover, and there were 14 penalties combined (8 by Washington St.) Arizona St had 411 total yards including 351 passing yards from quarterback Brock Osweiler who threw a touchdown pass. Running back Cameron Marshall rushed for 37 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Gerell Robinson had 8 catches, 158 yards, and a touchdown. The Cougars had 590 total yards including 503 passing yards.

Arizona St is averaging 438.7 yards a game including 297.1 passing yards and 141.6 rushing yards. The Sun Devils are scoring 34.2 points a game. ASU has 14 turnovers and has allowed 22 sacks this season. The Sun Devils are 58/149 on third and fourth down conversions and 37/46 scoring in the red zone with 29 touchdowns. Arizona St is giving up 405.6 total yards a game including 143.5 rushing yards and 262.1 passing yards. The Sun Devils are allowing 23.8 points a game on defense. ASU has forced 28 turnovers and 25 sacks this season. Sun Devil opponents are 54/156 on third and fourth down conversions, and 29/37 scoring in the red zone with 19 touchdowns. ASU averages over 8 penalties a game for 74 yards. The Sun Devils have 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Osweiler is 239/369 passing for 2,890 yards, 20 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, along with 69 carries for 125 yards and 3 touchdowns. Marshall has 180 carries, 837 yards, and 14 touchdowns, along with 19 catches for 162 yards. Jamal Miles and Kyle Middlebrooks also get significant carries.  Robinson has 50 receptions, 901 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Aaron Pflugrad has 35 catches, 510 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Mike Willie has 31 catches, 418 yards, and 3 touchdowns. Miles has 48 catches, 303 yards, and 6 touchdowns along with 24 carries for 195 yards. He also has a touchdown pass in his only attempt of the year. Miles has 2 kick returns and a punt return for touchdowns, and has over 1,200 all purpose yards. Kicker Alex Garoutte is 41/42 on extra points, and 11/18 on field goals with a long of 49 yards. ASU has 7 players listed on the injury report that are out for the season including 5 defensive players.

Arizona St  is 3-6-1 against the spread this season and the total is 9-1 in those games. Arizona is 3-7 ATS and the total is 7-3 this year. Arizona St has covered the last two meetings in the series, and the under is 4-0. The road team is 11-5 ATS and the underdog is 6-1 in the series. Arizona is 8-3 ATS as an underdog of 10.5 points or more, including 5-2 on the road, 2-5 after failing to cover, 3-8 on grass, 2-7 after a straight up loss, 1-4 in conference, 1-4 overall, 1-5 against teams with winning records, in November, in road games, and as underdog, and 1-6 after allowing 40 points in the previous game. The Sun Devils are 7-1-2 ATS after a straight up loss, 21-8 as a home favorite of 10.5 points or more, 10-4-3 in conference games, and 10-4-1 at home.

Both of these teams are slumping but Arizona St still has a division title to play for. The only thing Arizona has to play for is to ruin ASU’s season.  Arizona St should win but I think Arizona will keep it within the number. I do like the over in this game as both teams struggle on defense.

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