Arizona St Sun Devils at #24 Arizona Wildcats
Friday, November 23, 2012, 10:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Arizona Stadium – Tucson, Arizona
Opening Line: Arizona -3
Current Line: Arizona -3 (-105)
Opening Total: 68
Current Total: 68 1/2
Opening Money Line: Arizona -145 / Arizona St +125
Current Money Line: Arizona -135 / Arizona St +115
The 6-5 Arizona St Sun Devils and 7-4 Arizona Wildcats have both secured bowl berths under first year coaches Todd Graham and Rich Rodriguez respectively. Both teams are 4-4 in the Pac 12. Although, technically this game means nothing except for which bowl game the teams go to, don’t tell that to the Sun Devils and Wildcats.
This is the 85th meeting between the Grand Canyon State rivals, in a series that dates back to 1899, 13 years before Arizona was granted U.S. statehood. Arizona and Arizona St play annually for the Territorial Championship Cup, the oldest rivalry trophy in FBS football. The Wildcats lead the series 47-37-1. Arizona has won 3 of the last 4, including last year in Tempe 31-27. The visiting team has won 7 of the last 12 in the series, and 6 of the last 8 have been decided by a touchdown or less.
Arizona St beat Washington St 46-7 last week in Tempe to snap a 4 game losing streak for the Sun Devils. The Sun Devils have losses at Missouri 24-20, Oregon St 36-26, and USC 38-17 and home losses to Oregon 43-21 and UCLA 45-43. The Sun Devils have home wins against Northern Arizona 63-6, Illinois 45-14, Utah 37-7, and road wins at Cal 27-17 and Colorado 51-17. The Sun Devils are 6-5 ATS and the total is 4-6 this season. ASU was a 22 point favorite last week against Washington St and the total was 60.
Arizona St is averaging 448.3 yards per game including 264.6 passing yards and 183.6 rushing yards. The Sun Devils are outscoring opponents 36-23 this season. ASU is 44th or better nationally in total offense, passing, rushing and scoring. The Sun Devils are +4 in turnovers with 21 giveaways. ASU has allowed 36 sacks and averages 31 penalty yards per game. The Sun Devils are 74/187 on third and fourth down conversions and 46/61 scoring in the red zone with 35 touchdowns. On defense, Arizona St is allowing 335.3 yards per game including 174.2 passing yards and 161.1 rushing yards. The Sun Devils are #23 in total defense and #8 against the pass. They have forced 48 sacks and 25 turnovers this season. Sun Devil opponents are 66/193 on third and fourth down conversions, and 29/36 scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns. The Sun Devils have 5 defensive/special teams touchdowns.
ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly has completed 208 of 311 passes (66.9%) for 2,581 yards with 25 touchdowns and 9 interceptions, along with 121 carries for 393 yards. Kelly has been sacked 30 times this season. Running back Cameron Marshall has 108 carries, 503 yards and 6 touchdowns, along with 12 catches, 80 yards, and a touchdown. D.J. Foster has 85 carries, 443 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 34 catches, 484 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Marion Grice has 71 carries, 364 yards, and 6 touchdowns, along with 38 catches, 388 yards, and 8 touchdowns. Back-up quarterback Michael Eubank has 55 carries, 184 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has also thrown 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions this season. Receiver Chris Coyle has 51 catches, 639 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Rashad Ross has 31 catches, 445 yards, and 3 touchdowns. He also has a kick return for a touchdown. Jamal Miles has 30 catches for 313 yards. Kevin Ozier has 20 catches, 306 yards and 5 touchdowns. Five defensive players are on the ASU injury report as questionable or out.
Arizona has won 4 of their last 5 games after a 3 game losing streak dropped them to 3-3. The Wildcats have losses at Oregon 49-0, Stanford 54-48 in overtime and UCLA 66-10 along with a home loss to Oregon St 38-35. Arizona has wins at home against Toledo 24-17 in overtime, Oklahoma St 59-38, South Carolina St 56-0, Washington 52-17, USC 39-36 and Colorado 56-31, and last week at Utah 34-24. The Wildcats were 3 point favorites in that game and the total was 63. Arizona is 6-5 ATS and the total is 7-3 this season.
Arizona is averaging 521.8 yards per game including 297 passing yards and 224.8 rushing yards. The Wildcats are in the top 25 in all offensive categories including scoring. For the season, Arizona is outscoring opponents 38-34. Arizona has forced 21 turnovers, but has given up 21 turnovers to opponents as well. The Wildcats have allowed 17 sacks and average 61.6 penalty yards per game. Arizona is 75/171 on third and fourth down conversions, and 52/67 scoring in the red zone with 42 touchdowns. On defense, the Wildcats are allowing 488 yards per game, including 305.5 passing yards and 182.5 rushing yards. Arizona is 88th or worse in all defensive categories. The Wildcats have forced 15 sacks this season. Arizona opponents are 84/196 on third and fourth down conversions, and 41/54 scoring in the red zone, with 34 touchdowns. The Wildcats have 2 defensive/special teams touchdowns this season.
Arizona quarterback Matt Scott has completed 254 of 413 passes (61.5%) for 3,008 yards with 21 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He is also the second leading rusher for the ‘Cats with 96 carries, 443 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Running back Ka’Deem Carey has 250 carries, 1,585 yards, and 19 touchdowns, along with 32 catches for 289 yards with a touchdown. Carey leads the nation in rushing, but is probable with a collarbone injury. If he can’t go Daniel Jenkins and Jared Baker will split the carries. Jenkins has 45 carries, 209 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 30 yards. Baker and B.J. Denker each have a rushing touchdown, but only have a handful of carries this season. Receiver Austin Hill has 68 catches, 1,119 yards and 8 touchdowns. Dan Buckner has 58 catches, 730 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Buckner is questionable with a leg injury. Other than Carey, no other Wildcat has more than 23 catches, but 5 have at least 13. Richard Morrison, David Richards, and Terrence Miller each have two touchdown catches. Morrison also has a punt return for a touchdown. Miller is out for the season with a foot injury. Seven Wildcats are out indefinitely or for the season, and six more are questionable for Saturday’s game. The injured players include 8 defensive players and 3 offensive linemen.
Arizona St is 10-4 ATS after allowing less than 275 yards, 16-33-3 in road games against teams with winning home records, 2-5-1 after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 2-6-1 in road games, 1-6 after scoring more than 40 points, after rushing for 200 yards or more, and in November, 1-4 in Pac 12 games, and overall, and 0-4 against teams with winning records. The underdog is 7-1 ATS in this series recently and the road team is 5-2 ATS as well. The Sun Devils are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 trips to Tucson.
Arizona is 5-0 ATS in Friday games, 5-1 after passing for less than 170 yards, 16-35 after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 9-20 after rushing for more than 200 yards, 2-5 after gaining 450 yards or more, 3-8 after a cover, and in November. Six of the last seven games in this series have gone under the total.
Arizona St has the Pac 12’s #2 defense, while Arizona has the conference’s #2 offense. Of course that offense loses some firepower if Carey and Buckner are out. Both teams won last week against inferior foes, but Arizona has been the hotter team recently. I like the Wildcats to win a close game at home.
Our college football handicappers are red hot this season. Don’t miss out on any more winners from now until the BCS Championship game in January.