Pac 12 College Football Selections: #5 Oregon Ducks at Arizona Wildcats

#5 Oregon Ducks at Arizona Wildcats
Arizona Stadium – Tucson, Arizona

Saturday, November 23, 2013, 3:30 pm Eastern, TV: ABC or ESPN2
Opening Line: Oregon -17 1/2
Current Line: Oregon -20
Opening Total: 67
Current Total: 68
Opening Money Line: Oregon -1200 / Arizona +760
Current Money Line: Oregon -1300 / Arizona +900

Oregon is a 20 point favorite at Arizona Saturday.
Oregon is a 20 point favorite at Arizona Saturday.

A week after losing at Stanford, the Oregon Ducks received a gift when the USC Trojans upset Stanford. Now the 9-1 Ducks who are 6-1 in the Pac 12 North control their own destiny for a spot in the Pac 12 Championship game. If the Ducks win at Arizona Saturday and at home versus Oregon State next Friday then Oregon wins the division.

The Arizona Wildcats are 6-4 overall and 3-4 in the Pac 12 South. The Wildcats are already bowl eligible and are just playing to improve their bowl destination. Oregon leads the series against Arizona 24-14 including 11-9 in Tucson. The Ducks have beaten the Wildcats 5 straight times, including 49-0 in Eugene last season.

Oregon is coached by Mark Helfrich. The Ducks have home wins over Nicholls State 66-3, Tennessee 59-14, California 55-16, Washington State 62-38, UCLA 42-14 and  Utah 44-21 last week, along with road wins at Virginia 59-10, Colorado 57-16 and at Washington 45-24. The Ducks also have the 26-20 loss at Stanford.  Oregon is  7-3 ATS and the total is 6-4 this season. The Ducks were 28.5 point favorites against Utah and the total was 64.

Oregon took a 10-0 lead in the first quarter against Utah. each team would score a touchdown in the second quarter to make it 17-7 Ducks at halftime. The Utes scored early in the third to pull within 17-14. However, the Ducks would score 27 straight points to take command 44-14. The Utes scored with 6:01 left in the fourth to get within the spread and send the game over the total. Neither team would score again. The Ducks had 433 total yards including 288 passing yards. The Utes had 297 total yards including 181 passing yards. Oregon had 10 penalties for 80 yards. Utah had 4 penalties for 50 yards and the game’s only turnover.

Oregon is outscoring teams 51-18 this season. Oregon is #3 nationally in scoring and #8 in points allowed. The Ducks average 580.3 yards per game including 286 rushing and 294.3 passing yards. Oregon is #2 in total offense and #10 in rushing. Even the passing attack is #21 in the country. Oregon is allowing 354.8 yards per game on defense, including 211.1 passing and 143.7 rushing yards. Oregon is 33rd or better in all three categories out of 125 teams. The Ducks are +12 in turnovers for the season with 24 takeaways. Oregon is 63/145 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 79/201. The Ducks have forced 24 sacks and allowed 16. Oregon is 47/60 scoring in the red zone with 42 touchdowns, and opponents are 25/32 with 15 touchdowns. The Ducks are averaging 72 penalty yards per game, and opponents are averaging 46. Oregon has 2 punt returns for touchdowns, a kick return for a TD, a fumble return for a touchdown and a pick six. The Ducks have allowed one fumble return for a touchdown.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota has completed 64.2% of his passes for 2,819 yards with 25 touchdowns, and no interceptions, along with 66 carries for 477 yards and 9 touchdowns. He was considered by many to be the Heisman front runner before the Stanford loss.

Running back Byron Marshall has 152 carries, 991 yards, and 14 touchdowns, along with 11 catches for 150 yards. Thomas Tyner has 76 carries for 496 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 9 catches for 105 yards. De’Anthony Thomas has 62 carries, 410 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 14 catches for 148 yards and a touchdown. He also has a kickoff return for a touchdown. Receiver Josh Huff has 45 catches for 802 yards and 7 touchdowns, plus 27 rushing yards. Bralon Addison has 47 catches for 742 yards and 7 touchdowns, along with 2 punt returns for touchdowns. Keanon Lowe, John Mundt and Daryle Hawkins have 3 touchdown catches each.

Arizona is coached by Rich Rodriguez. Arizona opened the season with 3 straight wins over Northern Arizona 35-0 and UTSA 38-13, both in Tucson, and a road win at UNLV 58-13. The Wildcats beat Utah 35-24 in Tucson and also has road win at Colorado 44-20 and at California 33-28. The Wildcats have road losses at Washington 31-13 and at USC 38-31, along with home losses to UCLA 31-26 and last week against Washington State 24-17. The Wildcats have lost two straight games. Arizona is 4-6 ATS and the total is 3-7 this season. The Wildcats were an 11 point favorite against Washington State and the total was 63.

Washington State jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter at Arizona. The Wildcats would score two touchdowns before halftime to take a 14-10 lead into the locker room. Washington State took a 17-14 lead early in the third, and Arizona kicked a field goal midway through the quarter to tie it at 17. The Cougars scored a touchdown with 2:15 left in the fourth to make it 24-17. After Washington State kicked off into the end zone, Arizona took over at their 25 yard line. The Wildcats drove all the way to the Cougar 13 but they threw an incomplete pass on the game’s final play. The Wildcats had 395 total yards including 195 rushing yards. Washington State had 420 total yards including 319 passing yards. The Wildcats had two turnovers and the Cougars had one.

Arizona is outscoring teams 33-22 this season. The Wildcats are #45 nationally in scoring and #30 in points allowed. Arizona is averaging 452.5 yards per game including the nation’s 13th best rushing attack at 263.7 yards per game. The passing game is #99 out of 125 teams at 188.8 yards per game. Arizona is #39 in total offense. On defense, the Wildcats are allowing 387.9 yards per game including 224.4 passing and 163.5 yards per game. The Wildcats are +4 in turnovers with 16 takeaways. Arizona is 83/190 on third and fourth down conversions, and opponents are 72/186. Arizona averages 42 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 59. The Wildcats have forced 18 sacks and allowed 14. Arizona is 34/43 scoring in the red zone with 25 touchdowns, and opponents are 21/24 with 18 touchdowns. The Wildcats have 4 pick sixes this season.

Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker has completed 59.7% of his passes for 1,888 yards with 12 touchdowns and 4 picks. Denker also has 138 carries, 709 yards and 11 touchdowns. Running back Ka’Deem Carey has 242 carries, 1,353 yards and 12 touchdowns, along with 25 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown. Daniel Jenkins has 57 carries, 376 yards and a touchdown, along with 10 catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. Jared Baker, Javelle Allen and Kylan Butler will also get some carries. Allen and Butler each have a rushing touchdown.

Nate Phillips has 36 catches for 454 yards and 6 touchdowns. Samajie Grant has 41 catches, for 315 yards and a touchdown.Garic Wharton has 12 catches for 214 yards and 2 touchdowns. He is questionable with a hip injury after missing the last 3 games. Terrence Miller and Johnny Jackson will  also get some catches.  Three Wildcat receivers, DaVonte Neal, Trevor Ermisch and Austin Hill, are listed as questionable or out, and so are four Arizona defensive players including 2 linebackers.

Oregon is 10-1 ATS on grass, 9-1 against teams with winning home records, 12-2 in road games, 12-3 after scoring more than 40 points, and after a straight up win, 4-1 after failing to cover, 11-3 against teams with winning records, and after a straight up win of 20 points or more, 14-4 overall, 10-4 in Pac 12 games, and 5-2 after passing for 280 yards or more. Four of the last five games in this series have gone over the total.

Arizona is 17-39 ATS after allowing 280 passing yards or more, 3-8 on grass, 2-6 in Pac 12 games, at home and overall, 5-16 in November, 1-4 after a straight up loss, 1-5 after failing to cover, 1-6 against teams with winning records, and 0-5 after scoring less than 20 points.

After a lackluster performance last week against Washington State, it doesn’t get any easier for Arizona as they host Oregon. The Wildcats struggled to move the ball against a terrible Washington State defense. I don’t think it will be any easier against Oregon. The Ducks should win this game handily.

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