The Khalil Tate show hits Eugene for the first time ever, as the Arizona Wildcats look to unleash one of the most dangerous weapons in college football on the Oregon Ducks. Tate came out of the blue to dazzle and torched opposing defenses with his arm and legs. He’s certainly saved Rich Rodriguez’s job, and is setting Arizona up for a big yeah in 2018. With a strong finish, Arizona will set themselves up to be considered for a top-tier bowl game.
They have three losses on the year, so if they can hold strong and win-out, they’ll get some national recognition. The most likely scenario I see happening is an appearance in the Alamo Bowl. Considering where this program has been the past few years, that’ll be an accomplishment. It’d be great if we could get a bowl matchup of Arizona vs. Louisville. Give us Khalil Tate vs Lamar Jackson and no one will be complaining.
Rich Rod had Pat White make a name for himself at West Virginia, and then Denard Robinson kept Rodriguez afloat at Michigan. Now it’s Khalil Tate’s turn. If Arizona had another abysmal campaign, I doubt that Rodriguez would survive past this year. He can thank Tate, and maybe send a few bucks his way after he’s out of college. There were other top programs who recruited Tate, it isn’t like he’s some scrub who suddenly became a superstar.
USC, Cal, Washington State, Florida State, UCLA, among others, all gave him a scholarship offer. Oregon? No, they didn’t. Tate would have fit in to Willie Taggart’s offensive system quite well. I think the plan was for him to have his coming out party in 2018, but he’s doing it a year before. He’s worked his way into Heisman discussions, and is currently pegged as third in line. If he played the entire season, we’d maybe see him higher than that.
Arizona are coming off a 49-28 win against Oregon State. They rang the scoreboard up, 28-0, and kept it coming on offense in the second-half. The Arizona defense is young and inexperienced, and they seemed to lay off after they got the four touchdown lead. This defensive unit should be improved next season, so I’m really excited to see the complete package next September.
As it is now, their defense is having issues, especially competing with receivers in the secondary. Oregon will finally get their quarterback returning from a broken collarbone. Justin Herbert was playing as good as any QB in the Pac-12 before he broke his collarbone against Cal. They will need him to get them to a bowl game. Head below for our free Arizona vs. Oregon pick.
Arizona Wildcats vs. Oregon Ducks Betting Odds:
vs. Oregon -2.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Arizona vs. Oregon Pick:
Khalil Tate has rushed for a staggering 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns. As a comparison, Lamar Jackson has rushed for 1,176 yards and he’s played the entire season. Tate came in mid-game against Colorado on October 7th and got going more than a month behind schedule. He’s not just fast, he can be a physical runner that is difficult to bring down.
Tate is stockier than Pat White and Denard Robinson, as well as a far more physical runner. He is coming off a 206-yard effort against Oregon State last week. If there is anything he can work on in the offseason, it’ll be his passing. He isn’t a bad passer at all for a guy who has his talent on the ground, but he must show the ability to be a better passer to reach the professional level.
Oregon are much improved on defense this season, as they’re 49th overall with respects to yards allowed per game. They have also been good against the run, allowing 129 yards per game for 29th in the FBS. Oregon haven’t contended with a quarterback of Khalil Tate’s, ability, though. The Wildcats have averaged 46.5 points per game since Tate took over. Holding to him under 100 yards rushing would be an impressive feat. He doesn’t need much room to find a lane and get running downhill with plenty of speed.
The good news for Oregon is that they’re getting Justin Herbert back at quarterback. He broke his collarbone on a rushing touchdown against Cal. Even in injury, Herbert was playing well. There isn’t any other quarterback on the Oregon roster who has his passing ability. Before the injury, the Ducks looked like the team of old with Mariota.
They were averaging 49.6 points per game when Herbert was playing. Since then they scored just 15 points per game. The Ducks were one-dimensional, but with Herbert back the Arizona secondary will be tested. He has 9 touchdowns and 2 interceptions with a 68.3% completion percentage. Arizona are 125th against the pass. Look for Herbert to come back and make it look like he’s never left. This should be a fun game with a lot of points. The OVER looks like the play.
PICK: OVER 75 (-110)