UCLA breathed a big sigh of relief last week, avoiding an upset against the BYU Cougars. BYU is a good team. To the public and media would have made it out to be a massive upset, but I wouldn’t have taken in that far. It doesn’t really matter anyway though because UCLA was able to pull it out with a 24-23 win. Even with the win, UCLA didn’t do much to impress any of the pollsters. I have heard their name tossed around with respects to a dark horse team to make the final 4. I, however, don’t see that. If they’re going to do it, the Bruins are going to need to get some help and win out themselves. They won’t be able to have any blemishes on their schedule to make it, as I see it. This shouldn’t be an easy game against Arizona, this is going to be another test. UCLA is catching Arizona at home during a big night in Tucson. Arizona isn’t in the limelight nationally often these days, but they get a night game on ABC tonight. This is their chance to show the country they belong. The Wildcats are 16th in the nation at the moment with a 3-0 record. But the teams they’ve beaten don’t justify them being higher than 15th.
Arizona beat UTSA, Nevada, and then finally Northern Arizona. I know a lot about football and I didn’t even know Northern Arizona had a football team. A tough out of conference schedule for Arizona, indeed. Well they’re about to get a good football team finally. Not to disrespect UTSA, Nevada, or Northern Arizona. Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon is on his second year in the Rich Rod offense, winning the quarterback competition as a freshman last season. Solomon showcased a lot of good things as a freshman and hasn’t looked bad in action in 2015. However, I’ll go back to it again, Arizona hasn’t played anyone yet. We do have a good sample size in a full season last year and Solomon was great. I will get into that more below.
It’s the freshman against the sophomore tonight. Solomon is playing the veteran role in this one, so to speak. Josh Rosen played his first ever game at the collegiate level three weeks ago against Virginia. His performance garnered some deserved attention. He passed for 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in his first start for UCLA. His first big exam against BYU didn’t come up aces, tossing 1 touchdown with 3 interceptions. Rosen will look to bounce back against Arizona in the biggest game of his young career. Everyone will be watching this one, as it’s nationally televised Saturday night. Let’s find a winner.
UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona Wildcats College Football Pick
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
UCLA vs. Arizona Pick:
Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon made his presence felt immediately in his first season. He completed 2014 passing for 28 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Solomon also chipped in on the ground, rushing for 291 yards and 2 touchdowns. The sophomore has the ability to make plays with his legs if a play breaks down. He also can operate the option to perfection. Solomon has been on fire with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in his first three games. He is on pace to shatter his numbers from a year ago. No teams have been a stiff test for Solomon, but that is great numbers against anyone regardless of who they are. He has passed with a A+ thus far. Arizona just isn’t a team that throws the ball around the yard, contrary to popular belief. They can play stuff it up the middle on the ground as well. The Wildcats ran for 499 yards last week! They had two runners that were just score of 150 yards each.
Solomon knows this is time to shine, for his team and NFL scouts. This is a big stage for him. Last year he was easily handled. The Arizona offense managed just 7 points in a 17-7 loss. They played well on defense, but 7 points won’t cut it. The Wildcats had All-American Scooby Wright at linebacker then, this year he’ll be in street clothes on the sidelines. Watching that UTSA game I was left wondering how a team in a major rebuilding mode was doing whatever they wanted against Arizona. I didn’t like what I saw there, as they surrendered 32 points. While they beat Northern Arizona 77-13, I really don’t think NAU should have had three scoring drives. Just about now is when they are going to miss Scooby at linebacker. I expect Rosen to play better after struggling. Additionally, Solomon is looking for a Heisman if he can beat UCLA tonight and continue the Wildcats’ success in 2015. The side is hard for me to pick in this game. I have to lean with Arizona, but I like the OVER 66 even more.
PICK: OVER 66 POINTS (-110)