Powerhouse Pac-10 Conference teams will collide in Stanford this weekend as the hometown Cardinal, ranked 10th nationally; will host the 13th- ranked Arizona Wildcats at Stanford Stadium. These two teams, both who possess (7-1) records, come into this match with highly explosive offenses. The Wildcats are putting up an average of 32.6 points per contest, while the Cardinal are staggering at 42.4. These two programs are set to play one of the biggest games of the weekend in a prime time, nationally televised matchup that could have implications on who plays in a BCS bowl. Arizona owns a 14-11 series advantage over Stanford, which includes a 43-38 victory over the Cardinal last season.
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Arizona has flown under the radar this season, which is certainly surprising considering the team’s 7-1 overall record and 4-1 mark in league action. The only loss came at home to Oregon State on October 9th. The Wildcats have won their last three outings, including a 29-21 triumph over UCLA last weekend on the road. Wildcats’ quarterback Nick Foles sprained his knee two weeks ago and was held out of action against UCLA last weekend. Matt Scott, a junior, took the snaps against the Bruins and completed 24-of-36 passes for 319 yards and one touchdown with one interception. He also posted 71 rushing yards in the tilt. While the Arizona offense rolled up 583 total yards against UCLA, the Wildcats played tremendous defense as well, limiting the Bruins to 299 total yards. The run defense was superb, permitting a mere 71 yards on 28 attempts. Although there were a few long pass plays allowed and two passing touchdowns, Arizona can take pride in the fact that just 13-of-27 attempts by UCLA resulted in completions. Through eight games, Arizona is racking up 32.6 ppg and 453.4 total ypg. Foles, who is expected back this weekend, has completed a stellar 75.3 percent of his passes for 1,600 yards and nine touchdowns with five interceptions. Criner has 49 catches for 786 yards and five touchdowns, while Antolin has rushed for 443 yards and six scores. As for Nic Grigsby, the other half of the team’s outstanding tailback duo, he has posted 421 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
Just like Arizona, Stanford is 7-1 after winning each of its last three games. The only loss for the Cardinal to date came against Oregon, which is still unbeaten and ranked first nationally. Last weekend, the Cardinal were completely dominant on both sides of the ball in a 41-0 romp over Washington. Stanford figures to challenge that tremendous Arizona defense, as the Cardinal are posting 42.4 ppg and 466.9 total ypg. QB Andrew Luck is at the helm of the offense, and he has connected on 67.3 percent of his passes for 1,920 yards and 20 touchdowns against six interceptions. The star quarterback’s favorite target is Doug Baldwin, who has made 33 catches for 458 yards and six scores. As for the ground attack, Stepfan Taylor has run for 728 yards and seven touchdowns. While Arizona’s defense garners most of the attention, Stanford ranks third in the Pac-10 in both total defense at 331.6 yards and scoring defense at 21.3 points. The Cardinal, 14-2 in their last 16 at home, yielded just 107 yards against a struggling Huskies offense last week – the second-best defensive effort in school history. They also notched their second shutout of the year, the first time they’ve held two opponents scoreless in a season since 1972. The Cardinal have surrendered 21 touchdowns to opposing offenses, 11 of which have come through the air. Fortunately, they have tallied 18 takeaways, including 10 interceptions, to go along with 20 sacks. Shayne Skov leads Stanford with 46 total tackles, including three sacks. Having already lost to No. 1 Oregon, Stanford’s chances at winning the Pac-10 outright are remote; the Cardinal would need the Ducks falter down the stretch. But their chances of making the Rose Bowl depend on Oregon winning out and Stanford not dropping another game.
Arizona vs Stanford Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
Arizona Wildcats +8
@ Stanford Cardinal -8
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Arizona vs Stanford Prediction for Week 10:
Game Total (TOP PLAY) – These two programs possess, both, highly touted offenses and highly touted defenses, so what direction do we lean in a game like this? The Cardinal are averaging 42.38 points a game to rank second in the Pac-10 Conference and fifth in the nation in scoring offense. They have scored 30 or more points in eight straight games (a school record), and are on pace to break the school’s single-season point total of 461 set last season. While Stepfan Taylor leads a strong running game with five straight 100-yard contests, Luck is the key to the Cardinal offense. He leads the Pac-10 in passing efficiency and has completed 76 percent of his throws the past three games. He also is a threat to run with 345 yards rushing and three touchdowns, including a 51-yarder last week at Washington. The total has gone OVER in 4 of Stanford’s last 6 games and they are 14-6 O/U when coming off of a win over a conference opponent in the last two seasons. The Wildcats are no slouch to putting up points and they should be able to pick their spots against a banged up Cardinal secondary. Arizona brings into this game a dominant rushing attack and it has been becoming progressively more aggressive each week, in fact the Wildcats have rushed for 498 yards over the last two weeks. The total has gone OVER in 4 of Arizona’s last 6 games. We will consider the OVER in this primetime, Rose Bowl impactful, affair of Pac-10 hopefuls.
Spread Prediction – The winner of Saturday night’s game will remain in the running for a share of the Pac-10 title and a possible Rose Bowl bid – something Arizona has never experienced and Stanford has done only once in more than 38 years. So, needless to say this game holds meaning and will be a highly physical and intense battle of hopefuls. I really like the defense that Arizona brings into this contest, I feel it matches up quite nicely against a rush oriented Cardinal offense. The Cats’ are only surrendering 88.4 yards on the ground this year and should be able to contain RB Stepfan Taylor. Arizona is 2-0 ATS the last two teams this teams hooked up. The Stanford offense has the ability to run away in any game they enter but I like this spot for the Wildcats on the road. Take a look at the Arizona defense keeping this game relatively close. Cheers!