If you like back and forth up the field football, this may be the game for you on Saturday. Washington State and Arizona meet in a battle of offensive supremacy in Tucson for homecoming. Both schools are coming off victories last week, Washington State pummeling Oregon State for a 52-31 win. It was an impressive win in the sense that they didn’t have any kind of letdown after beating Oregon in the previous week, a 45-38 win. The Cougars have taken major strides since the start of the year opened. They have brushed off a bad 24-17 loss to Portland State and are now looking to secure a bid for a bowl game. Washington State is hanging tough in the PAC 12 with a 4-2 record and have looked their best the last two weeks. A win on the road against Arizona would be a huge way to let the rest of the conference know that other teams better not take them lightly. Oregon certainly found that out already.
Washington State is led by sophomore signal caller Luke Falk, who is putting up some gaudy numbers in the Cougar offense. Falk spent time behind Connor Halliday, who went to the NFL in the spring then out of the blue retired. Halliday was a good quarterback for the offense, and Falk may be even better. Halliday broke his leg last season, which opened the door for Falk to get some experience. So, looking at it that way, it was good for Washington State’s future getting him in there. In his first season as the full-time starter, Falk has passed for 2371 yards with 21 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Look for him to be the unquestioned starter at Washington State until he leaves college. The Cougars go fast, fast. Mike Leach is the head coach, formerly of Texas Tech, who really brought this offense to the forefront a few years back.
Rich Rod’s offense doesn’t take a breather either between plays. While they don’t throw it around as much as the Cougars do, Arizona runs the hurry-up and plays fast as well. Last week they started relatively slow against Colorado, but pulled away in the second half to secure a 38-31 win. The offense wasn’t all that proficient other than the first 5 minutes of the 1st quarter and when they switched things up and inserted a different style of quarterback, Jerrard Randall, in the 4th quarter. Colorado didn’t know what to do. Randall ran it all over the defense. Now at home on homecoming, Arizona gets another fairly weak defense. UA is like that, they beat up on lesser competition but can’t win the big game. Beating Washington State won’t do much to change that, but the Cougars have the hot hand lately.
Washington State Cougars vs. Arizona Wildcats College Football
Washington State +7(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Washington State vs. Arizona Pick:
Washington State goes fast and is allergic to running the ball. I watched a Washington State game last season and I recall them running the ball only three times during the course of an entire game. Against Oregon, Falk through the ball a record 74 times. He finished with 505 yards and 5 touchdowns in the overtime win. The Cougars leading rusher had only 8 carries. Washington State is averaging 35 points per game overall. Since their poor start against Portland State they’ve averaged 38.6 points a game.
My problem with the Cougars is that they a defense that might be on their heels this afternoon against Arizona. They go fast just like the Cougars and can score in a blink. Colorado was up in that ballgame last week before Arizona put up a quick 21 straight points in the 4th quarter. The Wildcats are averaging 41.7 points per game, take away the dud they laid against Stanford and they have scored 30+ in every game this season.
Note that starting quarterback Anu Solomon still hasn’t throw an interception, he has passed for 13 touchdowns and 0 picks. However, expect to see Randall in the game as well, a Pat White type player Rich Rod had at WVU who provides a threat with his legs. I see them scoring in the 44-47 point rage. Arizona is going to see a lot of possessions in this game, as is Washington State. Statistically these added possessions obviously add up to more points. I don’t expect to see the play clock to be running low for either of these teams. Almost 100 points were scored between Washington State and Arizona last year. I don’t expect that many points, but enough to get OVER the total of 74.
PICK: OVER 74 POINTS (-110)