JASON SAYS: 79 points, 45 by Oregon
- Jason Vondersmith
- Portland Tribune - Sports
Oregon will be facing a motivated and desperate team on Saturday night.
Arizona, already 1-2, having lost to Oklahoma State and Stanford, needs to beat the Ducks or watch its season go south really quickly.
That said, I think the Ducks pull one out in the desert, 7:15 p.m. Saturday in Tucson, Ariz. (ESPN2). Not that the Ducks have earned their stripes to be considered a top-10 team - they beat outmanned Nevada and Missouri State, folks - but their offense and playmakers and pace will be too much for the Wildcats to handle again.
Expect a shootout. The Ducks will have to get a rush on QB Nick Foles, which won't be easy, because the 'Cats have some big boys on the offensive line. And, Foles has a quick trigger and a lot of weapons. The 'Cats haven't run the ball well, yet, so one would assume they'll try to establish the ground game. Some things to watch will be how well the Oregon defensive line puts pressure on Foles, which frees up safeties John Boyett and Eddie Pleasant to help cover receivers; and, one would think, the Ducks work Cliff Harris into more of the action to help control the UA passing game.
Much like last year at Autzen Stadium, the Ducks' offense will find its groove as the game goes on. Coach Chip Kelly says the Wildcats have a really good secondary. But, although the Ducks got their deep passing game going last week, the offense does much of its damage with the running game and short stuff, taking advantage of the likes of LaMichael James, De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner.
I wouldn't be surprised by an Arizona win, as the Ducks didn't really prove much the past couple weeks. I see the Ducks dropping a couple Pac-12 games, but they should outgun the Wildcats in this one.
THE PICK: Oregon 45, Arizona 34