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Arizona-Stanford Preview

Posted By Henry Childs On Nov 4 2010 @ 1:43 am In Arizona | No Comments

In a game where many things are up for grabs, including a potential Rose Bowl berth, 15th-ranked Arizona will travel to Palo Alto on Saturday to face 13th-ranked Stanford.

Both teams have one conference loss: Stanford to Oregon, Arizona to Oregon State. That means that the winner will most likely have the upper hand to finishing second in the Pac-10 (if Oregon ends up going undefeated), and a potential at-large BCS berth, too.

For the Wildcats, it looks like Nick Foles will be the starting quarterback once again. Coach Mike Stoops said earlier this week that Foles was “100% percent”, but it hasn’t been finalized. If Foles can go for Arizona, that will obviously be a good thing. However, if Foles can’t play, backup Matt Scott has been playing at an extremely high level the past two weeks in victories against Washington and UCLA.

The defense for the Stanford Cardinal has been up and down so far this season. Against Oregon, they looked dismal, allowing 52 points after leading 21-3 in the first half. But other than that, the Cardinal have looked pretty good.

The key to this game will be the Stanford offense against the Arizona defense. The Cardinal rank sixth in the nation in points scored, and the Wildcats rank seventh in the nation in scoring defense. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is poised, talented, and has weapons around him. Running back Stefan Taylor has had five consecutive 100-yard rushing games as well. While the Arizona offense fairs a bit better than the Stanford defense, don’t overlook that matchup, either. The Cardinal defense is physical, and though they may give up yards, they also make big plays.

In order to win this game, Arizona needs to make huge plays on defense. If they can’t stop Luck, then they won’t win this game. But the Wildcats defense has been overlooked all season long, and they have consistently played at a high level. Pressure Luck, and force him to make plays.

Like I said, whether it’s Nick Foles or Matt Scott, Arizona will need to score points to keep up with Stanford. If they don’t score over 30, I don’t think they will win.

My prediction:

The Arizona defense will pressure Luck all game long, but he will make plays with his feet all game long, scrambling and finding open receivers. Nick Foels starts, and plays well, but the Cardinal get two interceptions. They can’t keep up with the Stanford offense, and the Cardinal will win, 34-24.

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