When and where: November 16, 2019, Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR, 10:30 PM ET
The Oregon Ducks will aim to blow through the Arizona Wildcats in hopes of keeping their one-loss record intact and vying for a potential spot in the College Football Playoffs. Alabama’s loss to LSU blew the playoff picture wide open, and there is a legitimate argument for several teams. Of course, the Ducks remain a long-shot option after blowing their opener against Auburn. They are coming off a 56-24 win over USC, while the Wildcats have lost their last four consecutive games, including their recent outing against Oregon State.
Arizona tries to avoid another defensive catastropheThe Wildcats haven’t been able to win games because the defense is giving up the type of scoring you’d see mostly at college basketball games. They recently fired defensive coordinator Marcel Yates in an effort to shake things up. It wasn’t surprising considering the defense hit rock bottom after the team gave up 133 points in three games combined.
It would have been naïve to assume all of the problems would suddenly disappear without Yates on the sidelines. The unit is still giving up a ton of points, and they still rank dead last in total defense with an average allowance of 481.1 yards per game. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert and the prolific Ducks offense will have a legitimate chance of putting up video game numbers on Saturday.
It’s hard to rely on there being much of a response from the Wildcats’ offense, which clearly isn’t the crux of their issues. The unit ranks second in the conference with an average of 495.8 total yards per game. Quarterback Khalil Tate has teased some playmaking abilities, but those few positive flashes are typically negated with a turnover. The Wildcats are tied for the second-most turnovers in the conference (15), which is a troubling weakness to have when going on the road against the team with the best turnover margin.
They also have the rushing defense to take the legs away from the Wildcats’ offense.
Ducks aim to stay unbeaten in conference playAfter dropping 56 points in a blowout win over USC, the Ducks will be looking for their seventh consecutive win in the Pac-12 Conference this season. They’ll have a chance to take aim at the Wildcats’ moribund defense in a game that could serve as some stat-padding for Herbert. The senior quarterback, who was initially perceived as a Heisman candidate, is completing 69.4 percent of his passes for 2,329 yards, 24 touchdowns and only two interceptions this season.
He’ll have an opportunity to go head-to-head with a Wildcats defense giving up an average of 313.4 passing yards per game. Opposing teams have been like sharks with blood in the waters throwing against Arizona. The 359 passing attempts by opponents are the most in the conference. They have managed to snatch away nine interceptions, which is something to watch whenever Herbert drops back to pass.
Perhaps the scariest occurrence is the defense matching the offense’s sensational level of play for the Ducks. They have the second-best defense in the conference in scoring (15.8). It’s going to be hard for the Wildcats’ struggling offensive front to measure up to the gang-tackling mentality of the Ducks. Linebacker Mase Funa leads the team in sacks, but this is a team that has shown the ability to dial up pressure from a multitude of moving parts.
Safety Nick Pickett will have to sit for the first-half of the game due to a suspension for a targeting penalty in his last outing.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Wildcats are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a straight up loss.
- Wildcats are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 conference games.
- Wildcats are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games following a double-digit loss at home.
- Wildcats are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- Ducks are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Ducks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 conference games.
- Ducks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games in the month of November.
- Ducks are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a bye week.