Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#363 Arizona vs.
#364 Oregon
Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 10:30pm EST
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#363 University of Arizona
#364 University of Oregon
4-5
8-1
2-7
5-4
6-3
4-5
32
38
37
15

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This article covers a past game!

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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 catastrophe

The 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 play

After 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.

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If the Ducks have a prayer of sneaking into the playoffs, they’ll have to blow past Arizona with absolute ease. The season-opening loss to Auburn likely crippled their chances, and the only win over a ranked opponent they’ll have is their victory at Washington. So the rest of their opponents will have to serve as examples to the selection committee for why they deserve to be bracketed with three of the other top teams in the nation.

They should have no issues making an example out of Arizona’s pitiful defense. I’ve harped on the issues with the secondary, but those issues are present at the front of the defense as well. The Wildcats are giving up 167.8 rushing yards per game. Make no mistake, the Ducks love to air the ball out with Herbert behind center, but they are capable of lining up and running it down an opposing defense’s throat as well.

The ability to do so opens up even more of the passing offense. It won’t take long for this game to get out of hand as the Ducks pile up touchdowns and build on their early lead throughout the game. The Wildcats will succumb to turnovers on the road and a public annihilation at the hands of Herbert. I’m taking the Ducks to cover the lofty spread on Saturday.

Prediction: Oregon Ducks (-27)

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I’m not so confident Tate will find much success against Oregon’s defense on the road. The Ducks have a knack for coming up with turnovers, and there will be opportunities given to them when facing a Wildcats team that hasn’t shown the ability to play clean football. While I expect Oregon to be rolling in this game, this is far more likely to be an offensive dud of a performance for the Wildcats. They couldn’t muster more than 14 points against USC’s porous defense. This will be too high of a total for Oregon to cover on their own. I’m taking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (68)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.