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Arizona Preview



As I said last week I don’t want to patronize you with these game previews. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you didn’t wake up today wondering, “hmmmmm, I wonder how many sacks Arizona allowed on the left side of their line last year…” Or maybe you did…if so you can head over to Go Pokes and read Robert Allen’s hyper-intense breakdown.

If not though, and because I think you’re here to be entertained, I’m going to give you previews that pique your interest. What’s the spread? What’s the over/under? What are a few interesting stats I should know going in? Who are the other team’s best players? What channel can I watch the game on? That’s what we’re here for.



Teams: #7 Oklahoma State 1-0 (0-0) vs. Arizona 1-0 (0-0)
Time: 7:06 PM CST
On the call: Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, Craig James (yay!), and Jenn Brown

For entertainment purposes:
Spread: OSU -13.5
Over/Under: 66

66 is the highest line in the country this week (Va. Tech ECU is 64 and Tulsa Tulane is 63.5) which would be disconcerting except that these teams combined for 102 last week and are ranked #1 and #23 nationally in yards per game. I don’t really know what to do with over/unders for OSU this year because I absolutely envision them hanging 60 on everybody but I think the defensive front is also exponentially better than they were last year which limits opponents’ point production.

I’ll say OSU covers 13.5 and the game goes over (something like 54-28), but mostly because it’s a Thursday night and, well, we’ve all seen the last two Thursday night games.

What you need to know about Arizona:
It’s hard to be walking wounded going into week 2 but somehow Stoops’ side has pulled it off. According to this report, their best skill position player Juron Criner didn’t even make the trip to Stillwater. Last week, Nick “I bet you didn’t know I started my career at Michigan State” Foles threw 5 TD to five different receivers en route to their rout over Northern Arizona. Oh, and one of their corners (Trevin Wade) is the NCAA’s active leader in career INT with 11.

Player to watch on Arizona:
It’s funny to me that Foles gets the run that he does. His stats last year (67% | 3191 yards | 20 TD) paled in comparison to Weeden’s. And yet somehow they’re equivalent on a national level. I’ll say Wade is the player to watch, partly to be a contrarian and partly to see what Blackmon does to victim #14.

Last year:
I felt like Arizona mailed it in pretty hard in the Alamo Bowl last year. That didn’t feel like it was a good representation of how solid their team actually was. Weeden didn’t have his best game ever (only 240 yards) but he didn’t need to because Foles threw three picks and Blackmon went 9 | 117 yards | 2 TD.

A few stats you should know:

  • Nick Foles and Brandon Weeden have more passing yards than any two other quarterbacks in college football right now. Granted, it’s only been one game…
  • OSU is 10-10 inside the red zone this year.
  • OSU used 72 players against Louisiana. Something tells me that number won’t be so high tonight.

Video to get you ready:
Since we’ve got intro videos on the mind. I loved this one. The one-handed bad bounce D’Juan catch against Texas was maybe an all-time top ten football play for me. I thought we were going to get to rush the field that night. Alas.

What I’m excited for:
There will be approximately [fill in arbitrary number of OSU and Arizona alumni who care about football + 10-15 college football media members] watching this game what with the NFL kicking off and Obama coming on to tell us how crappy we all are at creating labor for each other. Thursday night ESPN games are great (I like them about 1000x better than Friday night ones) but this has to be the least interested the country will be as a whole in any of them all year.

That said, I’m excited for the Cowboys to show the 10-15 college football media members I mentioned previously how legitimate this program is this year. I want an evisceration. I’m also excited (nerdy as this is about to sound) to be on Twitter during the game. National TV + Twitter + OSU fans across the globe = big win for me.

OSU will win if:
Its defense even remotely thinks about showing up. Is it odd to anyone else that we’ve reached a point in our program where we’re expected to smoke high-level opponents from BCS conferences like they don’t even exist? Is this what it feels like to be a USC or Ohio State fan?

Uniform prediction:

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