Live Free Picks
Home Of 500 Handicappers
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
The pace promises to be quick and points might be scored in bushels when No. 3 Oregon hosts No. 21 Arizona in Saturday’s Pac-12 opener for both teams. First-year Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez has re-configured the Wildcats’ offense and the results have been eye-popping, with the Wildcats averaging 46.3 points and ranking fourth nationally in total offense at 604.7 yards per game after three straight victories. Oregon runs a similar no-huddle scheme and is once again lighting up scoreboards as Chip Kelly’s squad is averaging 54.0 points (fifth nationally) and 596.3 yards (seventh) after three consecutive wins. Oregon has a six-game win streak dating back to last season while Arizona has won five consecutive contests. The Ducks have won 11 of the last 13 meetings with the Wildcats.
ABOUT ARIZONA (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12): The Wildcats’ strong start includes a 59-38 thumping of Oklahoma State. The other victories were against Toledo and South Carolina State. Arizona has produced two of the three most prolific yardage games in school history by rolling up 689 yards against South Carolina State and 624 against Toledo. The school record of 691 was set against New Mexico in 1969. Senior quarterback Matt Scott has thrived in Rodriguez’s offense, passing for 995 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception. Senior receiver Dan Buckner has a team-leading 22 catches while sophomore Austin Hill has 17 receptions for a team-best 319 yards. Sophomore cornerback Jonathan McKnight and sophomore safety Jared Tevis each has two interceptions.
ABOUT OREGON (3-0, 0-0 Pac-12): The Ducks are encountering their toughest foe thus far after routing Arkansas State, Fresno State and Tennessee Tech. Redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota passed for 308 yards against Tennessee Tech to become the first freshman quarterback in Oregon history to have a 300-yard game. He has thrown eight touchdown passes against one interception. Sophomore running back De’Anthony Thomas (228 rushing yards) has scored seven total touchdowns – tied for most in the nation – and is averaging an amazing 17.5 yards per carry. Senior running back Kenjon Barner has 324 rushing yards and six scores. The Ducks have limited opponents to a 15.6 percent third-down conversion rate (7 of 45).
1. Oregon has won 15 of the last 18 meetings and is 8-1 in the last nine played in Eugene.
2. Arizona recorded school records for first downs (43) and offensive plays (102) against South Carolina State.
3. The Ducks have scored 30 or more points in 16 consecutive games, the second-longest streak behind Oklahoma State (18).