Nevada vs. Arizona
Sat., Dec. 15 — 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
Albuquerque, N.M. — University Stadium
After studying each other for a couple weeks, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Wolf Pack and Wildcats were tempted to borrow some of each other’s stuff.
Innovation is the name of the game for Chris Ault’s pistol and Rich Rodriquez’s spread. Why not mix in a little adaptation? Maybe not for this game, but next year perhaps.
Not only do Nevada (7-5) and Arizona (7-5) have identical records, they also have nearly identical stats.
The Wolf Pack are averaging 37.0 points per game, just a shade behind the Wildcats’ 37.3. Obviously scoring isn’t a problem for both squads, but their margin for error is razor thin. Defensively, Nevada is allowing 32.5 points per game (94th in the country), while Arizona yields 34.3 (100th). Yikes.
The early over/under is hovering around 75, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the actual total ends up closer to 100, as two of the nation’s most productive running backs go toe-to-toe.
Wolf Pack junior Stefphon Jefferson rushed for 1,703 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. Again, that’s eerily similar to Wildcat sophomore Ka’Deem Carey, who ran for 1,757 and 20 scores.
If it weren’t impossible, we’d be tempted to call for a tie. Instead, we’ll side with Arizona and hope that their rollercoaster ride is headed in the right direction after the finale failure versus Arizona State. And it would be silly to rely on a Wolf Pack squad that’s dropped four of its last five.
Opening point spread: Arizona by 7 1/2
The pick: Arizona 52-37
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