Arizona vs. Washington State fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 17
Game Time: 10:30 ET
Venue: Martin Stadium, Pullman, WA
Arizona (5-5) vs. Washington State (9-1) Game Preview
One Reason Why Arizona Will Win
Can Arizona stop the pass enough to slow down Gardner Minshew and the high-octane Wazzu attack?
Not really, but the Wildcats don’t give up big pass plays. They can be dinked and dunked on, but they don’t get beaten deep. For good and for bad in this, the Cougars don’t come up with big pass plays – everything is short-to-midrange.
With two weeks off to rest up, the offense that cranked out the production over the two weeks before getting the top off should be ready to keep up the pace. Khalil Tate was starting to figure it all out before the break, and now his banged up ankle has had a few weeks to chill out.
After missing the UCLA game, he came up with a three touchdown pass game against Oregon and followed it up with 350 yards and five touchdowns against Colorado.
Now he has to crank it up against a Wazzu secondary that’s been strong throughout the year, but can be thrown on. Stanford was able to do it a few weeks ago, Oregon’s Justin Herbert was okay, and in the one big misfire, USC’s JT Daniels threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns in the Trojan win.
This is going to be Tate’s moment to show off.
One Reason Why Washington State Will Win
Control the clock, and keep Tate off the field.
Arizona doesn’t do much in the time of possession battle, and Washington State leads the Pac-12, keeping the ball for almost 33 minutes. That’s where Gardner Minshew has been brilliant – he’s fabulous at picking up third downs and keeping the chains moving.
Arizona is second in the Pac-12 in first downs, coming up with 235 on the year. Washington State leads the conference with 253, thanks to Minshew being in total command of the attack.
Cougar quarterbacks always throw for a bazillion yards, but Minshew has been rock-steady. There’s no drama in his game, and he’s not forcing anything. He doesn’t take any crazy chances and doesn’t push the ball down the field, simply keeping it all moving.
He’ll take target practice on an Arizona defense that won’t generate enough pressure to bother Mr. Mustache.
What’s Going To Happen
Everyone keeps waiting for Washington State to go Cooging. with the clunker that Mike Leach-coached teams have at least once a year. It’s not happening.
Both passing games will be fantastic, but Arizona just won’t have the ball enough. Tate will be good, but it’ll be about who gets the most chances. That will be Washington State, as it’ll keep the clock rolling from close to 40 minutes.
Minshew will get into a rhythm, and Tate won’t.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Washington State 37, Arizona 30
Line: Washington State -10.5, o/u: 62.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 4
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