Arizona PAC 12
College Football Pick
Washington has lived up to the hype so far, but now Pac-12 play begins and their far-too-easy non-Conference slate is in the past. Fortunately for the Huskies, they get a team they completely dismantled last year in Arizona. Even at home, not many will back the Wildcats who haven’t gotten off to the best start.
Both of these teams finished 7-6 a year ago, but it looks like Washington is better built for 2016. The Huskies carved through three weak opponents, and remain a top-10 team in the AP Polls via stout all-around play. At the least, even in easy matchups, quarterback Jake Browning has looked improved in his second season under center, already with 12 passing touchdowns after 16 all of last season, while completing almost 75% of his passes.
Considering Browning was dynamite in last year’s 49-3 meeting with 263 yards and Four touchdowns, things may be lining up for another repeat performance. However, the Huskies haven’t been as solid rushing the ball. Myles Gaskin is another stud sophomore, but didn’t really find many holes despite some big wins in the early Games.
Arizona hasn’t done many things well in their early Games. They fell 18-16 in the opener to BYU and then fell behind 21-3 to lowly Grambling State before coming back with 28 unanswered points to win. With the Wildcats giving up 402 passing yards to Grambling State, this should be Browning’s Game to once again take control in.
The question for Arizona will be with its quarterback Anu Solomon, who probably won’t be completely healthy for this Game even if he does play. Brandon Dawkins started the last two Games and it was the run Game that led the way in both wins. The Wildcats didn’t have running back Nick Wilson and he may miss out again after leaving early in the Hawaii Game last week. Solomon couldn’t do anything in the air and the ground Game averaged just 2.9 yards per carry in the huge loss.
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So far in the early going, it looks like Washington’s defense will be just as good as it was a year ago when they gave up the fewest points per Game in the Pac-12. The Wildcats have been stout, only really allowing points when the Game is out of reach for the other team.
And if Solomon and Wilson aren’t healthy for this one, it won’t matter where the Game is because Dawkins won’t cut it against this Washington defense. To win this one, and to cover, the Wildcats will need to play much better than their previous Games this season, and obviously way better than the last time these two teams faced.
It’ll be a tall order for the home team and it’s not like Washington will take this Game lightly. It’s the Pac-12 opener for both teams so tensions will already be high, but the Huskies have the edge on both sides of the field and if they come to play, it’ll be another long Game for Arizona. Washington -11