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The Arizona Wildcats host the Washington Huskies Saturday night in a Pac-12 conference affair. The Wildcats are 4-1 and on a four-game winning streak after picking up a road win at Colorado. Arizona sits in first place in the Pac-12 South standings with a 2-0 conference record. Quarterback Khalil Tate and running back J.J. Taylor both returned to action this past weekend. Tate threw a career-high 404 yards.
The Huskies are 4-2 after falling at Stanford. Washington is now 1-2 in the Pac-12 with both losses coming to the Bay Area schools (UW lost to Cal 20-19 in week 2). Washington quarterback Jacob Eason completed just 44% of his passes against the Cardinal including a costly late-game interception. Huskies wide receiver Aaron Fuller ranks 16th nationally with 498 reception yards.
Washington looks for road reboundThe Washington Huskies have seen their playoff hopes dashed and their national ranking disappear in recent weeks thanks to losses to Cal and Stanford. Now UW looks to stay competitive in the Pac-12 North standings with a win over South foe Arizona. Washington will need a much better outing from its offense than the 294 yards they put up against Stanford.
Quarterback Jacob Eason, a transfer from Georgia, looked subpar against the Cardinal, completing just 16-36 passes with one touchdown and one interception. His receiving core didn't help him out much, either. Aaron Fuller was the only Huskies receiver with more than one catch. Fuller is a great weapon, sure, but Eason needs more consistent targets. Washington also may have taken a hit to its rushing game when freshman back Richard Newton left in the third quarter with a foot injury. Newton leads the team with six rushing touchdowns. Junior running back Salvon Ahmed was held to 28 yards on six carries against the Cardinal.
The Washington defense is holding opponents to a respectable 18.3 points per game. The Huskies have gone 62 games without allowing more than 35 points. Levi Onwuzurike, a junior defensive lineman, recorded nine tackles against Stanford.
Arizona goes for fifth straightThe Arizona Wildcats are the hottest team in the Pac-12 right now, having won four straight games. Arizona returned quarterback Khalil Tate last weekend at Colorado, and Tate delivered with one of his best-ever passing games. Although known more for his running game, Tate proved he can throw the ball efficiently, as he completed 31-41 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns.
Arizona ranks seventh nationally in total offense at 539.2 yards per game. The Wildcats like to distribute the wealth offensively, with five players tallying rushing touchdowns and nine with receiving scores. Junior receiver Brian Casteel recorded seven receptions for 74 yards including a touchdown against Colorado. Arizona's senior running back J.J. Taylor earned just one carry after missing the prior game to injury. His health is questionable heading into Saturday.
On defense, the Wildcats rank among the nation's best when it comes to forcing interceptions. In fact, senior cornerback Jace Whittaker and redshirt junior Lorenzo Burns have three INTs apiece, which ties for fourth in the country. Junior linebacker Colin Schooler leads the unit with 40 tackles.
- Wildcats are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven conference games.
- Wildcats are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven home games.
- Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last six games in October.
- Huskies are 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a straight up loss.
- Huskies are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 conference games.
- Huskies are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 road games.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Arizona head coach Kevin Sumlin has a 7-2 home record with the two losses coming by a combined six points. The Wildcats aren't likely to get routed in Tucson and could quite possibly steal a win from the flailing Huskies. Khalil Tate is coming off one of his best performances, while Jacob Eason missed his marks last week. I like Arizona to cover.
Prediction: Arizona +6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Washington Huskies do as good a job as any team in the country at preventing big plays. UW has allowed just one play of 40 or more yards. The Huskies should be able to sedate Arizona's explosive offense from scoring many points. On the other side, UW has struggled to find the end zone recently, and if they're without top running back Richard Newton it'll be even more difficult to put up big numbers.
Prediction: Under 58