Hard to Stop Running Game Makes Arizona -7.5 Our College Football Pick vs. Colorado

Willie Bee

Wednesday, October 14, 2015 9:32 PM GMT

Arizona looks to build on its rout of Oregon State last week with a trip to face Colorado in Boulder where the Wildcats are 8 point favorites on the college football odds.

It's not possible for both teams to lose a game, and with the overtime rules in college football, we won't see a tie either. Nonetheless, knowing that one side or the other is going to win when the Arizona Wildcats and Colorado Buffaloes take the field this Saturday night doesn't make it any easier to pick a winner since neither has really played up to their potential this year.

Folsom Field in Boulder is the site for the Pac-12 battle, the 9 PM (ET) boot set for telecast on FOX Sports 1. The sports books are in agreement that one team definitely will win with Arizona lined as 8 point chalk after opening as an even touchdown favorite on the college football odds. We're already seeing some movement back down to 7½ at places like Bookmaker and The Greek. The sports books are unanimous on the total with 66's across the board and split high and low.

This is still a relatively new rivalry in the Pac-12 South since Colorado is only in its fifth year in the conference. The Buffaloes took the first meeting as league opponents, but Arizona has since reeled off three consecutive wins in the series. Colorado has a 13-4 all-time advantage over the Wildcats, thanks largely to dominating Arizona in the 1950s when the game was an annual event.

Colorado has covered three of the four conference meetings, including last year's 38-20 Wildcats win in Tucson. The contest close with the Buffs getting 18½ to just give them the ATS victory, and the final failed to reach the total after three successive 'over' winners..

 

'Cats Hope To Use Ground Game To Win In Boulder
Arizona (4-2 straight up, 3-3 against the spread) has had very little trouble lighting up the scoreboard, the Wildcats ranking seventh in the country averaging 42.3 points per contest. Stopping other teams has been an issue for Rich Rodriguez and his defensive coordinator, Jeff Casteel.

In the two losses to UCLA and at Stanford, Arizona surrendered a combined 111 points and more than 1,060 yards. The issues on defense were especially conspicuous whenever the Bruins and Cardinal faced third down plays, the two offenses converting 18 of 26 tries between them. Things improved a week ago when the stop unit held their opponent to just seven points and less than 250 yards, but then, the 'Cats were facing an Oregon State team that ranks 120th in the nation in total offense (320.4 ypg) and 115th in scoring (19.8 ppg).

The offense did get a lift with the return of sophomore quarterback Anu Solomon after he missed the Stanford game with a concussion suffered against UCLA. Solomon got a lot of help from his running game that enjoyed its fourth 200+ yard game of the season.

 

Can Buffs Stop 'Cats Running Game?
Stopping the Arizona running game might be difficult for Colorado (3-3 SU, 1-4-1 ATS). Oregon and Arizona State pretty much had their way controlling the Buffaloes' front seven and amassing nearly 600 yards rushing combined. Mike MacIntyre's lads rank 101st in rushing defense on the season (197.2 ypg), though they've made up for that with a pretty fair pass defense that has picked off nine aerials.

They picked off Arizona State's Mike Bercovici once a week ago, but also allowed the Sun Devils senior signal caller to find the end zone with five of his 20 completions. The Buffs never were able to get their running game going and junior QB Sefo Liufau was under constant pressure from the ASU pass rush.

Colorado's ground game could be minus Michael Adkins II who is expected to be out with a hamstring injury. A bigger loss is starting tackle Sam Kronshage with the sophomore questionable due to a concussion.

It should stay in the high-to-mid 60s for most of the game with kickoff coming at 7 PM local time. There might be a few clouds, but no precipitation and very little wind to speak of. Playing against the Buffs getting points on their field is risky, but my free college football pick is on the visiting Wildcats.

College Football Pick: Arizona -7½ at TheGreek

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