Reser Stadium / Fox College Sports Pacific / KEJO 1240 AM / KPAM 860 AM (Streamed)
Arizona (1-4, 0-3) visits Oregon St. (0-4, 0-2) for an early afternoon contest dubbed "Desperation Bowl II".
Despite Nick Foles' passing exploits, completing 41 of 53 passes for 425 yards and 4 touchdowns, the Wildcats still came up short at USC. The 48-41 loss was Arizona's 9th. consecutive loss against FBS opponents.
Despite Sean Mannion's passing exploits, completing 40 of 66 passes for 341 yards and a touchdown, the Beavers still came up short at Arizona St. The 35-20 loss was Oregon St.'s 6th. consecutive loss, and 8th. in their last 9 games.
The good news for one of the teams is that one of them will snap their worst losing streak in a long, long time.
The bad news for one of them will be an even longer losing streak.
Count on 'Cats coach Mike Stoops to be even more animated than usual (if that's possible). Expect Beavers' coach Mike Riley to actually get animated at some point (it is possible).
Arizona is a 1 1/2 point favorite, despite being on the road. That's in part in recognition of the fact that those games the 'Cats have lost have been against a schedule that most teams would have lost nearly all of their games against. Two each against Stanford, Oregon, Oklahoma St., all currently in the top 10, plus a road trip to Arizona St., and a pair of games against USC.
It's also in part due to the 5 turnovers the Beavers suffered against Arizona St., and the -2 turnover margin the week before against UCLA.
If Oregon St. can correct that problem alone, it could reverse their fortunes.
The Beavers rush defense has been decent, and improving despite their youth, but the 'Cats don't run very much. Oregon St. intercepted 3 passes last week, and Foles threw a pair of them. How well Oregon St. can get past Arizona's very inexperienced offensive line, and pressure Foles, will be the key to the game in Riley's opinion, and its hard to argue for any other matchup mattering as much as this one will.
Compounding the competition, Benny the Beaver and Wilbur T. Wildcat are up against each other this week in the Capital One Mascot Challenge. Both are 3-2 so far, so this is a critical matchup for Benny in order to advance to the Mascot Playoffs. It's even the featured matchup of the week. So hop over and vote for Benny!
Buildingthedam.com will be at the game, and be back after wards, with complete coverage and analysis.
Here's the place to chat (or rant) about the game, the season, and Stoops' shenanigans.