Oregon State three more football games left to play in this 2017 season. It’s almost over, Beaver faithful. But first, the Beavs head south to Arizona to face the Wildcats and their incredibly athletic quarterback Khalil Tate. Could OSU make it a game? We talked with Ryan Kelapire of Arizona Desert Swarm, SB Nation’s Arizona community, to see what he thinks of this weekend’s contest.
1. Khalil Tate: human?
We're not so sure yet. We think he throws incompletions and only runs for 10 yards every now and then so people don't suspect he's not human. We'll let you know if anything changes.
2. What have been the high and low points of Arizona football this season?
The low points were the two losses to Utah and Houston early in the season in what Arizona fans call the "Before Tate Era". This team was hapless when Brandon Dawkins was the quarterback, and you have to wonder what UA's record would be if Tate played in those two games. Both were extremely close, so a lot of people think the Wildcats would have won both, and could be 8-1 right now.
The high points are definitely Tate's emergence and the four-game winning streak Arizona enjoyed as a result.
3. With a lot of young talent on that team, what are your expectation for Arizona football NEXT season?
Assuming Khalil Tate keeps playing at this level, I don't think it's too outlandish to say that Arizona can compete for a Pac-12 title. They will several key players on both sides of the ball, and the defense in particular is really young, so you figure they will be even better next season.
4. Who are some of the names on defense we should be watching?
Kylan Wilborn is a true freshman edge defender who leads Arizona in sacks and has had some big games this year, including a four-sack performance against UCLA. Freshman middle linebacker Colin Schooler is a good run-stopper and has a knack for making timely plays. Arizona's secondary is pretty talented, too. Jace Whittaker is a solid corner and safety Dane Cruikshank was named to Pro Football Focus' Pac-12 Team of the Week last week.
Safety Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles was seen as Arizona's best player on that side of the ball heading into the season, but he hasn't really lived up to expectations.
5. What's something about Arizona football that you think is underappreciated?
Arizona's offensive line. They sorta struggled against USC, allowing five sacks in that game, but before then they had only allowed five all season. And, yes, Tate has the ability to turn broken plays into big yards, but he's also had a lot of running lanes, too, which obviously are a product of the o-line. It's an experienced group that will be missed next season, for sure.
6. Outcome and final score prediction for this game?
I don't think there's any reason to think Arizona won't put a ton of points on the board, so I'm going to predict 49-28, though I wouldn't be surprised if Oregon State scores a little bit more than that since Ryan Nall is good and Arizona's defense has struggled lately.
Bonus: Is 280 too many characters for Twitter?
No, unless people are adamant about using all 280. Like a 190-character tweet is OK. But tweets that use the full 280 are kinda annoying.