Three ways Arizona wins the AdvoCare V100 Bowl, three ways the Wildcats lose to Boston College
On Tuesday, Arizona (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) will face Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La. at 11:30 a.m. CST on ESPN.
Here are three ways the Wildcats could win, and three ways they could lose.
Defensive line on top of its game
UA junior running back Ka'Deem Carey runs for a touchdown against Oregon. Carey, No. 2 in the nation in rushing, faces Boston College's Andre Williams, the country's leading rusher, in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl.
Boston College runs a far different offense than Arizona.
While the Wildcats execute a fast tempo spread option, the Eagles like to slow down and let their All-American running back Andre Williams dictate the pace of their offense.
On Tuesday, Arizona (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) faces Boston College (7-5, 4-4 ACC) in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La.
Boston College usually ends up at a slow tempo and runs out the clock.
Since the BC offensive-line features at least two players who might be future NFL draft picks, the Wildcats’ defensive front must be on the top of its game.
This season, the Eagles are 7-2 when Williams rushes more than 100 yards, compared to 0-3 when he doesn’t.
Ka’Deem goes out with a bang
It is widely believed junior Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey is off to the NFL following the bowl game on Tuesday. As the Wildcats’ all-time leading rusher there will be a lot of pressure on Carey to end his career at the UA with a bang.
Carey is second in the nation, averaging 156 rushing yards per game, Williams is first with 175.2.
Boston College’s rush defense has been strong, limiting opposing offenses to 152.8 rushing yards per game, which ranks 50th in the nation.
Carey has faced better rush defenses. USC ended the season ranked 16th and ASU finished 32nd. The two time consensus All-American ran for 132 against the Trojans and 157 versus the Sun Devils, both were losses.
Carey doesn’t need to end his career on a 200-yard game, but his presence must be stronger than in the games against USC and ASU.
Limit the big passes
If the Wildcats’ defensive line can plug the middle and limit the sturdy Williams, Boston College will be forced to throw it.
That is not what the Eagles want to do.
But Arizona has struggled all year in giving up big passes. So in what should be a high-scoring battle, the Wildcats’ will win if they don’t give up long touchdown passes.
— Luke Della
— Follow Luke Della @LukeDella
Williams runs wild
With both the Associated Press first team All-American running backs, the AdvoCare V100 Bowl is the battle of the backs.
Williams beat out Carey for the Doak Walker Award, and could lead the Eagles to a win over Arizona. He is the nation’s leading rusher, almost 20 yards ahead of Carey who is second.
Williams is also first in the country in rushing yards, with 2,102.
As of Dec. 29, the Wildcats have the seventh best rushing defense in the Pac-12, giving up 169.8 yards a game.
In Arizona’s last game against a back of the same caliber as Williams, Washington’s Bishop Sankey ran for 161 yards.
In the game against ASU, the Wildcats gave up 124 yards to the Sun Devils’ back up running back D.J. Foster.
Denker regresses again
Since the game to forget at Washington, senior quarterback B.J. Denker kept improving but suffered a setback at ASU.
At UW, Denker was 14-for-35 passing with two interceptions, the only game he had more than one pick — until ASU. Against the Sun Devils, Denker threw three interceptions, including one that was returned for 64 yards for a touchdown.
Before the ASU game, Denker had thrown only four interceptions through 11 games, and was 19-for-22 for 178 yards and ran for 102 yards in the game before against Oregon.
Missing the wake up call
This season, seven of the UA’s games started at 7 p.m. or later, Arizona time. The Wildcats lost their earliest game, which was at noon, to Washington State after a slow start.
The AdvoCare V100 Bowl starts at 10:30 a.m. MST.
The Wildcats need to score early and often.
In all of Arizona’s wins, they have scored at least 33 points, and in all of their losses, except at USC, they have scored 26 points or less.
During the Wildcats’ last four games for which they went 1-3, they fell behind early, 14-3 to UCLA, 10-0 to Washington State and 27-0 to ASU. However, against Oregon the Wildcats scored touchdowns on their first three possessions and upset the Ducks.
— James Kelley
—Follow James Kelley @jameskelley520