Staff predictions for Arizona football against Oregon State
Arizona football takes on the Oregon State Beavers on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1:30 p.m. at home. Beat reporters Jack Cooper, Amit Syal and Austin Wales predict what will go down in Arizona's second-to-last home game of the regular season.
With four games remaining, Arizona football is right where a lot of people expected them to be. With its toughest stretch of the season coming up after this week's game against Oregon State, Arizona needs a win for any hope of going to a bowl game. Expect more of the same as we saw against Stanford with Arizona using the two quarterback system with Khalil Tate and Grant Gunnell. Head Coach Kevin Sumlin said going into the Stanford game that he would use Gunnell in the third series, but we haven't heard anything about this week. Both quarterbacks played well, though, as Tate went 17-33 for 205 yards and two touchdowns while Gunnell was a perfect 7-7 for 68 yards and one touchdown.
JJ Taylor was another huge bright spot last week and the Wildcats will need him again this week and moving forward. If Arizona is able to get good production out of Taylor and successfully use the two quarterback system, then Arizona fans shouldn't have to worry too much about this game.
Oregon State has been an interesting team all year. The Beavers 3-4 but sit in third place in the Pac-12 North. Their two conference wins have both been on the road, beating UCLA and University of California, Berkeley. Senior quarterback Jake Luton has been very impressive this year, throwing for 1,602 yards and 16 touchdowns while only throwing one interception. Getting turnovers will be big for the Wildcats, though. Arizona had nine interceptions through the first four games but have zero since. If the Wildcats can create turnovers again and Tate and Gunnell both play well, then Arizona should get a nice win on Homecoming Weekend.
Prediction: Arizona 35 Oregon State 27
Arizona football is in a tough spot right now. After going 4-1 through the first five games, the Wildcats somehow managed to get back at .500 (4-4) on the season. In addition to losing its past three games, Arizona is in the midst of a quarterback dilemma that has been getting worse since the beginning of the season. After switching off between senior Khalil Tate and true freshman Grant Gunnell in the past couple games, Head Coach Kevin Sumlin has been put in a tough spot. Caught in the middle of two talented quarterbacks, Sumlin has seen the good and bad of both of them on the field.
This weekend, Arizona’s competition will be a nice break from the intense rigor they have faced this past month. After losing to Washington, USC and Stanford in the span of three quick weeks, the Wildcats will take on the Oregon State Beavers at home. So far, the Beavers are 2-1 on the road compared to 1-3 under the home lights. OSU is 2-2 in conference play with wins against the UCLA Bruins (48-31) and Cal (21-17) and losses against Stanford (28-31) and the University of Utah (7-52).
If Arizona gets its fourth consecutive loss, the Wildcats can pretty much expect their season to be over. This game is a must-win for Sumlin and his crew in order to have any chances at a Bowl game. I’m going with the Wildcats in a high-scoring shootout at Arizona Stadium for UA's Homecoming.
Prediction: Arizona 42 Oregon State 21
After an impressive 4-1 start to the season, the Wildcats are now .500 at 4-4 with 4 games remaining this season. The Wildcats, who now have Chuck Cecil as defensive coordinator — since former defensive coordinator Marcel Yates was fired earlier this week — are going to be looking to prove themselves this week against another middle-of-the-road team. Arizona has decided to go with a two-quarterback system after last week, so we should continue to see that the rest of this season unless one quarterback begins to struggle heavily.
Oregon State, who came off a disappointing 2-10 season last year, has started off strong this year, with quality wins over UCLA and Cal. Oregon State has a very experienced quarterback, not to the standard of Washington or Stanford, but quarterback Jake Luton comes into his second season as the starter for the Beavers. Luton — who has had an impressive touchdown/interception ratio at 16 touchdowns to one interception — doesn’t really go for the deep ball that often, usually checking down to the running back or slant routes or hitch routes.
If Arizona loses to Oregon State this weekend, we can pretty much expect Arizona’s bowl game hopes to go out the window. However, with the Wildcats playing at home as well as a large crowd expected this weekend forHomecoming, I expect the Wildcats to dominate.
Prediction: Arizona 42 Oregon State 28
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