This bowl game offers the typical lower level bowl type matchup. A MID LEVEL TEAM from a major conference versus A TOP LEVEL TEAM from a second tier conference.
I give you: Arizona a MID LEVEL PAC 12 team versus Nevada a TOP LEVEL MWC team
Typically the team from the lower level conference takes this opportunity to show that they are better than the public gives them credit for. They are EXCITED to be there and they are usually very ready to play.
While the “better” team has typically lost their last game, which on top of what was an already a very disappointing season, is now compounded by having to play in this “shxxt bowl” (Fill in the name of the bowl).
I give you: Arizona versus Nevada
Keeping that in mind, this could be a very entertaining game to watch. We have two very offense minded coaches featuring the top two rushers in the nation in this game…
#1 Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey; 275 rushes for 1,757 yards, 20 TD, 6.39 YPR, 146.4 YPG
#2 Nevada’s Stefphon Jefferson; 341 rushes for 1,703 yards, 22 TD, 4.99 YPR, 141.9 YPG
Nevada averages 260 YPG rushing and Arizona 230 YPG….. On the surface, it appears that both teams are fairly equal in rushing stats. But not all rushing yards are created equal. Nevada’s stats are padded by these performances: 1,460 of 3,120 total rushing yards came against: New Mexico, UNLV, Hawaii & FCS NW State. While Arizona gained only 760 of their 2.765 yards against their two creampuffs; Colorado, & FCS SC State
Who is easier to run on? Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Arizona State OR New Mexico, UNLV, Hawaii, Texas State, Wyoming and FCS NW State?`
Arizona has four quality wins; USC, Washington, Oklahoma State and Toledo.
Their five loses were against; Stanford, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Arizona State… A combined 47-13 WL record.
Nevada has six FBS wins against teams with a combined 24-61 record. The highest ranked team they beat was Wyoming (89). And Nevada was 0-4 against teams with winning records.
Let’s talk rushing defenses; both teams have had issues stopping the run this season. Arizona ranks near the bottom of the PAC-12 giving up 189 rushing YPG, Nevada is giving up 213 rushing YPG. But, Not so fast….. Once again, Arizona gave up their yards to a significantly better level of competition. This stuff matters.
I have not spent much time talking about passing performances because I feel the key to this game is the rushing game. I feel that Arizona has the edge in the passing game as evidenced by a 50 YPG advantage against much better defenses. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
Typically I look for these kinds of matchups and take the points, especially if I can get to or across a key number like 10 in this case. It would be easy to buy it from +9.5 to +10. You can study a matchup until you get cross-eyed. At some point you have to input your actual observations from watching actual games each team has played.
You want THE WILDCARD FACTOR for this game? Arizona is currently ranked NUMBER ONE in the PAC-12 recruiting class!!! I know those kids will not play in this game, but do you think Rich Rod wants to lay an egg here? I think Arizona has a LOT OF POSITIVE MOMENTUM, in spite of the ASU loss and not playing in a better bowl. I think that intangible along with an in depth analysis of the raw numbers, makes me want to lay the points here.
Another way to play this game. Arizona is 17th in nation with 37.3 PPG and Nevada is 20th with 37.0 PPG… That’s 74.3 Average PPG. The total is set at 75 in this game. I think the OVER is a very righteous play here. I would not be surprised to see it go significantly over that number.
TOTAL OVER 75
I play with actual money, so please don't be shy. Honest input would be appreciated.