Arizona Wildcats vs. BYU Cougars - 9/3/16 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
BYU Cougars (0-0) at Arizona Wildcats (0-0)
College Football: Saturday, September 3, 2016 at 10:30 pm (University of Phoenix Stadium)
The Line: Arizona Wildcats -2.5 -- Over/Under: 63 See the Latest Odds
The BYU Cougars will play the Arizona Wildcats in these two teams opening game of the 2016 season at University of Phoenix Stadium.
The Arizona Wildcats were 7-6 last season and finished with a win against New Mexico by a score of 45-37 in their bowl game. The Arizona offense averaged 37.4 points per game with 222.3 rushing yards and 272.6 passing yards per game last season. Anu Solomon is expected to start the season at quarterback after throwing for 2,667 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2015. Nick Wilson and Orlando Bradford return at running back for Arizona after combining for over 900 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. Nate Phillips returns at wide receiver for the Wildcats after having 564 yards and 4 touchdowns last season. The Arizona offense will have to carry the load once again this season, as the defense is a huge unknown. The Arizona defense gave up 35.8 points per game with 198.6 rushing yards and 268.3 passing yards per game in 2015. DaVonte Neal is back at safety this season after posting 63 tackles and 1 interception last season. DeAndre Miller is back at linebacker after having 50 tackles and 8 tackles for loss. Arizona really struggled on defense last season and must improve if they want to be competitive in the PAC-12.
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The BYU Cougars were 9-4 last season, but finished with a loss against Utah in their bowl game by a score of 35-28. The BYU offense averaged 33.7 points per game with 128.3 rushing yards and 296.5 passing yards per game in 2015. Taysom Hill will be the starting quarterback for BYU after suffering injuries throughout the past few years. Hill has thrown for 4,606 yards, rushed for 2,212 yards, and scored a total of 55 touchdowns in his career at BYU. Jamaal Williams is the starting running back for BYU. Williams has also fought injuries throughout his career, but will look to put all of that behind him with a full 2016 season. Nick Kurtz returns at receiver after having 578 yards and 3 touchdowns for BYU last season. The BYU defense gave up 22.8 points per game with 143.8 rushing yards and 201.8 passing yards per game last season. Fred Warner returns at linebacker after having 67 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss last season. Kai Nacua is back at safety after having 6 interceptions last season for the Cougars.
Arizona is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 neutral site games. The over is 5-0 in Arizona’s last 5 September games. BYU is 6-2 ATS in their last 8 games on grass and 0-4 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games. The under is 15-7 in BYU’s last 22 games in September.
Arizona comes into this game as the slight favorite, but this game matches up very evenly. Arizona will have to step up defensively in order to keep Taysom Hill and company under control. The BYU defense should be solid, but will have a tall order in slowing down the high-powered Wildcats offense. I like BYU in this one just because of their defense.